I knew I couldn't afford it, but when the bartender at Sweet Afton in Astoria told me about their upcoming party bus trip to the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company's headquarters in Pleasantville, NY, I knew I had to go.
It wasn't just because I'd been dying to go to Captain Lawrence for a couple of years, the Pale Ale and Liquid Gold giving me a reason to drink more than a half pint of beer.
It wasn't just because, at $45, it was a great deal for breakfast and lunch, a day's worth of drinking, and transportation.
Every time I've gone to Sweet Afton since moving to Astoria almost three months ago, I've made a friend, exchanged phone numbers, had a great conversation, and consumed a great meal or drink. The bartenders all remember me and remember my name. And they promised me that this trip would be a great way to get to know more people.
I have made more friends in my short time in Astoria than I ever made in seven years each in Greenpoint and Manhattan, but I could sure use some more.
We got to sample the seasonal Pumpkin Ale, Brown and IPA (as well as the Kolsch for breakfast) and heard about the forthcoming Espresso Stout made from local Upstate coffee beans, which is currently in the tank. We wolfed down sandwiches, took photos of ourselves, and collected free swag.
On the way back to the city, in an unwelcome return to regular life, it was the kind of bus ride I never had in high school or college, filled with people I may never see again...or may not necessarily remember the next time I do.
But we sure did have a great time.
To become a fan on Facebook, click here.