Shopping with beer is Lucky

I’m quite used to going to breweries, tap rooms, bars, and even comic book stores to enjoy a good beer.  Grocery shopping, on the other hand, seems like the kind of thing you do to earn the beer you drink at home.  When I heard a bout a new grocery store in my area where you can get a draft beer to take with you while you shop, I was definitely intrigued.

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Lucky’s Market in Orlando

Lucky’s Market in Orlando has a selection of products similar to a Whole Foods. High end stuff that is supposed to be good for you, although I’m sure I could get just as fat on high end ice cream, meats, and cheeses as I can on the cheap stuff. The main difference at Lucky’s is the bar at the front of the store.

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Lucky’s bar

They have a reasonable selection of good beer at bargain prices. I got a pint of Terrapin – Sound Czech for $1.50 (Thursday night special). You can also get growlers to take home with you.

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Lucky’s Market growlers

Then you get a cup holder that attaches to your shopping cart, and off you go.

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Lucky’s Market beer cup holder

I wandered through aisles of bulk food with names like “Forbidden Black Rice” and more types of jams and jellies than you can shake a stick at. There was even a meat department where you can get beer brats made with beer from their shelves.

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Lucky’s Market beer brat sign

But the really important question for any store is always “what is their beer selection like?”  Turns out it’s pretty damn good.

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Lucky’s Market crowler

Only one gripe. I’m not sure how well they really understand brewing or the lifespan of a growler/crowler (few days, tops) and the one in the picture here looked like it had been there a while.

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Lucky’s Market 6 pack beer selection

Both sides of an aisle full of craft 6 packs, with breweries and beers that I usually only see at an ABC or Total Wine. But I didn’t see any singles and it didn’t look like any 6 packs were broken up. Damn. Then I turned the corner to the next aisle.

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Lucky’s Market singles selection

Jackpot! Singles out the yin yang. Shopping for beer while drinking beer. How could life get any more Lucky?

Drink up me hearties

This week I’m visiting a local brewery… in a sense.  Sea Dog Brewing Company can be said to be local in several cities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Florida.

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Sea Dog Brewing outside view

In addition, they are owned by Shipyard Brewing which has an even harder sell at being called a local establishment.

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Shipyard Brew Pub giant lighted structure

The particular “local” Sea Dog I went to is in Orlando, FL.  The call came to have dinner with an aunt who was doing the whole Disney thing and Sea Dog was the closest brewery I could find in that area of Orlando.  Don’t get me wrong.  I really like their beer and always have.  I was just worried that there was going to be a “chain store” vibe and that there wouldn’t be much original going on.  I was pleasantly surprised.

The decor and atmosphere is certainly in line with craft beer tap room standards.

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Kegs used as part of the decor
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Bottle lights that I would really like to have

After enjoying a few beers and dinner, I wandered over to where some brewers were cleaning up. Apologies for the blurry picture here.

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Brewing area freshly cleaned up

I found out that this particular Sea Dog location brewed a unique beer (I’m talking mango/pineapple/habanero unique) every single week.  So, I could actually come here all year and get something truly local and different every time.  Unfortunately, I avoid the Disney area of Orlando like the plague.  But, it’s great to know that when friends and family want to meet up there, I can have a go to place and still get something different every time.

Last, but certainly not least, I toured the gift shop and found a really interesting drinking product.  At first glance, I really couldn’t picture just what the hell this thing could possibly be used for.

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Shipyard Lil Sucker – top view
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Shipyard Lil Sucker – Bottom view

After a quick demonstration and explanation I find that these things are called Lil Suckers.  If you put one on the bottom edge of a glass, can, or bottle, it creates suction on whatever surface you set it down on and makes it hard to spill.

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Lil Sucker in action

In the picture, I’m actually pulling up on the glass as hard as I can (to no avail).  If you lift the edge of the Lil Sucker up lust a lil bit, it lets go of the surface and releases your beer.  Pretty damn neat toy really.

So, despite my originally low expectations, Sea Dog turned out to be one of my better brewery visits.  I didn’t come away with any bottles, but I have plenty of those already.  For this visit, I was free to enjoy the beer, the atmosphere, and the Lil Sucker.

Way better than 600 likes on Facebook

I have a very special container review today. This can of Pompous Ass English Ale from Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto marks 600 different breweries in my collection! Personally, I think that’s more impressive and telling than that there are over 1700 bottles and cans. So, without further ado…

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Pompous Ass English Ale – front

Name: Love it! Humorous, descriptive, unique.  A+

Art work: The art work definitely matched the name.  I think the color scheme was even chosen well for what they were going for. Again, well done.

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Pompous Ass English Ale – description

Beer description: Quite the detailed description.  Lacks a little of the humor that got started with the title.

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Fuggled Doublebottom

Just the facts: ABV, serving temperature, where to find them on social media, and even a name “Fuggled Doublebottom” for the Pompous Ass himself.  Not too shabby

Pop top: Nothing going on here.  Standard.

Label quality:  All is well.  No dents, dings, or creases.

It be proper to my eyes

I travel to Washington, DC quite a bit.  Sometimes I get the chance to branch out and look for breweries in the area.  On my last visit, I dragged some co-workers to Right Proper Brewing Company in the historic Shaw neighborhood.

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Right Proper Brewing Company – outside

The place looks pretty unassuming from the outside.  But, once you get through the front door, you are treated to a smorgasbord of interesting and hip murals.

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Interesting mural at Right Proper Brewing

My favorite mural has pandas and foxes with laser eyes.

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Right Proper laser eye mural

And the hip humor doesn’t stop there.  Oh, no.  I got a growler and (as a collector of unique bottles) was please to see that it was a wine bottle growler that features a squirrel with a flame thrower.

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Right Proper wine bottle growler
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Growler featuring a squirrel with a flame thrower

The only confusion I had was when I saw the menu that listed the place as both Right Proper Brewing and Shaw Brew Pub.

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Shaw Brew Pub menu

A quick chat with the manager set me straight.  Right Proper Brewing has two locations.  A large brewery and distribution center in Brooklyn, NY and the smaller brewery and kitchen in Shaw.  I did make sure that the beer I got in my growler was brewed at the Shaw location where I was hanging out.

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Right Proper Brewing bar area

In the end, I had a great time in a cool place and walked away with a unique bottle for the collection.  How can you ask for anything more in life.