Mrs V and I went to another wedding on Saturday, that's 2 in a fortnight. This time, the wedding was that of fellow homebrewer, occasional beer blogger and all round top person Eric from Relentless Thirst. If I may take a moment, meeting Eric and his lovely wife has been one of the highlights of moving to the US - a more generous, enthusiastic and awesome couple would be difficult to meet.
Given that Richmond is but an hour away from us, I said to Mrs V that I would be responsible (for a change) and be the designated driver for the night. Usually Mrs V and I share the driving duties, I drive to the drinking hole and she drives home, this really is a case of practicality, I drink more than she does. As such, I was fully prepared for perhaps a couple of beers early on to then be followed by copious amounts of coke or similar.
At the ceremony, which was beautiful and a real expression of the now Mr and Mrs Relentless Thirst, we saw some familiar faces, including Tom from Yours For Good Fermentables, with whom we had shared beers and discussions on decoction mashing at Hogmanay.
Having made the short trip to Havana 59 for the reception in pretty quick time, other than one missed turn - it wouldn't be a trip to Richmond for us without making a missed turn - we secured a prime location at the bar and perused the beer list, which included Becks NA, at which point I made the decision to be responsible but still have the taste of beer. Thus I stood, swigging lager from the bottle for the first time in many a year, feeling like a college kid again going to some trendy pubs on Birmingham's Broad Street.
I will not bore you with tasting notes for a non-alcoholic beer made by InBev, suffice to say that it was wet, vaguely skunky, grainy and with a long dry finish. Interestingly the head retention was superb! The thought that crossed my mind several times was that it was actually better than the vast majority of "craft" lagers I have had and not entirely unlike watered down Gambrinus from the Czech Republic, in a word it was drinkable. Looking down the bar several times, I hope Havana 59 had a plentiful supply of Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA as it was flying over the bar.
The reception was again excellent, relaxed, full of fun and dancing - not that I partook in the dancing, I have two left feet and derive no pleasure whatsoever from dancing. Mrs V on the other hand loves to dance and so I tend to sit at the bar, beer in hand and watch. The only time I ever actually dance is if I am so mind addled on booze that suddenly I convince myself I have the moves of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, but that takes a very large amount of beer, and perhaps a shot or two of whisky flavoured Dutch courage. You can imagine then the amount of Becks NA I would have to drink to achieve that state.
When the night drew to its conclusion and the revellers had waved the happy couple off, we wandered back to our car, me with a Blood Alcohol Content which according to this online tool was "negligable" and Mrs V having finished her couple of glasses of wine a few hours previously. Arriving at the car, Mrs V turned to me and said something along the lines of "you know, it's ok, I'll drive home", and thus we got back to Charlottesville just past midnight having talked and joked all the way home.
It was a magnificent evening indeed.