Back in February I wrote a blog post titled 8 (Non-Beer Related) Reasons People Love Garrett Oliver and focused the article on how friendly, approachable, and down to earth he’s known to be.
At the time, I’d never actually interacted with Mr. Oliver myself so all eight reasons were based solely on what I’d read or heard from friends coupled with my own speculations. Last night that all changed. Last night Garrett Oliver dumped his beer on me.
I heard Brooklyn’s Brewmaster would be doing a meet and greet at McGregor’s in Rochester, which is about an hour from where I live in Buffalo. The event went from 5 until 7, so I left work promptly at 5, hit seriously bad traffic, and experienced a mild case of road rage when it occurred to me that I might not make it in time.
After a treacherous drive, I pulled into the parking lot at approximately 6:45. I was in a hurry to talk to Garrett, knowing that he’d be leaving shortly for dinner. After following him around the circular bar like an awkward puppy, he sat down on a stool that happened to be located next to another unoccupied stool. I saw that as my opportunity, and took the seat to his right. I initiated a conversation, explaining that I’d driven in from Buffalo and wanted to say hello before he took off.
In true Garrett Oliver fashion, he engaged in a smart, unpretentious discussion with me. We talked about his recent travels, his Facebook account, and this blog. Throughout our exchanges, he was talking with his hands as any good, expressive conversationalist does and we were just getting into the recent excise tax changes in NY State when he accidentally knocked over the full beer he’d just ordered. The beer was perfectly positioned to tip over into my seat, depositing an entire pint of stout in my lap.
Garrett was profusely apologetic, grabbed towels to clean up the bar, and even wiped off my legs a bit. Yep, that’s right – Garrett Oliver touched my legs. The best part was, when I kept insisting it was totally fine and I didn’t mind that he spilled an entire beer on me (which I honestly didn’t) he looked right at me and said “Tomorrow’s blog post will be titled ‘The Night Garrett Oliver Dumped His Beer On Me'” – so I couldn’t not write this post.
As for the beer, I very, very much enjoyed the Brooklyn AMA Bionda, a collaboration beer made in Italy that isn’t typically available in my part of NY. Between apologies, Garrett explained that it was crafted around the idea of giving Italian restaurants in the US an excellent Italian craft beer at a reasonable price point. A light, fruity golden beer brewed with three hop varieties, water from springs that date to Roman times, and Italian Orange Blossom honey from Sicily, it’s nothing short of delightful.
I had three goblets of the stuff and when I went to settle up at the end of the evening, the very kind bartender informed me that Garrett Oliver had paid for my entire tab.
I’ve never been so excited to be covered in sticky stout and I’m pretty sure I’ll never be so happy to be spilled on again.
On that note, I’m happy to affirm that all of the great things I said about Garrett Oliver before are absolutely true and I’m glad to have such a memorable experience. I just wish I’d taken another pictures. This crappy, blurry one is all I’ve got.
[techtags:Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn AMA Bionda]