Monday, September 17, 2012

Union Drinking

Some time back in the Spring I had a Skype chat with my best friend. At the time he was living in Kyiv, Ukraine and during the conversation he was drinking his homebrew pale lager which reminded him of Staropramen. Eventually it transpired that he would be back in the States for a few months, he being American, and that we should get together for a lads' weekend in his hometown of Baltimore.

Thus on Friday morning I took my first train ride in the US, to get from Charlottesville to Washington DC, where once he was finished with work for the day we would meet to make our way up to Baltimore and perhaps have a pint or two over the coming days. With several hours to kill in DC before meeting up, I hopped on the Metro (btw - I love public transport, civilised places have public transport) with the intention of going to Churchkey and sitting with my book for a few hours. Having walked for about 20 minutes from the nearest Metro station, I discovered that Churchkey doesn't open until 4pm. It being only 12.30 I headed back to Union Station to see if I could find one of the pubs I had read about. Just an aside, I know far too many pubs that don't open at a reasonable hour like 11am, I am yet to work out why such places are adverse to the capitalist notion of making money.

Having made it back to the Union Station area, I headed in the vague direction that I remembered there being somewhere to drink from Google Maps. I don't have smart phone and so the idea of navigating by phone is something I don't do. Anyway, half an hour of concerted bimbling lead me to The Union Pub, where I sat gazing in wonder at the Devils Backbone Vienna Lager tap in front of me, I had found my place. There I sat, reading the occasional snippet of David Hume's 'Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion' and feeding money into the juke box - if anyone reading this was assaulted by my choice in music - The Smiths, Rammstein, Die Toten Hosen and Gerry and the Pacemakers, then let me apologise.

Spending a few hours sat a bar, with good beer and a good book really is one of my favourite things to do, and I think whenever I head up to DC again, The Union Pub will be my first choice place to go. They have a really good selection of beer, a nice atmosphere and from my experience of one afternoon, excellent staff. I was almost tempted to get my friend to meet me there rather than at Union Station, but as he had said to me earlier in the day, if we met in a pub we would probably never get to Baltimore...

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