Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by tone77, Jun 21, 2018.
Have you ever been to a place where you really put your ass on the line in order to get some beer?
I've been in plenty of questionable bars, but have never felt my life was in the balance.
Been to some areas I really probably should not have gone to in order to go to some great hole-in-the-wall restaurants, but never gave (or would) have put my life in the balance. That's crazy.
Someone going to gang neighborhoods to get rare beer releases, or what inspired this thread OP?
Driving home from 29 Palms, and I needed a beer, stopped at a bar off I 10 in Albuquerque NM. No problem just a six to go right, wrong, walked into a bar and it was definately the wrong bar. This was a Native American bar, when I walked thru the door everything stopped and everyone in the place was looked at me. Being a Vet of bar brawls in SD, Jacksonville NC etc, it was most definitely the time to leave. Seemed harmless enough but being alone it most certainly wasn't. Even with a buddy or two we would have split.
I visited the city I grew up in last weekend, and drove by a vacant field that used to be a bar in the 80's. When I was in high school, I could always get served at this bar. My friends would always park about a half block away and I would go get beer. I had to navigate the dozen or more coke dealers standing out front. Once inside, I could by two six packs or four 40's in one trip. Amazing how that law was strictly enforced, while all the drug dealing and prostitution was ignored. So I often had to go inside multiple times in a row. It was the type of place where shootings and stabbings were a normal occurrence.
Now THAT is a decision a teenager would make. Holy cow.
Just imagine doing that for those beers now.
No, I’d rather live to drink another day, thanks.
Yeah, I was just thinking about drinking, and my friends (especially the female ones) were great at pumping my heart full of courage. No way I would do that now.
Oakland...Deep East, somewhere on MacArthur Blvd (near the Oakland Zoo)...where cars routinely drove with their lights off and all homes/businesses had bars on their windows/security doors...circa 2000. Scary as f*ck.
We just left a concert at what's now Oracle Arena. Got lost...ended up past Hegenberger at an AM/PM where we wanted to get some roadies. It was a place the cops probably wouldn't tread.
I've been in some shady joints/liquor stores...I lived in NJ for a few years...and no place...not even Camden or spots outside of East Baltimore...ever compared to MacArthur back in the day.
Was never happier to make it to the 580 East.
Oakland now...is much more gentrified.
Worse than Camden? Now that's scary!
I've been in beer places where questionable practices have occurred; spots where suspicious characters lined the streets and have surprisingly popped out of alleys/doorways looking to sell you drugs or trying to pick a fight. Yeah...that may scare some people.
That said, I have never been to an area with multiple cars driving with their lights off have slowly cruised the boulevard, back and forth, looking for victims on a main drag...no people on the sidewalks...no porch lights on. Freakin' ghost town at Midnight. Trying to communicate to a fella who didn't really speak English behind 2" of bullet proof glass to get some gas and tall cans (which he handed off through a sealed compartment) as careful eyes in the store sought a suspicious gaze.
Put another way...I never felt like I was going to be murdered trying to get beers in any other place...ever.
A corner store in a really bad neighborhood in Buffalo, NY. Even the clerk seemed fearful for his life.
Yeah I've bought beer in Detroit.
Outside of the main city portion.
Drinking Tecate at 3:00 AM with outlaws in a San Blas "house of ill repute" in 1972 tops a list that includes many that could have been added to the thread.
Probably The Elbow Room in Dutch Harbor, AK in the mid 80's when I was stationed on a Coast Guard Cutter out of Kodiak. I guess the place has been closed for several years now but even if I ever got back to Dutch I doubt it would be a place I'd take my spouse.
I started a thread similar to this a few years ago... something like "Sketchiest Places You've Bought Beer"... and my search-fu is lacking this morning. If I could find it I'd throw up the link.
Not particularly dangerous, but "The Coldest Beer in Lexington" a.k.a West Lex in Lexington VA gets my vote. Closed now I believe, and not particularly dangerous from a "human" standpoint... the place was just dilapidated and infested with cats urinating all over the place.
Is this related to the “Are we killing beer” thread?
Niamey, Niger. I didn't go there specifically to get beer, but on one trip there in the late 80's, a student protester had been shot by the police across the street where we were working and a few days later when the funeral was held and more protests expected, the president ordered the police and public off the streets and had the military keep peace. We congregated at one hotel, hunkered down, drank lousy beer by the pool and "worked".
Also, to get to the embassy (like for beer/movie night with the Marines) we had to drive by the palace, and we were told that if the van broke down while passing the palace that we should hit the deck because we'd be shot at. Didn't happen to us but had previously happened to French tourists. That said, the folks there were generally great. It is not as safe for westerners now.
When I as a kid we used to hang out at this squat called the punk house in Colorado Springs. There was a shady liquor store down the way, and after an arduous day of asking for change I would shoulder tap someone to bring me some beer. There were usually some drama going on in the area, gang violence and shit, and sometimes neo Nazi skinheads would prowl around looking for a fight as well. Surprisingly this was the same liquor store that I had my first memorable craft beers from. Ah, to be young and homeless.
Fenway Park decked out in Yankees regalia (pre 2004).
Just my cultural prejudices, but I'm much more apprehensive in a pub in a sketchy part of the city, than I am going into juke joints and biker bars out in rural areas.
The only thing I can think of as comparable is having to wear a Bruins jersey to a Canadiens game because you lost a bet- The bruins won the game 3-0- I have felt safer in Mexican Cantinas on the wrong side of town.
Can you explain that sign to me? I'm (1) perplexed that they chose that spelling in america given that they are also talking about (american) football (I assume), and (2) not sure exactly what to think of this. Are fights breaking out constantly because my team is better than your team, and just seeing your team's colors are going to cause me to be unhinged?
It’s in the U.K. Hooligans starting a ruckus when they see a rival’s colors. Glad that never happens in the SEC.
Cantillon? Area of molnbeek?
Ah, so it was spelled that way for a reason, and it is talking about that football. I would have assumed so if it hadn't been for your SC location tag .
Go to your profile page.
Click the Threads Creatd link.
You sir are a gentleman and a scholar
No, I'm not an idiot.
Yeah, I've been in a few places that I probably should not have gone to. You sometimes do things in your youth that you won't do as an adult. At one time I liked a good scrap but I've grown to enjoy a friendly atmosphere to drink and socialize in.
To answer the question, probably Fat's In and Out, near Tucker Arkansas. I was the only white dude in there.
...and a judge of fine whisky!
Some great stories so far! This is what BA is all about!
To answer the OP...
As an adult? I guess honeymooning in Bangkok. After a week of drinking Singhas, I really had a thirst for some better beer and we set out to the Old German Beer House on the other side of town. Walked through the municipal area and all the government buildings were surrounded by barbed wire and lots of paramilitary type dudes walking around with HK MP5s...weird
Further into the center of town and there were thousands of people protesting. Loud, stirring speeches were being delivered by megaphone, songs were sung. There were some people walking around with balaclavas and clubs. I saw a couple people being treated for injuries, but nothing too bad. No worse than a big parade here. Anyway, made it across town, got my Köstritzer Schwarzbier (it was delicious) and continued our vacation.
When we came home and reconnected to the internet, we realized that we were there during a particularly heated portion of the 2014 Thai Coup d’état, where the military successfully overthrew the government and established their own regime. Whoops! Really wasn’t that dangerous, but pretty crazy when I look back at it.
Now as a KID, before I was 21, I did some remarkably stupid things for bad booze.
Makeshift ‘clubs’ were common (really just someone's apartment or an abandoned flat). 5 bucks to get in. Coronas and liquor in the back. Loud music. You would be greeted by the ‘bouncer’ with a, “Show me the six pack”. Not a request for beer, but a demand to lift up your shirt to confirm you weren’t packing. I remember being at one of these ‘clubs’ when the clock struck midnight and the DJ dimmed the music and announced in Spanish, “Congratulations to Lupe Herrera! She just turned 17! Everyone buy her a shot!” Yup...
I was in high school when the city began demolishing the housing projects, so recently evicted units were a very popular place to have these parties and then leave them in shambles. Many good stories from these, but one sticks out.
Partying at an infamous north side project when an argument on the floor above us broke out. There were a couple of shots and then the rustling of chain link. Someone had been pushed through a hole in the balcony’s protective fence and hurled to their death. The cops show up and we turn off the lights. For the next 15 minutes (felt like hours), 60-70 kids sit in complete darkness and utter silence as the cops unsuccessfully attempted to extract information from residents. We heard them coming down our hall. There was a neon ‘OCCUPANT REMOVED’ sign on the door and it was locked. Would it work? They walked right by and everyone exhaled. Once their cars were out of sight, the music and lights came back on and the party resumed!
As a father now, I can only shake my head. I hope my kids just start homebrewing or something in high school!
When I was about sixteen, I went into a little neighborhood biker bar on the south side of Columbus and ordered three bottles (!) of PBR to go. My ass was on the line on multiple levels that day.
As a side note, you'd think that the bartender would have asked for some sort of ID since I placed such a stupid order.
If you wear Avs gear to the Pepsi center while the wings are in town it's the same way. I bet it's worse than actually wearing Avalanche gear in detroit.
I don't even want to think about it.
Walked past plenty of hookers, pimps, and drug dealers over the years to get to bars with little more than a sideways glance.
Been to places where patrons wanted to fight me. "No thanks, buddy. Can't you see I'm busy?"
Was in Vegas one time. It was summer so the temp. was over 100F. I was feeling pretty happy after visiting the now defunct Freakin' Frog and was walking in a less than hospitable area of the city, i.e. past UNLV. It was getting dark as I was making it back to the hotel. Did I mention that I decided to take my shirt off? Sounds douche-y, but fuck it, it was hot. Encountered a large group of young black fellas who were heading towards me on the sidewalk. Why is it important that I mention that they were black? Well, because they were and I'm into accuracy. I decided in my drunk mind that bro-hugging the first one of them would be a great idea. I told them that I was drunk and I was headed to the strip and we all had a laugh at the big, drunk white fella.
Dodgiest story was in Chicago. One of my first times there. Was there for a conference with my boss. The kind of conference that he was interested in, but I wasn't. It was also one were he completely loses track of me over the weekend, so I said, "fuck this stupid conference, I'll bomb around the city instead." Got off the plane at Midway and took the L to Western on the Blue Line in an attempt to get to The Map Room. FWIW, our hotel was right next to O'hare, but he'd booked me the cheapest flight that he could, which sent me to Midway. Whatever. After getting off the train at the Western stop and walking for a while, I got the sense that I wasn't going in the right direction. Pulling out my trusty map I realized that I had somehow gotten turned around and the map that I printed out no longer made sense (this was before smart phones or widely available GPS) nor could I read it very well in the dark. I figured that I'd ask some friendly Chicagoans for directions. Again, ran into a couple black fellas walking down the street, so I decided to ask them. They said they didn't know, but they did ask me for money. A couple times. Not that I was afraid, but it was getting later (around 10, IIRC) and I was lost and I didn't know the intentions of these guys. I bit them adieu, and decided to just walk in a different direction, looking back occasionally, just in case. Found myself walking in a pretty decent neighborhood and as I took the map out I realized that I had pointed myself in the right direction and was soon at The Map Room. Rest of the night was pretty funny as well, as a young blonde lady struck up a rather ribald conversation with me just because her boyfriend was flirting with another girl at their table. I played my part so valiantly, that by the time I left, they were headed towards what looked like a pretty nasty fight. I did not stick around to see what happened. Fun and slightly scary, with a little mayhem stirred in just for fun. Ingredients in any good night out.
I was probably 19, and was in search of...things other than beer. A co-worker of mine said he could help me out. After our shift, we got in my car and he directed me where to go. We ended up somewhere between Collinwood and Forest Hills (East Cleveland), and finally came to a stop in front of a barber shop.
I was already extremely aware that I was in the wrong place, but, already neck deep, I couldn’t turn back. We walk into the barber shop, I casually nod to everyone with their uncertain expressions, and my coworker and I duck into a bizarre back room only to meet a very manic, yet oddly friendly guy. He promptly hands us a couple bottles of Mickeys. They shot the shit for a while as I politely sipped my beer, barely uttering a single word.
We got everything sorted out, my co-worker saw me out. I get to my car, and it’s starting to rain. And...my windshield wipers are gone. I go to start up my car and VVRRLLOOOOOM. My catalytic converter had been stripped from my exhaust system. Counting myself lucky that that was probably the most benign way to say “you don’t belong here”, I made my way home. You could probably hear my car clearly within a mile radius.
1990 Times Square. Bar a block from Marriott. Walked in on a robbery. Had asked bartender for beer, she was shaking her head and nodded to end of bar. Saw guy walking back to front. We bailed. Certainly a different area now.
In Brussels, walk from train station to Cantillon was interesting. Not so much dangerous as sort of bombed out.
Countless 1am nights in East St. Louis for strip joints after Cardinals games. Half off admission! After a bunch of Bud Heavy, your brain will not allow you to question your judgement, apparently.