All tapped out
Here's guest blogger Peter Hermann on an unfortunate side efect to this weekend's snowstorm:
A sad occurrence the day after the big storm:
The neighborhood bar has tapped out of beer.
After suffering through a snowy, paralyzing Saturday, the folks in South Baltimore put away their shovels and headed for the taverns along Fort Avenue.
The owner of Rafters, Paul Hartman, lost count of patrons that packed his rowhouse establishment, which straddles the world of old-time South Baltimore and the gentrified who started moving in at the onset of the housing boom. This bar boasts Winter Bourbon Belgian Cask Ale on tap, and has Formstone on the inside.
Some people count snow inches. Hartman counts kegs. And by lunchtime Sunday, he'd blown through six kegs. Customers, before they could even shed their parkas and gloves, were met with plastic cups covering the taps, the universal sign that the beer is no more.
No more Bud Light. No more Pabst. That makes the old-timer's stomach sink.
No more Cask Ale. No more Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale (this reporter tried that one, but the keg ran dry before a half-inch of beer hit the glass). No more Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA.
The only beer on tap that was left was Yuengling and Shock Top Belgian White, which is just fine but not quite the hearty winter ale that warms the body in a deep snow, and after having walked a maze of narrow, icy, tree-laden trails cut through the snow.
So many people packed Rafters on Saturday that when Hartman turned on the juke box Sunday, he discovered 68 songs in queue that people had paid to hear but didn't play by the 2 a.m. closing time.
Another hit at the tavern: the special of the day was homemade tomato soup and grill cheese, the comfort food of kids everywhere coming in from playing in the snow.
Super Bowl Sunday is not usually a big night for neighborhood bars, with most people heading out to private parties. And Hartman had enough beer – Miller Lite in bottles is still one of his best sellers.
The next beer shipment is expected Tuesday — if it can beat the next storm.