Thursday, July 28, 2005

Back from the Palmetto State, with more beer to come.

It’s difficult to maintain that you’ve returned from a brief vacation feeling “refreshed” when temperatures were in the high 90’s throughout.

However, on two of the days a morning dip in the ocean provided a respite from the heat and humidity, and of course, the tourist infrastructure is air-conditioned.

Importantly, there were more decent local beers than I’d been led to believe existed in the South Carolina and Georgia coastal “lowcountry”.

Perhaps they weren’t always spectacular beers, but they were drinkable, nonetheless, and occasionally quite good.

Specifically, I’d have killed for Palmetto Pale Ale on Friday night, when my cousins catered a lovely “lowcountry boil” on the grounds of a top-dollar and thoroughly Dickensian modern housing development near Beaufort (that’s pronounced BYOO-ferd, blue staters).

The concept of the boil is grand, indeed. Fresh shrimp, crawdads and any additional available seafood, ears of corn, kielbasa and new potatoes are cooked with a propane torch in a gigantic pot, unceremoniously dumped atop the table in trays and greedily devoured.

My family being, well, my family, a pony keg of Miller Lite was thoughtfully iced and tapped.

I drank Coke, itself a southern innovation.

Owing to Allen family demographics, these once-a-year family reunion trips almost always will almost always take place in the deepest, red-state South in late July. Last year’s was held near Atlanta, and in 2006, Orlando will be the venue. The exceptions will be hosted by my cousins in Madison, Indiana, and me (in 2010).

When it's my turn, I'm aiming to have fabricated evidence pointing to a long-lost German branch of the family tree, and organizing a Bamberg idyll.

Given the realities of my situation, one must be prepared to execute the famed lemonade conversion, and so time was devoted to surveys of historic Savannah and Charleston following the family festivities on Hilton Head. In all three locales, good beer was to be found ... and it saved my life.

There’ll be more here on these beers, breweries and pubs, although a working day on Friday and the 10th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival in Indianapolis on Saturday must come first.

It’s always good to be back.

1 comment:

edward parish said...

glad you enjoyed it!