The journey from Daytona Beach to Columbia only takes about 6 hours of driving, but why drive all the way up the Interstate when you can spend a few hours in quite possibly the most delightful little town in the USA? About an hour's drive up the coast, and in this case with the Atlantic breaking on the shore just a few feet from the car, is the town of St Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited town in the continental US, founded in 1565.
The heart of the town is home to old houses bearing testament to the Spanish, rather than British, roots of Florida. Also in the town centre is one of my favourite little pubs, which we found by accident 2 summers ago and to which I plan to return every time I come through St Augustine. A place called Rendezvous.
I admit I had a pretext for wanting to return to Rendezvous, I knew they had Budvar and I was craving the clean, hoppy delights of this fantastic lager - whatever the label was saying. So good and so refreshing is a chilled Budvar, it barely touched the sides. Just a quick aside though, I wish people wouldn't put B.B. Bürgerbräu with the German beers - yes it has a German name but it is made in the Czech Republic, just like Pilsner Urquell!
Rendezvous generally has an extensive range of bottled beer, with products from Germany, the UK, Belgium and various other places - including the very pleasant Reissdorf Kölsch you can see in the picture above. As I drink much quicker than Mrs Velkyal and my in-laws, they were just polishing off their Budvar, Pilsner Urquell, and in the wife's case a bottled of Cooper's Sparkling Ale, a very refreshing Australian delight
The highlight though for me was picking up my first bottle of Fuller's Vintage Ale, the 2008 edition, for my cellar, to be opened on some auspicious future date.