There was a pool table in the back and no TV. Children were welcome. Lite beer was not.
We met college professors, battlefield guides, construction workers, teachers, tourists, and local craftspeople.
Tourists had a hard time with the place. It was run English pub style, which meant there was no table service and the only beer served was Dave's own. You had to go back to the counter to get your food (lovingly prepared by Gail). And did I mention there was no TV or lite beer?
Eventually Dave got tired of both running the counter and brewing the beer. He sold off the brewing equipment, allowing us to drink the remainder of the beer. We had one last mug club party/wake.
The saddest day was when they carted off the tables and chairs.
Now I live in a county that controls alcohol distribution (there are only two counties in the whole darn country that do this). Number of pubs in my local area = 1, and I don't really want to hang out there. It is mostly a restaurant. The beer isn't brewed there. The wait to be seated on any given day can be as long as 45 minutes.
I'd rather sit on my back porch and drink homebrew, thankyouverymuch.
Back to the Frog and Duck.
We all went to the pool last weekend. Soon after we arrived a boy, attended by a rather large gaggle of other boys, walked past cradling something precious in his hands. His mother was calling after him, "don't put it back in the pool!" Turns out he had caught the cutest little frog. As he turned to reply, his hands opened and the frog escaped. There was much screaming and chasing as the boys attempted to recapture the amphibian. It was finally cornered next to the benches. I believe they put it through a gap in the fence so it could find its way down to the nearby creek.
That was wildlife #1.
About an hour later, I noticed a commotion in the main part of the pool. Little Brewer #2 doesn't swim yet so we keep to the 2-3 foot area. People had formed a moving circle in the pool, a circle that was coming our way.
The circle opened. And a duck swam out.
A female mallard. She calmly swam around the pool, speeding up if anyone tried to get too close to her. If kids started splashing her, she just swam away a little faster.
What was a duck doing in the pool? The chlorine couldn't have been too tasty. There are no plants or other edibles (hopefully) in the pool. Had she been raised by humans? Was she lonely? The thought of this duck having lost her family and being forced to seek out company was heartbreaking.
A few minutes later the lifeguard's whistle blew signalling adult swim. All the kids got out of the pool, leaving only a few adults. The duck swam around for a minute more, then took off, flying away over the fence.
I guess she wasn't yet 16.
* The pub had a mug club. Each person was assigned a number on their mug based on the order in which he or she had signed up for the club. The lower the number, the more "status" you had because that meant you had been around since the beginning. Brewguy and I were numbers 11 and 12, respectively. If you're a former GBC mug clubber reading this, I salute you.