After a tiring week of Dead Terrorist News, I took a break and went to see Jackson Browne last night. It was one of those "intimate" solo shows, just Jackson and me and several thousand others. It was just like being in his living room with him and a chair and a keyboard and 2 dozen guitars. It was a good show though and it was nice to get away from the news.
During the intermission, Mrs d and I skipped out of the Overture Center and it's long line for over priced beer and ran across the street to the Silver Dollar. Now the Dollar is a cool place. Thirty some years ago when I first went in, it was a shot and a beer joint populated most of the time with local retirees and drunks. Almost all men, but with the occasional women inevitably smoking and with a voice like gravel.
Today the Dollar is a lot hipper but still the kind of place where you can go and sip a beer and not be bothered by a huge, loud crowd.
As expected for a Tuesday night, there was almost no one in the place. A couple laughing at one end of the bar and a single woman at the other end watching the hockey game. Half way through our first beer, Jay Moran and Garbage front man Duke Erickson came in and started playing pool.
It's that kind of place.
A second beer was called for and while enjoying same, I looked at the board above the bar listing beers available. Miller, Miller Lite, Bud, Bud Light, Coors. The usual. There were also some local brews like Spotted Cow and Hopalicious. All normal.
And then I saw it: Old Milwaukee N/A Old Milwaukee N/A? Old Milwaukee N/A!! Christ on a crutch, Old Milwaukee NON ALCOHOLIC?! Why? I mean, geez, I've drunk Old Milwaukee beer. It's been around longer than I have, but it's the kind of beer you buy when you're scrounging around in your pockets for loose change. It's the kind of beer that's always sold in 12 packs or cases because it's cheaper than a 6 pack of real beer. It's the kind of beer you buy when you're short of cash but you really want to get drunk. It's an alcohol delivery system, not a beverage. And there it was, a non-alcohol version of a beer you wouldn't drink if you were sober.
You know, there are times when I wonder if my days as a barfly are over. The great drinking bars are almost a thing of the past and when I run into things like this, it only reinforces the knowledge that they never will return. It's sad really. I pondered this for a moment and then finished my (alcoholic) beer. There was a second set of Jackson Browne to go to.