Pre-isolation memories, post-isolation worries

The week before my company asked us all to work from home, and two weeks before Indiana’s governor issued the stay-at-home order, I took a week off. I needed a little time to rest after a surprisingly stressful December, January, and February in the office.

I took a few long photo walks, one in Carmel, one in Broad Ripple, and one in Zionsville. All three times I stopped in a pub. The very thought of doing that now seems so strange, yet so compelling.

I’m not much of a beer drinker anymore. I prefer whiskey. But beer just seems righter after a photo walk. I stopped in the Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Indiana’s oldest brew pub, for their Porter. I love a good Porter.

Pause in the photowalk

I also stopped at The Friendly Tavern in Zionsville for lunch and an Anchor Steam. In the early 90s during that era’s beer renaissance, my favorite pub in Terre Haute had Anchor Steam on tap. My goodness but was it good that way. Fast forward nearly 30 years and Anchor Steam is a little hard to find in Indiana. But The Friendly has it in bottles, and I like to order one with my meal, which this day was their fish and chips.

Pause in the photowalk

It looks like I failed to photograph the pint of Guinness I ordered with my lunch at Muldoon’s, an Irish pub in Carmel. Too bad, because my lunch was their Irish pizza, a kind of nachos loaded with crumbled sausage, veggies, and top quality cheese. It’s a massive calorie bomb but it is so good.

Indiana’s stay-at-home order ends tomorrow. Governor Holcomb is sending signals that he intends to allow some businesses to re-open, perhaps in a limited way. He’ll have a press conference tomorrow to announce the changes.

I have conflicting thoughts about it. On the one hand, the shutdown has been a kick in the economy’s teeth and Indiana needs to get back to work. On the other, just because businesses like pubs might reopen doesn’t mean that it will be to full capacity — or that guests won’t be carrying the virus. I’m feeling hinky. I’m unlikely to stop for a beer anytime soon.


15 responses to “Pre-isolation memories, post-isolation worries”

  1. retrocrank Avatar

    I’ve had the good fortune of touring both the Guinness and the Anchor breweries. The former is a tourist trap, and since Guinness is brewed worldwide, what you get here on tap is just as good as what you get at “the factory” in Dublin (not a knock on the beer – it’s good stuff). On the other hand, Anchor has one brewery, and the opportunity to see it and sample their brews (including the pater familias Anchor Steam) fresh at the brewery is not to be missed. You’ll need reservations, and I suggest you make them several months in advance if you are considering a trip to SF.
    Totally understand and agree with your skepticism about “re-opening.” It just took one person bringing the virus to the US and then travelling to several cities to launch the US version of the pandemic – – – – .

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Margaret and I did the Guinness Experience thing in Dublin at St. James Gate. It was okay I guess. High on experience and light on substance. We did experience that the Guinness in any average Irish pub tasted somewhat better — smoother, richer somehow — than the draft Guinness in most places where we live. A couple pubs here take extra care with their Guinness and it’s Ireland good.

      I don’t have much drive to visit SF, but if I ever go I’ll at least stop by the taproom that’s associated with the Anchor brewery and get some Steam there.

  2. Olli Thomson Avatar
    Olli Thomson

    Fish and chips and beer sounds just about the perfect Thursday evening dinner right now. It’d hard to get decent fish and chips in the U.S. though – a lot of places seem to have difficulty getting the batter right

    On the matter of Guiness, the traditional explanation for why it tastes better in Ireland was that in Ireland the beer is unpasteurised, whereas it has to be pasteurised for export. I’ve no idea if that was ever true, though I suspect it’s not true now since I can’t imagine the health and safety zealots allowing it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It *is* hard to get good fish and chips here. The fish at the Friendly has too much batter on it. I’d bet it comes to them that way frozen and they just flash fry them. But it’s still passably good and the Friendly is convenient to me. The best pub fish and chips I’ve found in central Indiana is in a pub across the street from where my mom lives, the Rusty Bucket. But the best fish and chips in town were at a place now closed that was started by two British ex-pats. Good lord that stuff was heaven.

      I’ve heard that about the unpasteurized Guinness. Who knows.

  3. Richard Davis Avatar
    Richard Davis

    The OCD in me says, “Jim, turn the lens cap the right way.” Enjoy your writings.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes, that bugs me too!!

  4. jim Avatar

    Here in Texas we also “relax” the restrictions tomorrow! Its a path impossible to pre-chart or even call the decisions with certainty as we go forward. At least some are doing their best! Unfortunately many are only doing whats best for them personally. Its up to us individually to do the best we can! And you definitely need to repost that Nikon photo, there photoshop you know:) :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      My OCD is displeased with that photo, but not enough to fix it in post!

  5. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    It will be interesting to see what people do. Down in SoCal, people rushed to the beaches and ignored the social distancing rules. Now, all beaches are closing in the state. It’s hard to imagine a bar or pub with everyone six feet apart. I don’t believe any of the states have met the minimum guidelines the Feds set to re-open…so this is an experiment at best. I hope it turns out well.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m not optimistic. I think we’re collectively not very smart right now.

  6. J P Avatar

    The opening is only theoretical for me as my county has extended stay-at-home for an additional week.

    Yes, a good pub meal sounds mighty appetizing right now, but make mine a big ol’ burger or tenderloin to go with that porter or stout.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I can’t remember the last time I had a burger!

  7. musing75 Avatar

    Happened to be enjoying a local porter (Common Grounds brewed by Magic Rock in the UK) when I came across this post – perfect timing! Think it will be a while before our pubs reopen here though :-(

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Ours might reopen yet this month … but that doesn’t mean I’ll think things are recovered enough for me to find myself sitting in one.

  8. musing75 Avatar

    Very wise

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