Picking up where we left off...
The next morning, it was time to begin part two of the adventure. We were headed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with a final destination of Ocracoke island. But any Carolina beer tour worth its salt should have a stop-off at The Duck-Rabbit in tiny ol' Farmville, NC. They're not actually equipped to handle regular visitors but I had heard that if you requested a tour and tasting in advance, they would try their best to accommodate you. And they did!
Just the way we like it, the tour lasted about five minutes and the tasting about an hour and a half. The brewmaster even popped out for a while and "tasted" with us. (Meaning, like the good British lad that he is, he downed a pint.) And they really pulled out all the stops. We got to taste a beer that had only just been bottled and hadn't been shipped to any stores yet. In effect, we were the first people outside of brewery employees to taste the Schwarzbier. BALLIN'. They see me drankin'....they hatin'.
The bottles were not enough for Libby. She jumped behind the counter when no one was looking and started pulling pints for one and all!
As if The Duck-Rabbit guy hadn't already earned a gold star with us, he was also quite knowledgeable about local cuisine. He first suggested one place and then said "But if you want some reallllllllly good food, I'll tell you where to go." (As if anyone would answer that with "Nah, we're good. We'll just go with the first one you mentioned. Bye!") He warned us that A. - this place looks a bit scary as it's housed in an abandoned gas station and B. - "Y'all better get on because they ain't got no hours. They just cook up a bunch of bbq and when it's gone, they close up for the day."
We showed up and learned that this guy was no joke. No frills, no menu even. Just damn good food. Jason and I walked up to the little sliding window on the side of the building and a very large man stuck his head out and just looked at us. Jason was all "Uhhh...two please?" The guy's response was "Plates or dinners?". We had no idea what the difference was and this guy's demeanor didn't exactly invite inquiries so Jason told him "One of each I guess."
We ended up with dinners for the boys and plates for the girls. A "plate" means que, slaw, cornbread sticks and a ramekin of eastern nc sauce. A "dinner" is all that plus a side of smack your mama. Kidding. It was a side of the most delicious stewed potatoes you'll ever have. Took me right back to my great aunt Kate's kitchen. She used to make me stewed potatoes that would just melt right in your mouth. And taste so good they make you want to smack your mama.
We declared B's Barbecue a raging success and hit the road for our long driving stretch all the way to the coast.
Once we hit the OBX, we headed straight for Weeping Radish, trying to make it in the door for a quick taste before they closed up. We needn't have worried though as their posted hours seem to only be a general guideline. Ahhh, the beach life.
They evidently take their name quite literally, as were greeted by, well... by a giant weeping radish when we walked in.
Four flights, please!
After sampling all Weeping Radish had to offer and buying some goodies for grilling from their on-site proper German butcher, we made our way to our overnight accommodations. Libby is affiliated with a charitable organization that raises funds by having members open their homes as B&Bs and scored us a great deal for our one night in Kitty Hawk. After chatting with our hostess and dropping off our things, we headed out on yet another beer mission.
Our final sampling of the trip would be at Outer Banks Brewing Station. I'll fess up and say that I wimped out here and Diet Coked it up. Even a beer-loving gal gets beered out every now and then.
The coolest part of OBBS was their huge "back yard". (Can a restaurant/brewery have a back yard? Doesn't quite sound right but I don't know how else to put it.) It was chock full of picnic tables, adirondack chairs, corn hole sets, playground equipment, and even a small stage where some hippy played guitar and sang. The corn hole boards were calling. And damn if Team BLT didn't win.
Upon retiring to our B&B, our competitive spirits got the best of us again so we decided that a game of Scrabble was an excellent way to wind down the evening. (Settle down, party kids!! Amiright?) Well, you may be wondering how an intellectual's game such as Scrabble got us to the point that Scott was literally climbing the walls while Libby and our host cat cheered him on from below.
Well, Libby decided to challenge Jason on his use of ID as a word, on the basis that it's an abbreviation of a word and not a word in and of itself. Nary a single bar of service was to be found on any of our smartphones so our only hope was an old-fashioned pulp-and-spine dictionary...Webster's stylie. And Scott, ever the gentleman, offered to search the library shelves on Libby's behalf. Good thing he's not afraid of heights! (As an aside, I have always dreamed of having a wall of bookshelves and a rolling ladder. That night, a tiny part of my dream came true.)
For the record, Jason won the challenge and the game so I'll gladly jump on that gravy train and claim a win for Team Sanger.
It is here that our story shall pause once again. I know I promised you all sorts of things and only delivered on one but just think of all the wonderful tales you'll now have to look forward to in the conclusion to The Brew Crew Adventures!