Located directly across the street from Henderson's Books and just down the street from the Black Drop and Michael's Books, it pretty much a given that I would wander into the Grand Avenue Alehouse. A handprinted sign in the window said they had $2 pitchers of PBR. I had heard that the place could get kind of rowdy and loud. I guess that depending on your mood, that could be good or bad.
The first time I went there, there were just a handful of people sitting at the bar. Nice high ceilings. Good selection of beer. Full bar. Some pool tables in back. I asked if there were any specials and the bartender told me they had cans of Olympia for $3. I said sure. She gave me an ice cold 16 oz. can.
Back in Austin, everyone that knows better drinks Lone Star. I love Lone Star. It's a great lager beer. Kind of beer you can drink all day. I'd never had Olympia. And I'll be damned - and there are people in Austin that will damn me for this - if it wasn't as good, maybe even better, than my beloved Lone Star. Beautiful. It was so good that I drank it down in about five minutes and was up at the bar for another that I could take some time with and savor.
The next time I stopped in, it was more crowded. Early Friday evening. Took me a little longer to get my can of Olympia. Tougher to find a seat. A group of guys at the table next to me were drinking pitchers and getting loud about "banging tail". I tried to tune them out. A lot of people were ordering food and that took up a lot of the bartender's time - or so it seemed to me. There was another girl who was serving food, but she was moving slow. I didn't mind the wait so much. But the crowd was getting more obnoxious. What can you do? Friday night.
I've been back a few times, making it a point to go in the afternoon when there are not a lot of people. Walking back down Grand Avenue after a good day at the library, it's a nice dark place to have a couple of cheap cans of Olympia before heading home.
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