I’d found myself perched on a barstool during the Friday Night Fish Fry crush at a nearby tavern. Despite its unassuming exterior, this is a serious beer bar; the taps that night included Central Waters Slainte Scottish Ale, Destihl Nutty Brown Ale, Timmerman’s Pumpkin Lambicus, and many more. From the fray behind me a young couple approached, and the male engaged in a doomed attempt to bridge the void between himself and my stone-faced bartender.
PATRON: Can we get two Fat Tires?
BARKEEP: We don’t have Fat Tire right now.
PATRON: (shocked) What? Really? Wow…
BARKEEP: Taps are listed on the chalkboard. I think we just ran out of the Zombie Dust, though.
PATRON: (ignoring the list) Do you have that new Leinie’s? The, uh… um…
BARKEEP: The vanilla one?
PATRON: Yes! That’s it!
BARKEEP: No. (gestures toward the beer list)
PATRON: Uh… uh… two bottles of Heineken, then.
PATRON’S FEMALE COMPANION: (stage whisper) Do I like Heineken?
PATRON: I hope so.
COMPANION: What is it?
PATRON: It’s a… beer. It’s not, like, sweet or anything? I’m pretty thrown by this tap list. Oh! They have Pabst! Crap, we should have gotten that! (pause) Yeah, I’m pretty thrown by this tap list.