is an award winning
member of the North
American Guild of Beer
Writers. His blog
Adventures in Beerland
is now a regular feature of
|Once upon a time in a faraway land called New Jersey, in the hamlet of Orange West, there was a pub called Bond’s.
Not James, not US, not Savings, just plain Bond’s. They served beer. Some of their beer was very good. Some of
their beer was the standard fares from the usual craft suspects. Some of their beer was made by evil macro kings,
and, on eclipses of the Jupiter’s third moon some of their beer was so good they ruled the realm. Be it known that
there were many other pubs in many other towns with beer just as good or better. Bonds however had an
omnipotent weapon they did not. Every day, seven days a week a magical hour of happiness appeared. Bond's
powerful sorcery, was able to make time stand still. When they cast the spell an “hour” lasted not for 60 minutes but
for 240. And for those 240 minutes all beer prices mystically transformed into numbers half as large as they were
And so Bonds became a place of wonderment for beer lovers throughout the land. They came to bear witness to the
magic and gleefully consume the pub’s half price offerings. Even I, your humble troubadour, frequented this oasis of
brew along with my valiant band of beer aficionados. We came, we saw, we drank beer. We were happy.
Life was indeed good until one day an evil wind blew into Bond’s. No one saw it approach or knew whence it came.
The daily 240 minutes of joy vanished. The prices of pints were now carved in granite with numbers so high
practitioners of the healing arts were on hand to stop severe nosebleeds. Even the size of the vessels in which the
beverages were poured shrunk to minuscule size. With that our band of merry malt men had no choice but to seek
other venues to quench our thirst.
As the weeks and months and years passed we told tales of the former wonders of Bonds to all who would listen and
its legend grew. We knew not of its fate until we came upon a traveler from the City of Big Apples. He heralded a
rumor sweeping the countryside - Bond’s had risen again, a veritable phoenix of Beerland . Could it be true or was
this just false prattle from a dubious source ? The answer my friends is a story for another day.
DATELINE: Another Day …..
“Bond’s is really back!” heralded my BeerNexus colleague Glenn“The Big G”DeLuca. Coming from a guy who told
me Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs I
had my doubts if it was true. Withholding final judgment I asked “Do they have anything good on tap and do they still
have half price Happy Hour?” “Yes and a yes” Glenn responded albeit somewhat unconvincingly.
Glenn explained that new, not the old new but a new new, management had taken over and thanks to ever dwindling
receipts had returned to the policy that had smade the successful in the past – the best Happy Hour(s) around. If
Bond’s was once again the Bond’s of old then immediate action was required – it would be time to get the band back
together. And that’s exactly what happened.
One by one our group trickled into Bond’s. When I got there three of the six stalwart members of our band, Glenn,
Brian, and Richie, were already there. I was the next to arrive followed by Livingston and John, The fact that those
two made it was surprising since we had asked the bartender to lock the door.
Aside from one martini drinker and a person sipping a Bud Light we were the only ones at the twenty five seat bar.
That probably meant only one thing - the story of Bond’s return to glory was a blatant deception. But who would be
so heartless to want to smash the dreams of kind, friendly, salt of the earth Zythophiles like us? The answer was
obvious. There could be only one culprit – InBev. Yes, those infamous makers of light, yellow fizzy pseudo beer.
They’ll do anything to hurt craft beer and its devotees. Ah, well, maybe they had nothing to do with it but they’re
guilty of so many other things blaming them seems more than fair.
We each picked up a beer menu expecting the worse. To lessen the pain I cleverly read it with one eye closed.
Quickly scanning the page I noticed Bud Light, Coors Light, and Heinekin Light. Looks like lights out for this place.
But then I saw beers from Bells, Founders, Neshaminy Creek, Carton, Brooklyn, Kane and other serious breweries.
In fact of the 32 different beers on tap the majority were real craft offerings. And then I saw #25,#26, #27, and #28.
I looked over at Glenn’s menu to make sure mine wasn’t left over from a misguided April Fools Day joke. His had the
same four beers listed: Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout, Goose Island
Bourbon County Stout, and Goose Island Bourbon County Vanilla Stout. They were all there, each by itself a
treasure to behold, together the stuff that dreams are made of.
The listed price of each was $10 for a 12 oz. pour which considering the beers' quality was fair indeed. Double more
fair however was the small print on the side of the page – “All craft beer half price on Tuesdays”. Unless it wasn’t
Tuesday (it was) and the definition of “all” had changed' (it hadn't) we were about to get a great bargain on great
beer which was, in a word….GREAT!
The bartender ambled over tand asked me what I wanted. Still in shock and awe of the four beers I could only blurt
out “humina, humina, humina”. I then heard Richie and John order the CBS, Brian the regular Bourbon County, and
Livingston the Bourbon County Vanilla. The bartender then turned to Glenn who said “KBS, CBS” I was surprised
since I had never heard him stutter before. The bartender obviously hadn’t heard him do it before either since he
responded with a “huh?” “I want them both” Glenn explained. “One to drink while the other to warms up a bit.” It
seems he wanted a warm up for the warm up.
As the bartender walked away Glenn called out “Wait, now that I think of it give me a glass of each so they can all
warm up”. Knowing a sage move when we see one the rest of us, in beautiful four part harmony, sang out “do the
same for me.”
It took a while but eventually we each had four glasses proudly lined up in front of us. It was then I noticed that both
the martini and Bud Light guys were getting up to leave. Coincidence?
There we sat, the only ones in the entire bar. It was as much a moment to savor as were our beers for sipping And
considering the average ABV of the four beers was 12.9% sipping was truly the operative word.
I wondered if this perfect day could get any better. The answer turned out to be no. As we were leaving the
bartender said that the half price craft on Tuesdays policy would soon change, or more accurately, disappear. He
said they only brought it back in an attempt to get people to return to the bar. He didn’t say when it would change
though he did imply it was imminent. Sadly it seemed, the flight of this phoenix of bars would soon be ended.
Let’s hope that doesn’t actually happen until after next Tuesday.
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