Monday, December 13, 2010

How Many Bars of Christmas? (A Pub Crawl Story)

Last year about this time, Steve and I headed downtown on a cold Friday night to grab a couple beers at Blue Ridge Brewing Company. While we were there, a very rowdy crowd of people wearing garish t-shirts stumbled in. Their shirts proclaimed that they were part of the "12 Bars of Christmas" pub crawl, and all we could say was, "how did we not know about this?"

At On the Roxx
I immediately Google searched the pub crawl and happened upon their Facebook page...and so it was that a year later, we came to be not just idle passers-by but actual 12 Bars of Christmas participants. We purchased our shirts and donned our Christmas colors this past Saturday, arriving at bar #1--Liberty Tap Room--just before 6 PM for the start of the crawl.

I don't think I need to detail every stop that we made. I will say that although the beer prices on the specials list were good, it was a bit disappointing that there weren't some better liquor specials, especially considering the number of people participating in the crawl. Also, it sucked that the third bar we were supposed to stop at--a place called Crossroads--apparently closed recently without notifying the pub crawl organizers. C'est la vie, and that brings us from 12 bars to 11 for the night.

It was at Connolly's, an Irish-pub/hole-in-the-wall type bar, that our pub crawl ran into another (and much smaller, mind you!) pub crawl. This one was some sort of Santa Claus crawl, but either there weren't many people participating or not many of the participants chose to dress up. Still, we did see some great (for lack of a better word) costumes, including Ralphie from A Christmas Story, Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, and my personal favorite--Buddy the Elf from Elf! (best Christmas movie ever, don't bother arguing with me)

I'm in love, can't you tell by the look on my face?
We made it to Liberty Tap Room, On the Roxx, Connolly's, Wild Wing Cafe, Barley's, and Rey's, but about the time we were supposed to hit up Hoops & Hops some sorta something set in...and I lost Steve. After numerous confusing phone calls, he finally realized that he was supposed to be at Hoops & Hops and arrived in time to guzzle the beer I'd bought him before we had to head across the street to stop #8--Corner Pocket. We had yet to visit Corner Pocket but we truthfully weren't impressed. I know they were having to deal with a hell of a lot of people that night, but they had known about this beforehand and didn't have enough bartenders or enough good bartenders (seriously, I don't know if I've ever been ignored that long at a bar in Vegas!). One quick drink and we decided to hit up the next stop, Sharkey's, in hopes of having a bit more luck.

Oh hey, decent beer! (at Barley's)
Our friends Sara, Mike and Damien who were participating in the crawl with us were able to find a table at Sharkey's (!!!). They were going to order food, but apparently the kitchen was closed? Not sure what was up with that, as it was only about ten PM? I could have sworn I've ordered food there that late. They were doing karaoke (!!!) but--and I can't believe I'm saying this--I was far too drunk to participate. I had to hold Steve back from putting my name in, and it was about this time that I suggested moving on to City Tavern.

Except that City Tavern is a small bar, and we could tell just by a glance that there was no point going in. At this point we just walked over to the last bar on the list--The Gathering Spot (or, more affectionately, the G-Spot)--and therefore the 12 bars became 10.

My "I didn't even drink this crap in college" face
I honestly have no idea how we even made it to G-Spot or managed to have a beer there. I have no idea how we can easily make our way all the way around the world at EPCOT (11 countries, drinking everything from margaritas to wine to daiquiris to beer), but we could barely handle the mere 10 bars we made it to Saturday night.

Are we just getting old? Sigh.

We made it! Well...sorta.

In the end, we had an absolute blast and we will participate in the crawl again next year, if only because it was fun to have reason to be bar-hopping while wearing hideous t-shirts.

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