My local pub, Grumpys Northeast, tends to have some eclectic guests from time to time. The St Mary balalaika orchestra, the Minneapolis Police Pipe Band, and various other dignitaries have graced this classic tavern from time to time. Last night was one of the more interesting events when Grumpy's hosted Father Isaac from the Koningshoeven/LaTrappe monastery in Holland.
Father Isaac is on a tour to promote the 125th anniversary of the brewery and its Isid'or 125th Anniversary product. He had been a pediatric oncology nurse, a midwife, and had spent time doing charitable work in Africa before entering the priesthood. The monastery is constructing a monastery/hospital in Uganda and most of the brewery proceeds are going to that cause. I don't recall ever drinking beer for charity before, but the lineup he brought could cause me to increase my 'charitable contributions' exponentially. As you can see from the image, Father Isaac seems very much at home bellied up to the bar, discussing his fine product with the regulars. The VOR and I tasted the Isid'or (samples only at this time), split a Dubbel (abv 7%), quaffed more than one Witte (abv 5.5%), and wisely avoided the Quadrupel (abv 10%). Grumpy's owner, PatD, made grilled cheese sandwiches after a trip to his alma mater, St John's University, to pick up several loaves of the famous 'Johnnie bread' from the brothers. Father Isaac brought some cheese from the abbey and a humongous ham was also cooked on the grill. It was a beautiful night and the VOR and I rode our bikes to the bar, both to enjoy the exercise and evening, and also to free me to increase my charitable contributions without fear of police intervention while driving home.
It was a beautiful and rare Friday night at home. Other than a quick trip to Eau Claire to attend the 37th Annual Eau Claire River Float Trip, we will be hanging in the area for this and...gasp....the 4th of July weekend as well. Its the first 4th of July home in recent memory but with events like the one at Grumpy's last night there should be plenty to do. And while it ain't Lake Superior, there are dozens of lakes within a couple miles that are perfectly adequate for tipping a kayak over.
(Sorry about the image quality. I was armed with only a lousy cell phone camera)