Columbia, MD (November 25, 2017)
About 20 adventurous souls gathered at the Ale House Columbia for the second annual Columbia Pub Crawl . On this beautiful, unseasonably warm Saturday, we would walk 5 miles, wrapping things up at the Second Chance Saloon after 6:00 pm for dinner.The group began trickling in around 11:00 am for brunch. The Ale House Columbia dedicated the back room to the pub crawlers. As more of us showed, we kept adding more tables to make one big common table. Most of us started with 5-oz pours, sampling a few of their English-style Oliver’s beers.
The walk from the Ale House to Pub Dog is a short leg, wandering through parking lots, the Auto Services Park and along sidewalk-less Dobbin Road. Adding sidewalks to Dobbin Road would go a long way to making Columbia a more pedestrian-friendly town – just saying.
Pub Dog makes their beer in Westminster, MD. You can read about my summer visit to the brewery here. This restaurant is one of three Pub Dogs. All beers are served two at a time, serving mugs of well-made, inexpensive beer. A few of us played a little shuffleboard. As usual, my team lost.
We hurdled down the steep grassy hill and followed Dobbin Road to Frisco Tap House.
Frisco offers over 50 beers on draught. Their beer selection is exceptional. They even make their own beer on premises; their brewery is called Reckless.
Most of us were hoping for a taste of the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, just tapped the day before, but the keg was killed in less than 4 hours. I downed a Union Old Pro Wild Berry Gose on cask, instead (yum!!).
We ambled along to the end of Dobbin Rd and crossed Oakland Mills – no crosswalks at this intersection. The rest of the crawl follows the Columbia pathway system – a system consisting of 90+ miles of asphalt bike/pedestrian paths. Today, we would only use 3 miles. The first mile crosses Lake Elkhorn and spills to the doorway of Sonoma’s Bar and Grill.
Even though I had given warning, when 20 of us descending upon Sonoma’s, they seemed a bit overwhelmed. The craft beer selection is limited and a bit pricey. Most of us ordered a Guinness Stout, an old standard. I hustled everyone out the door, fearing we would get caught in the dark – we had 2 more miles to walk and the sun was low in the sky.
Walking 2 miles after an afternoon of drinking beer is a challenge to anyone’s bladder. Needless to say, we hustled to the Second Chance Saloon arriving just after dusk. Just like the Ale House, we had the back room all to ourselves. I love their wings and had my last beer of the day – Calvert Maple Stout.
I wrapped up the day with a game of darts, losing badly. Despite my poor demonstration of bar sports, the day was a lot of fun. We celebrated a birthday, spent some time outside, hung with friends, and enjoyed some good beer. This is becoming a terrific Thanksgiving weekend tradition.