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Chop’in Cave à Bière

Local shop owner Lionel Libert (Mickey to his friends) knows his craft beer and is spreading love of the stuff to his neighborhood! On hand to answer home brewing questions, guide newbie beer lovers around the world of beer or simply hang for a chat, the 14th arrondissement’s local beer spot is on!

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Chop’in

With a generalized selection of French, Belgian and specialty imports, the store has a little something for everyone and a big something for beer nerds. One will find that Mickey is one of Paris’s only locations for homebrew retail. And if you’re feeling hungry, grab yourself some gourmet pate and sausages for your food pairing needs.

Click here to see Chop’in’s full bottle list.

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Customers who can’t wait to get to their arm load of goodies home, like yours truly, are welcome to a bottle opener. Turn bottle into road beer! On your way out ask the Chop’in CEO for local dining and drinking advice, he won’t hesitate to give you suggestions for the area and then go on to suggest some of Paris’s better beer joints.

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This is the first place where I spotted La P’tite Soeur brand! Check out the video of my morning sampling, where I begin the process of defining the common style of ‘noire’.

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What is a noire beer? As far I’ve found, it literally refers to the color of the beer. Is it a Stout or Black Ipa… meh, c’est noire. Gotta love the French mentality. It is in connection with how wine is categorized, I’m assuming. Red wine, is red in color and then it is defined by the grape and the region. Beer styles are color, region and then maybe a style. Weisse beer is a blanche (white), Russian Imperial stout (noire) and American Pale Ale (blonde). Rather convenient really.

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Red, white or blue, Chop’in cave à bière’s tailored advice and jolly atmosphere gain a big two thumbs up from this beer hunter. Stand around long enough and you’ll see why no one leaves the shop without a big smile.

Beer samples anyone?

XOXO

45 Rue de Gergovie 75014 PARIS

Open Tuesday- Saturday

11am- 2pm and 3:30pm-8pm

 

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Tasting- Le Brewery’s Odo and Old Cheese

Odo and Cheese

I came home and didn’t have any bread to go with my cheese. I didn’t have anything much at all in my frig but beer and some floppy carrots. Bare cupboards and beer bottles abounded but nothing to go with my cheese. I had picked up a bit of funky looking fromage from the Pigelle Bio c’bon and spaced the idea of what else to put it with. Surely not organic fair trade tea, bio-degradable sponges (we’ll see how that works out) or kale.

I needed bread and beer is liquid bread.

Voilà-  à table!

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Le Brewery

“Beers brewed with passion and the belief. Ale that is an art.

Le brewery is a family run business, founded by Steve and Jane Skews in 2001 in Normandy, France. The country is best known it’s ciders, cheeses and military defense zones, not so much for it’s hand crafted beer. Le Brewery, however, has been a mission for the past eleven years to produce good beer in France. Located in the heart of cider country, their British style real ale is now being exported all over Europe.

Spreading their passion for beer that is crafted by hand and using only the finest, Le Brewery hosts an annual beer festival, runs two pubs and houses campers in their hops fields. If you are on your way south for a  ‘sojourne en Normandie,’ Le Brewery is located just 1.5 hours south of the ferry port of Caen.

Not just touristy, Le Brewery is also picky about their ingredients: Normandy water, imported English malt from Warminster Maltings, live yeast from an old English yeast strain and home grown hops. Their 10-barrel system and hand picked ingredients roll together to bring out Odo. Their toasted, dark and brooding 6.6% stout inspired by a real historical dude, who was portrayed on screen by  John Nettleton in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series in the TV drama Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990).

Quel nerds.

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Sticking historical and hand made- I picked up some bio Fourme d’Ambert. Legend has it that Fourme d’Ambert was alreading being made at the time of the Druids and Gauls. Odo himself likely munched on the mold while plotting to become pope. It is certainly one of the oldest cheese in France along with Roquefort but not the stinkiest. The mildest of the blue cheeses, Fourme d’Ambert has a creamy texture and delicate mushroom falvor.

Odo

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A: Pours a brooding dark brown with a slim, thin head and reddish hues.

S: Chocolates, roasty malts and a hue hit of vanilla bean- rather basic.

T: Dark, rich chocolates, velvety dried red fruits and a toasted caramel finish. No vanilla in the taste, but the smell is present through out. A few sips in and there is slightly black licorice after taste.

M: Creamy coating

O: Although not as milky stout as I would have assumed, Odo has a nice rounded presence with a lactose mouth coating and acute flavor layers. Not my favorite, not extremely memorable but simple, well done and perfect for my cheese mongering.

Pairing: The lactose lingering gets nicely cut to pieces by my fatty blue molded cheese. Cream on top of cream becomes a smoked dessert.

Two things made with so much love- coming together in my mouth! Historically balanced and indulgently rich.

Merci Anglophones for bringing your beer habits onto French soil. And then shipping it to Paris. So I can drink it with my cheese because I don’t have any bread. Ho hum.

XOXO

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It can be as difficult as licking a train

A moving train.

Tricky thing to lick, that.
In general what people put their tongues on (/r/SaladTossing NSFW excluded) are things that are not moving and dirty.

What was the last thing you licked?

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I would lick Paris, even though it is more polluted than Bejing. Hey, at least we got some free metro out of it.

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Normal Eiffel Tower in the spring vs the Tower over the weekend. Photo courtesy of The Economic Times

The expression for “window-shopping” in French is faire du lèche-vitrines (literally, “window-licking“)

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Forget trains, dirty cities and tasteless windows!

Lets lick a cigar and beer pairing

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Tom from HoppyParis.com recently came back from the bounty of American beer culture with arm loads of goodies. One being Goose Island’s Bourbon County 2013 Brand Stout.

14.9% abv with mountains of smooth textured barrel aged goodness. The silky smooth brew hides the alcohol content like a master trickster and washes the palate with deep wooded rhum raison, crushed vanilla beans and the lightest touch of black licorice.

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My medium body cuban with it’s slightly sweet and nutty flavor had no chance of taking on the beer. The spice of the tobacco was washed away with each sip. A revolving door of delight.

Nothing better than a night in with a Trinidad Habana Cuba and a short glass of 5 year barrel aged stout.

What are you licking?

XOXO

Related click-ables:

  • my favorite youtube channel for cigar/beer pairings and cigar safaris
  • If you’ve ever had Sam Adam’s Utopias than you’s know how well it goes with cigars.. or so I hear.
  • here are the 10 ten best images of window licking animals- you know you want it.
  • Dumb ways to die has a song about being safe around trains!
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Is this Gallia Paris?

…Yes

Oh good! I love Paris.

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When drunk people meet sunlight it can be hard to determine where in the European nation one is. Better to come out of your drunk delirium at Sacre Coeur in the blazing spring sunshine with a picnic spread than to crawl from the metro into the grey of London.

The spring weather has returned to the city of romance and people are flocking to open areas in droves.

DSCF6625Gallia

A revived Parisian beer brand

Brewed in Paris from 1890 until 1968, Parisians lost a great brand when Gallia closed it’s doors. Winning a gold medal at the Paris World Fair in 1900, Gallia Paris was fully in control of the city’s beer scene with a brewery in the 14th arrondissement that was the largest in the capital.

Today, reborn by two entrepreneur enthusiasts and backed by the original brewer’s family, Gallia Paris is making a move from universal basic beer to micro-brewing.

Gallia’s current two beers, a primitive blond and an unsuccessful wheat (blanche/white) are slowly being moved aside to make room for new brewing equipment. With a new brewer and a drive to capture the craft beer market, Gallia promises to move the historic Parisian brand name into the artisanal market. And we are excited!

DSCF6623As for their main flagship beer, Gallia is lacking in crispness but not unusually off mark for a typic French blond beer. The color is more tawny than ‘blond’ but the light use of hops and grain texture are hallmarks of standardized mass brewing. A picnic beer that pairs great with an array of cheese, meats and fresh bread.

Gallia re-hatched a historical beer brand and has stuck with the style that was famous in 1890. Until now.

Check back for more updates on the exciting progression of Gallia Paris from macro influenced to micro romance.

XOXO

Related links:

 

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Why are we waiting to drink good beer?

Ou qu’est ce qu’on attend pour boire de la bonne bière?

The French have nothing holding them back from drinking great craft beer, so what are they waiting for?

More beer bars.

More craft beer outlets.

 François Moutou the réalisateur of this mini documentary about the rising French craft beer is on a mission to show France and the rest of the world, that there IS a craft beer culture brewing in the land of wine and cheese.

Moutou is looking to progress his 3 minute long short film into a full length documentary with English subtitles and commentary for non French speakers.

With a beautiful marina view, fantastic bagel sandwiches from one of the best places in Paris and, of course beer from my new favorite cave à bière, the two of us hatched out ideas for the full project.

Completely beer geeking out!

Luckily Moutou is a beer geek with a fancy phone, so he was checking in on Untappd (add me!) and we have evidence of our productivity.

a32c0c652ae68c1b04fbfc29ebe360f0_640x640 Started out with a Danish ‘American Pale Ale’ called Fanø Vestkyst from Fanø Bryghus that paired beautifully with our roast beef, avocado and other amazing ness bagel-wiches.

Yeast on the nose, but clean and fresh on the palate, finishes with a nice citrus hop bite that is mild and delightful.

20140224_141708Rooie Dop was pushed on us by St. Bière owner as one of his newest most loved beers and, although very interesting, I continue to have problems with this brewery. A pungent over ripe fruit smell persists throughout and the watery finish is less than desirable.

“Something is keeping me from liking it…”

I can see why many would rank this as a fantastic beer, seeing as how it’s bold use of hops is striking, but there is a touch of unbalance that keeps me from loving it.

7d48cf96269b884f1a324d99eab9b343_320x320Hemel & Aarde or Heaven & Hell started us down the track of destruction. The after taste is better than the beer. Lingering smokey, woody and boozy notes hang on with delicious grace. One of those beers that is more fun to smell and savor than actually drink.

Vanilla, rye, roasty malts, dry wood and whiskey.

Pick this one up if you love William Blake and sipping beers.

c476b4056c8b57d9fbbee7db5843b92d_640x640Estraomnes Donker Imperial Stout.

What better way to finish a lunch meeting than to completely melt one’s face off with a blast of peppery spice and coffee. Pulling back from Heaven & Hell’s 9.8% abv to Donker’s 8.5% just shows that alcohol content does not the beer make because although lower in alcohol Donker’s boozy punch was much more evident.

Business is a pleasure!

Bike helmet in hand, France’s beer culture documentarian set off to the office while I am the proud owner of four empty bottles and a head full of new ideas. Keep checking back for more updates on the growth of a beer nation!

XOXO

 

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What do beer infections taste like?

Good question.

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This past weekend, I had a friend who was infected and today at a great local craft fusion cafe there may have been some infection in ma biere.

For details on how to (without sounding like a beer snob) tell bars you think their beer is infected check out this CraftBeer mag article.

Me- I like that my De Molen Zus & Zo (aka This & That) Saison had a strikingly acidic background. I liked that my Nøgne Ø 2 Captains Double IPA this weekend was a dry, fruit and pine hopped beer that also happened to finished like carbonated sour tarts.

Beer infections

are caused by wild yeast/bacteria strains entering into a fermenting beer. It is a broad term that can refer to many things and be caused by many things.

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beer infection… it’s still drinkable though, right?

Essentially there are two types of beer infections:

Wild yeast

Brettanomyces pediococcus, lactobacillus, or acetobacter

Tart, acid, sometimes musky, vinegar, cheesy or woody 

Other

Diacetyl- buttered popcorn or butterscotch
Acetaldehyde- green apple
Trans-2 nonenal- oxidation or wet cardboard
Dimethyl sulfide (DMS)- cooked corn or canned asparagus
Methyl mercaptan- skunky
Ethyl acetate- nail polish remover
Isoamyl acetate- bananas

Practice your sensory skills with Randy Mosher’s infinitely useful book Tasting Beer.

John Palmer’s How to Brew explains beer HOW AND WHY beer infections:

Symptom: It smells like vinegar.

Cause 1: Bacteria In this case, it probably is. Aceto bacteria (vinegar producing) and Lacto bacteria (lactic acid producing) are common contaminates in breweries. Sometimes the infection will produce sweet smells like malt vinegar, other times they will produce cidery smells. It will depend on which bug is living in your wort. Aceto bacteria often produce ropy strands of jelly which can be a good visual indicator, as can excessive cloudiness, after several weeks in the fermentor (although some cloudiness is not unusual, especially in all-grain beers).
Cure: If you don’t like the taste, then pour it out. Lactic infections are desired in some beer styles.

Cause 2: Wild Yeast/Bacteria Two other bugs are also common, Brettanomyces and Pediococcus. Brettanomyces is supposed to smell like horse sweat or a horse blanket. Raise your hand if you know what a horse smells like. From sweat, I mean. Anyone? I think Brettanomyces smells like leather, myself. Pediococcus can produce diacetyl and acidic aromas and flavors.

One man’s garbage can be another man’s gold though. These two cultures and Lacto bacteria are actually essential to the Belgian Lambic beer styles. Under other circumstances and styles, beers that taste like Lambics would be discarded instead of being carefully nurtured and blended over a two year period. Lambic beers have a pronounced tartness with fruity overtones. This type of beer is very refreshing and is excellent with heavy food.
Cure: Be meticulous in your sanitation or investigate Lambic brewing.

Why do (some) beer infections taste good?

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Our beloved Cantillon is, essentially, a beer infection in a bottle

As the rise in sour beer love evolves and we pucker up to sour beer education, we are transported back to pre-historic tasting beers. A time when yeast control was a thing of the future and we all beers were wild fermented.

As John Palmer stated above, Belgian Lambics are essentially beer that was left out in the open, infected by the wild things in the air and later sipped by beer geeks of the highest order.

Lambic is the beer style who production is most plagued by myth, misinformation, and archaic procedures

-The Mad Fermentationist

Make sure you understand that American’s don’t make Lambics!

And keep an open mind to Brett-y-nicey infections- they might be just the kick you were looking for.

XOXO

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Infections of the body and beer

Everyone knows that cranberry is good to help with a bladder infection but did you also know that brett infected beer can help cleanse the pipes as well?

urinary-tract-infection1Although the internet may tell you that drinking alcohol is not good for a bladder infection, a recently infected friend of mine swears that vodka (with cranberry concentrate), expensive red wine and ample amounts of craft beer cured her in one day.

Saturday night in Paris with a bladder infection can be rough, the bathroom lines at McDonald’s can be a bitch and there is no getting away from the fact that one must drink to survive.

Round one of bladder cleanse: cigar shop

I took my infected friend to one of Paris’s best cigar shops and forced her to sniff numerous phallic like items while she pee-pee danced.

We mixed vodka with organic cranberry concentrate and, cigar haul in hand, went to find the nearest bathroom. McDonald’s, ew.

Round two of bladder cleanse: Jazz music

For all Saturdays hence forth, Nitch will be attending Jazz night at Hotel d’Aubusson. Cigars in a beautiful umbrella covered garden, live jazz music and (classy as fuck) rolled hand towels in the bathroom for each individual hand wash.

The cheese puffs perfectly complimented the red wine and the bladder infection was being beat back. Two hours at play and only 4 bathroom breaks! Fuck you webMD, alcohol will burn out the illness.

Round three of bladder cleanse: Brett infected beer

The house parties of beer geeks are the best because, although they involve many broken glasses, there is sure to be great beer. Saison Dupont and a brett infected IPA pulled through house taps. Can’t serve infected beer at the bar? Have a house party and let everyone drink an evolved IPA. Better than the original!

After hours of salsa dancing and mangled French/Spanish/English conversations, my infected friend was fighting fire with fire. Infected beer beats infected bladder by 5 hours with only 3 bathroom breaks.

By morning the burn was gone. The infection was cured by cigars, alcohol abuse and fine Parisian socializing. Fuck you internet, we break the rules and get results.

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Empty bottle addiction- vous n’êtes pas seuls

Empty bottle’s line the wall of my apartment.

I know someday I will find someone who loves me and they will tell me that it’s unhealthy and unreasonable. The empties MUST GO.

Or must they?

Up-cycling is the hallmark of a true crafty beer drinker. Can’t part with your pretty beer bottles? Turn them into lamps!

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No DIY required

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Thank you SUCK UK for another thing I never knew I needed.

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Check out blogue de biéres’s French chat up for the video.

Anyone else have way of keeping loved ones from throwing away your empty bottles?

XOXO

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Love note to H

God damn you are cold tonight!

Better that way, I guess, seeing as how I don’t really like you anyway. You fill my time and, to be completely honest, you upset my stomach. I know you are killing me… but I don’t have time to find a replacement. I have facebook, I know there are better options available, but, come on… you like me because I’m cheap.

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Honestly though. Rare fucking form tonight, aren’t we, sweetheart. My friend said you were a mess when he went to pick you up. Already a wreck. Breaking shit all over the floor because you’re unstable. Get your shit together.

Maybe that’s why he told you to stay in the other room. Cool off a bit.

So… if you could refrain from foaming over with ice, and ruining my friend’s cigarettes, I’d really fucking appreciate it. I’m paying attention to you for God’s sake! In fact, I’m giving you so much of my time that I need more of you. Come here, you.

Let’s both be honest. I know you don’t care about me.

Fucking slut.

I’m not jealous.

If I had known you were coming, I wouldn’t have came. Because seriously, how many of my friends have put their lips on you? I mean, don’t you even care what people say about you? You! You love it. Don’t act like you fucking don’t! Look at how many outfits you wear! Could you be more available? And you fucking advertise it! I mean, fuck me, you blatantly post a billboard on your forehead that says, “look at me, I don’t give a fuck about what’s inside me or how I maintain myself, but I want you all to love me. BECAUSE I’M CHEAP!”

I can’t believe I’ve spent the entire night with you talking about this. I should have sat in the corner and been un-social. Taken the high ground.

When it’s all said and done, I’m full of you. I’m literally feed up… to… here with your bullshit. You made me do stupid things. I ate too much, I ended up going home with someone I didn’t like, and all you did was make a mess all over my friend’s house, stay up all night with that stoner guy -what’s his name- and, remind me that there is a price to love.

You’re scent lingers on my skin…

I need a shower.

 

From: Nitch

To: Heineken

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Old Freddy Walker goes to a sketch group

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Old Freddy Walker

One of Roger Protz’s “300 Beers To Try Before You Die,” and one of my personal favorite beers, escorted me to an event that called for Moor Beer (Co.) and a touch of creative maneuvering.

Doing things is always more interesting than not doing things. Why always sit at home, talking to one’s computer about beer when there is a whole world to explore. With a beer in your hand.

I was invited to just such a ‘doing things’ type of event by a friend of mine to whom married men flock. She is nearly unable to attract any other sort of male aside from those who have already devoted themselves to a woman and are steadfast on keeping them, and my friend, for as long as possible.

In an attempt to avoid becoming a ‘cat lady,’ my friend, The Other Woman, has become the most eventful person I know. Not only does she rock climb, snow shoe, organize hiking retreats, attend live and cinema theatre on a regular basis, but she also does horribly artistic things like: sketch group.

“Of course I will attend sketch group! Can I invite Old Freddy Walker?”

Sketch Group

A bunch of people to go a house, they all take their shoes off, slip on slippers, sharpen their pencils and sit on the floor. Some come with paint brushes from Japan and others ecologically hand make their paints from kitchen ingredients. Or rocks. Still yet you have people like myself and The Other Woman who attend more for the therapeutic aspects of being in a hushed room with a group of very concentrated people.

One member of the group will dawn a costume, helmet or interesting pose and everyone will take about 20 minutes to whip out their interpretation of the character. Although I was having a great time “drawing what is there and not what I see,” as my art teacher used to always say, I kept making eyes with the Old Freddy Walker on the table.

The saucy ol’ man wanted to be opened up, stripped down and focused on. Which made me nervous.

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I had arrived late and missed the pre-sketching eat, drink and greet bit. After handing my beer to the hostess she whispered that she would put it in the refrigerator. My beer geek levels jump to anti-social levels as I followed her, mumbling that it was best at room temperature and that we could just put it on the table. I didn’t want to seem like I was only there to drink my beer while everyone was mid illustration so I began to scribble on a spare piece of paper.

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Always a bit apprehensive about bringing a nice full bodied, bottle conditioned beer into unknown circles of highly visionary people, I felt relieved when, after allowing for a model change, The Other Women offered to get Old Freddy Walker on his feet. As we entered the kitchen area, I worried that I might have been more comfortable offering to be a nude model. What I saw on the pre-sketching dinner table wasn’t craft aficionado promising. Big bottles of basic lager, chemical white wine and an array of mix-matched party foods.

“… we eat and drink, then get down to business.”

My business is the eating and drinking.

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If they didn’t like it, they could always paint with it.

The Other Woman did the honors of taking one of Will’s best imports and converting it into social lubricant.

MOORWebCyclopsOFWNot able to find what I would consider a proper glass, there was a candle holder or possibly an ashtray of some sort which was made of glass and served as a great little tumbler to receive my small sampling of the liquid gold. Or rather, liquid coal, as Old Freddy Walker has a distinctly midnight bound tone to it. No chance of seeing one’s hand on the other side of the glass or avoiding the wafting aromas of chocolate, dry red fruits and heavy roasted bread.

Content to be drinking I answered a few beer questions and passed around the glasses.

The few who tasted Old Freddy Walker came out with some insightful perceptions including: christmas in your mouth, sweet cafe (or coffee) and not like Guinness at all.

Not at all like Guinness and yes, very complex but beautifully drinkable. Having begun the craft beer conversion of a few French artists, my work for the evening was complete.

I snapped the included pictures of the empty bottle lounging in the midst of a cultured art ocean, topped up the glass of The Other Woman and myself, and decided two things:

1: I should draw more because I suck at it

2: Next time I’ll bring more beer

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