Saturday, July 21, 2007

Temptations on Frankfort Avenue and in Madison, Indiana.

It’s damned hard to be seated an arm’s length away from a pint of good ale and be listening to classic Irish music without immediately abandoning the day’s well-intentioned plans in favor of a lengthy, and often moveable, session.

This has happened to me twice in the past week, and both times I was somehow able to pull back from the brink and becoming submerged beneath a self-imposed fog of “craic.”

The first challenge came at the Irish Rover during lunch on Wednesday. The original Dubliners were on the CD player when my friend Roz and I entered. Matt Gould’s Cumberland Brews Cream Ale was pouring, and the fish cakes were suitably aquatic, although the huge mound of potatoes was left intact in favor of another pint. We stopped there and went to our respective homes to sort through bags of goodies from Lotsa Pasta. The decision to depart wasn’t an easy one, but discretion outranks spoiled refrigerator case chorizo on most steamy Ohio Valley afternoons.

Last night was the second hurdle, with Mrs. Curmudgeon accompanying me to Madison, Indiana, for two Friday family reunion events separated by three hours of down time, which we chose to spend at the Thomas Family Winery. The music greeted us just before Steve did:

From Bantry Bay up to Derry QuayAnd from Galway to Dublin townNo maid I've seen like the sweet colleenThat I met in the County Down.

A two-glass wine interlude followed, punctuated by conversation with a few of the regulars and a delectable sample of Greek-style barbecued lamb. Too soon thereafter it came time to make the short hop to Clifty Falls and the next activity, so I purchased a bottle of Pinot Grigio to take to the family’s “happy hour,” where it was quickly devoured.

There was no music at the gathering. Had there been, I’d have wanted to stay longer.


Unfortunately, there is bad news for beer lovers in the lovely but underserved city of Madison. McQuiston’s Malthouse has closed, and the fine restored building is for sale.

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