I’m the kind of sports fan who suffers through the losing same as the winning. Case in point: I’ve been following the Boston Celtics (that’s basketball, for those not so up on such things), including watching countless games on tv, for years now while they’ve been just god awful. But this year, they’re good; really good. So when my good friend’s favorite team, the Portland Trailblazers, came into Boston last night to play the C’s, we headed down for a day in Bean Town. And what a day it was.
It wasn’t so much that we saw a great game, with the Celtics running away in the forth quarter for an eventual 100-90 win; and it wasn’t so much how incredibly hilarious it was at the game as every time Portland scored the crowd got silent and Scott stood up and cheered, loudly, practically by himself, among 15,000 other people. No, this trip was all about beer. Lots of beer.
My friend had found this amazing little dive bar, the Bukowski Tavern, in the part of town known as the Back Bay, with the help of the amazing website Beer Advocate, which I’ve now got a link to from my site. Got there around 2:00 in the afternoon. The place is literally surrounded by a parking garage, so walking towards it I was curious but slightly skeptical. Friends, my skepticism was soon gone. The place is dark, a bit rough around the edges; comfortable for sure. Nick Cave and Johnny Cash in the CD player all day. They had about a dozen beers on tap, and 99 different bottles (“99 bottles of beer on the wall”). In their tiny, greesy little kitchen they did a pretty regular bar menu, including what they claim to be their “world famous” hamburger with peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter. Yeah, Scott ordered one. But this isn’t about weird bar food. This is about beer.
After sitting there drinking various beers from around the world for over 4 hours, we eventually made our way to the game. Luckily, our afternoon of Bukowski’s meant we weren’t in any real need of drinking while at the Boston Garden, because they pretty much had nothing to offer except Mich Lite in a 10 oz. plastic cup for $6.75. And then after the game, it was back to Bukowski’s until last call. I wish I were able to remember the names of these beers….. there was a chocolate stout that literally seemed like eating a candy bar- from across the room you could smell the cocoa. And of course
there was the “Local 1” which is made by the Brooklyn Brewing Co and is perhaps my favorite overall beer in the world; just an incredibly even beer all around. It was a tremendous time. And in case you’re getting the impression that there’s any elitist beer snob stuff going on here, I assure you you’re wrong. We drank PBR’s with lunch. I had an Old Speckled Hen from a can. And even a couple Naraganset’s here and there to clense the pallet between lager’s and stout’s and porter’s and IPA’s. My advise, if you enjoy beer, and especially if you enjoy hamburgers with crunchy peanut butter (and yes, that includes tomato and pickles on there too), any trip to Boston should include a visit to Bukowski’s.
Mr Bukowski himself
Finally, for bonus points, I’m looking for the first person who can correctly identify the actual book title and it’s author from which the title of this post is a play on. It’s one of my favorites to read, on the occasion I get around to reading fiction. The answer is not Bukowski, by the way.