Quarantine Diaries XXXXI
Friday May 8th 2020
It’s been a long week. Actually, it’s been a long eight weeks, although I still feel bad saying that knowing that we’re in such a privileged position compared to folks trapped in tiny apartments and house-shares all over the world. Nonetheless, having barely left the house all week, overdosing on TV and lacking even the momentum to do our usual distanced walks, we made a decision to make the most of the bank holiday and make a little journey out of town. As Texas slowly eases into partial re-opening and the first flickering lights return to restaurants and bars, we decided to make our first official foray back into the world – a visit to new taproom-restaurant Hell Or High Water in Liberty Hill, a quaint small town about an hour to our north. Why start there, rather than supporting somewhere closer to home? Back in the real world, we filled our weekends exploring small-town Texas, doing regular day trips to new destinations, taking in the history, culture, scenery and of course the beer. Our love for all things small-town American is what brought us to this country, and we’ve missed our adventures terribly, so getting back on the road to visit a new local-ish spot felt absolutely right. En route we discovered Mount Bonnell, a beautiful, historic viewpoint in Covert Park, north Austin, which we’ve never been to before, and picked up beer-to-go from the fab folks at Hedgehog Brewing in Cedar Park – plenty of this still required! We’ve been to Liberty Hill before, and its old-world charm never fails to make me smile. In the heart of the town’s small Main Street, Hell Or High Water have been careful not to break the Western spell, and we had a lovely, safely distanced, visit with tasty beer (sadly only one of their own as they were sold out of the rest!) and delicious fat, bloody burgers – our first actual date night in about 3 months! No, we’re not back in the real world yet, but after dipping our toes last week, this felt like a whole foot landing there. A step on the (hopefully) upward trajectory. As we slowly begin to re-emerge into the world, should I still be calling this the Quarantine Diaries? With everything still so uncertain, I almost don’t want to jinx things by renaming it! Like everything else, I’ll take it one day at a time for now.
Bull Creek Iron Balls Stout
As I mentioned above, we’ve been to Liberty Hill before. The last time we visited was to check out the Bull Creek taproom – one of my favourite Craft Beer Amethyst day-trips ever. A tightly-kept local secret, Bull Creek brew some of the best big, boozy beer in Central Texas, so y’all can imagine my absolute delight on discovering their beer in bottles in Liberty Hill’s grocery store. If one good thing has come out of all this, it has got to be me bringing Bull Creek beer home with me! A four-pack of their monumental Iron Balls Stout set us back a mere $14 – super-bargainous for a top quality 9% brew, and I am happy to report it tastes just as good from the bottle (in this case, actually from the bottle – I could not wait), as it did in their lovely taproom – so rich, firm and velvety – a pure stout that tastes of stout, and lots and lots of stout. May not be what the kids are down with but for me it is just the absolute shit. And now I have it at home. And I know where to get more.