TWIB – Wine Bars and The Container Store

Parallel Wine Bistro

After a grueling workweek that included a 15+ hour post production marathon on Thursday, there was nothing more I wanted to do than unwind on Friday night. Mrs. Short On Beer and I met some friends up at Parallel Wine Bistro for dinner and drinks. Parallel has a large and regularly rotating craft beer bottle list despite being a wine bar. The beer prices mostly range from $6-8 and most are $2 off during their Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00PM.

One of the perks of knowing the bartender is getting the handwritten list of new beers not listed on the menu that even the servers didn’t know about (thanks, Liz!). The first beer I had was off this secret menu — Great Divide Rumble. Rumble is an oak-aged IPA. The oakiness took out most of the bitterness from the hops. This was quite interesting for an IPA. It was a good choice to go with the Brie and Manchego cheese plate.

I went back to the basics for my next beer with a Stone Pale Ale while I enjoyed my bistro burger and duck fat fries.

Seeing “duck” on the menu made me crave a Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout. Parallel does have it but I had a couple still stashed at home so I went with a Port City Porter since it had been awhile since I had had any Port City beers. They make some amazing beers…Optimal Wit, Monumental IPA, Downright Pilsner to name a few. Their porter doesn’t disappoint either. It’s perfect for dessert and gets better as it warms.

The last thing about Friday night I want to mention — here’s a shout out to CJ, our server, who will hopefully be a new Short On Beer reader.

The Container Store

The start of 2014 has me trying to organize everything. It’s not like it wasn’t organized before but I feel like it could be done better. So in the past week I’ve been to the Container Store more times than you probably have been your entire life. I’ll admit it, I kinda like the store. It’s way better than navigating through a crowded Bed Bath and Beyond or a HomeGoods. Don’t tell my wife.

Pre-reorganization had my beers on the floor of the pantry shoved all the way in the back on top of flattened empty 6-pack holders. I just can’t seem to throw away those holders just yet. A few beers would regularly get lost or forgotten about. On the plus side I found a Hardywood Bourbon Sidamo that I’ve been accidently aging for 5+ months. But as I reorganize I want the beers off the floor and in ideal grabbing placement. I am also without a dedicated beer fridge. Go ahead and subtract 3 beer blogger points from my score. So I’m constantly fighting for room in the main fridge for my beers.

I seem to keep 8+ beers at all times in the fridge even though I won’t go through them all that quickly. I need a variety… a couple stouts for after dinner, a couple IPAs for weekends, an ale for guests, a couple Belgians for dinner, and a couple randoms I didn’t like (right now it’s New Belgium Giddy Up) and I can’t seem to get rid of and don’t want to drink.

New Pantry Beer Storage Space

New Pantry Beer Storage Space

Give me some advice. How is your beer storage system setup? How much room do you take up in the main fridge? How many of what do you keep in there? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

That’s it for this week’s This Week in Beer. Make sure to sign up to receive email updates for new posts by entering your email address at the bottom of the page so you never miss anything! 

Beer Credits

Married readers, let’s face it – we only have so many beer credits we can earn from our spouse/significant other who may not be as obsessed over our favorite beverage. I don’t know why my wife doesn’t geek out over a $75 vertical tasting at a local brewpub but she’ll go, smile, have a great time (I hope) and let me get my craft beer fix. But the next weekend it’s usually about what she wants to do. I’ll drag my feet and whine the whole time to HomeGoods and World Market. Probably upset her and the next time I want to go to a special beer event she will, and rightly so, say no. My piggy bank of beer credits is empty.

What is a beer credit?

My dining room table

My dining room table

I remember playing mini golf at this place at the beach as a kid and earning wooden tokens for hole-in-ones that could be redeemed for credits at the arcade. Beer credits are imaginary wooden tokens that I can use on my wife in order to go on wild beery adventures. When I run out, the adventures happen at my dining room table instead (which isn’t that bad of an alternative).

Earning beer credits

Everyone’s relationships are different but the one constant is that you have to give as much as you take. Provide your significant other with opportunities to go to events or on trips based on his or her interests. The more you give the more he or she is more likely to happily join you on your events or trips. I’m still working on this and my wife is a champ for being such a good sport about everything.

I’m still trying to figure out who in this relationship has to earn the beer credits.

Redeeming

This weekend was a perfect example. I desperately wanted to go to Crooked Run Brewing’s grand opening. To do that, I smiled and, don’t tell my wife, had a good time at a local home design winter holiday market. In return we went to Crooked Run on the way home. I sampled all the beers and chatted with Jake, the Brewmaster and Owner. Credit earned and credit redeemed.

Outside of that though I feel like I’ve taken out a loan on beer credits recently. I guess I have some payments due soon.

Here’s to earning more beer credits. Here’s to never having a beer adventure alone. Here’s to wooden tokens at the mini golf arcade.