Quarantine Diaries XIX
Thursday April 17th 2020
A sunny but temperate day is a rare thing in Austin in the month of April, when we seem to ricochet violently between scorching hot and torrential downpour. Thursday’s unusual temperateness stirred us from our afternoon inertia with the nagging realisation that it was, in fact, the perfect weather in which to assemble our barbecue grill and that another such opportune moment may not be forthcoming. Having doggedly pieced together several complex pieces of furniture in the early days after moving, we approached the project with an initial air of confidence that did take something of a hit once we realised just how many bits and pieces we were dealing with. At the risk of sounding horribly cheesy (I never said I was the world’s most original writer), there is something about the way that JB and I complete these kind of tasks together that makes me smile. We become very fluidly symbiotic, and I’m always reminded of how we fell in love putting up tents together at Glastonbury. Yes, cheesy I know. Sorry. Anyway, we are now one step closer to our goal of becoming Real Texans, and ready to grill up a big ol meaty feast in our yard. I intend to get a lot of practise in so that by the time this is all over we can have y’all round for a cook-out!
(512)’s IPA is an Austin classic, and also has the notable distinction of being the first beer we had on our arrival into the city back in 2017. Excited, exhausted and brimming with anticipation, we dumped our (huge, heavy) bags in our (unproposing but thankfully short-lived) apartment and Tripadvisored the nearest cheap local restaurant. We were guided to the Hyde Park branch of Torchy’s Tacos, another Austin institution (not that we knew that at the time) and despite the late hour and agonising jet lag, I felt compelled to toast the start of our brave new adventure. Our helpful server recommended the (512) and it was the ideal beer with which to begin our life in ATX. That first long cool sip signalling the end of our journey really tasted like the nectar of the gods. A robust, fully hopped West Coast IPA with nicely balanced malty sweetness and a hint of pine, the (512) IPA is a beautifully constructed beer from one of the oldest and best-established breweries in town. As (512), until recently, have not bottled or canned, drinking this beer at home (nice 32oz crowler c/o Growler USA) felt slightly disorientating, like so many things about our current situation. Three years ago we drank this beer while embracing the new, and in a strange and unexpected way that seems to be where we are again.