Dude. This weather is killing me. More specifically, it’s killing Whiskey Wednesday. Several days of balmy 60-degree weather and the powder at Breckenwolf has been decimated. It’s the same story at most of the resorts in North Carolina. Don’t look at the slopeside webcams. The images are just depressing. Fortunately, we have a contingency plan for when conditions are not conducive to skiing. Whiskey Wednesday must go on, even if there is no snow. So this week, our mid-week reprieve from responsibility involved the climbing gym and some light Ping Pong. By “light,” I mean we battled to the death in a round-robin style tournament until there was a single winner. As they say in Highlander, “there can be only one.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t the last man standing, which is tough for me to handle because I take Ping Pong very seriously. It is an ancient art. The sport of kings. The maker of men.
Apparently, we took the pong competition a little too seriously because the bartender took away all of our paddles and cut us off at the bar. Something about a grown man doing a victory lap after a heated match that involved rolling around on the ping pong table like a happy baby. I don’t know. The details are fuzzy.
Would I rather be skiing? Sure. But the truth is, Whiskey Wednesday isn’t really about the skiing. It’s about the dudes I get to go skiing with. Because even if we’re sitting around a bar talking about the nuances of hatchet throwing or getting kicked out of divey Ping Pong bars, Whiskey Wednesday is still the greatest night of the week. As one of the founding members of WW is quick to say: “team work makes the dream work.”
Which brings me to the beer: Stone’s Give Me Stout Or Give Me Death, which is a collaboration beer brewed with Ardent Craft Ales and Hardywood Park Brewery, both based in Richmond, Virginia. Stone has opened their own Richmond brewery and is making a point to be a good neighbor in a variety of ways, including by making this damn good beer. Give Me has all of the typical stout notes you want—a bit of roasted character and even a little chocolate too before a bitter finish—but also hints of jam thanks to the addition of local blackberries and raspberries.
It’s a hell of a beer, brewed amongst friends and meant to be shared with friends. Perhaps on a Wednesday night. Even if there’s no skiing.