Brian is taking a sip of (I think) my Smuttynose IPA here as Suzy looks on. Brian warned me that he wasn’t a big fan of IPAs, but after a sip he said it wasn’t bad. The locale is Mug’s Ale House in Brooklyn (don’t judge the place by its web site, though), not too far from where Brian was living at the time (he’s since moved further out and closer to Queens). The three of us had dinner there as well as drinks, and the food was surprisingly good for pub grub. They also have a nice selection of beers, and their menu is page upon page of bottled brews (including one that went for $300.00—we asked if that was a typo, and apparently it wasn’t. That’s nuts), but we chose mostly from the chalkboards, which list the beers they have on tap and which go for $4 a pint.
I started out with the Smutty Nose IPA, then had a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (bottle) on Brian’s recommendation, and I finished with The Big “A,” also from Smuttynose. When I asked the waitress what The Big “A” was, she said, “It’s like an IPA, just hoppier.” IPAs are known for being very hoppy, so that’s kind of like describing someone by saying, “Yeah, he’s like Mel Gibson, just more insane.” Anyway, I like my beers hoppy, so I knew I had to try this. I could smell the hops as the beer sat on the table in front of me. When I actually started drinking it, it knocked me flat on my butt. It was great, but I was stuffed from the food and drinks, and I am ashamed to admit that I couldn’t finish it.