There’s generally not anything too exciting about driving non-stop for 16 hours — especially after you’ve pretty much exhausted and wiped yourself out with nine nights in hotels and a full week battling the sun and massive, teenaged South American tour groups at Disney World.
What you need in such a circumstance is a way to survive the drive — a carrot to keep you going. For me, it’s the never-ending hunt for beer stores to hit up on the way home.
Last year in my post-summer-vacation-Disney-World dispatches, I chronicled finding a liquor store in Georgia — at Exit 212 on Interstate 75, just south of Atlanta. I knew that place was serious when I started seeing billboards for it in central Florida.
This year, I pledged to keep my eyes peeled on the way home for billboards advertising other stores, to perhaps broaden my horizons and seek out a store even better than what I found last year south of Atlanta (at “212,” as I took to calling it on this year’s road trip).
As it turned out, I didn’t need to look for long. Not far from the Florida-Georgia border I spotted a sign for a liquor store in Valdosta, Ga., advertising a “300 craft beers.” So, to Valdosta we went. Much to my disappointment, the store was closed when we got there, despite the fact we were there during advertised operating hours.
We figured since we had already stopped, we’d spin over to a gas station to top off and take a bathroom break. There, in a gas station, in Valdosta, Ga., I found this:
That’s a pick-six mixer pack — FROM A GAS STATION! Yes, at a gas station in Valdosta, Ga., you can get Bell’s, Stone and Dogfish Head. I mean, come on Oklahoma! We can do a whole lot better!
Despite this mini-haul, I decided I would not stop my search. A little further up the interstate, I spotted a billboard touting a “craft beer superstore” in Warner-Robbins, Ga. This one was a couple miles off the interstate, but I decided to venture off course a bit to see if it was worth it.
The store was actually half beer store-half growler fill center. I loaded up a few more beers — although the selection was good, it didn’t quite top 212 — and headed off on the road. With having to detour off the interstate and daylight ticking — and with Mrs. Beagle’s hair-brained opinion that I had already amassed enough beer on the trip — I had to pass up 212 this year. In the end, here was the complete haul from the trip (there’s six-pack of Yeungling in the back — picked it up for a friend):
All in all, I’d say it was a good haul. Some of them — mostly the IPAs — I’ll get to pretty soon. Others I’ll age for a while. I’m certain that by this time next year, I’ll be ready for a new vacation haul.
Pints and Pins
-Mustang Brewing has planned a series of events to celebrate its fifth anniversary. Here’s the full rundown from their newsletter sent out this morning:
- Friday, July 11th: 4PM-8PM. Open House at Mustang Brewing HQ. New beers on tap, food from Klemm’s Smoke House, live music by Brandon Clark, merchandise giveaways, and more! Come see the new brewhouse and taste the next beers in the lineup. Tours/tastings are free, but you you must be 21 or older to attend. 520 N. Meridian Avenue, OKC, OK.
- Saturday, July 12th: 10PM-? Concert at 51st Street Speakeasy with Oklahoma’s favorite band, Hosty Duo! Mustang beer specials all night long. 1114 NW 51st, OKC, OK.
- Sunday, July 13th: We served our first pint on July 13th, 2009. We’ll be celebrating this July 13th by showing up at a “mystery” location and buying the first round of Mustangs. The location and time will be posted that day on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned!
- Friday, July 18th: 5PM-? Firkin Friday at McNellie’s OKC. This firkin will be an oak-aged, sour, raspberry wheat ale. This is a limited release and first come, first serve. Get there early! 1100 Classen Drive, OKC, OK.
- Friday, July 25th: 7PM-11PM. The biggest event of our 5th Anniversary festivities! We partnered with McNellie’s OKC to hold a block party. This will be the same night as H&8th, so expect a great crowd. Mustang beer specials, terrific food, and live music from the East Dallas Shufflers. See you there! 1100 Classen Drive, OKC, OK.
-Prairie is in the running for The Daily Meal’s annual list of best breweries. You can go here to vote.