Aside

Every week, I wait… I get through M-F, make it through the weekend, then ‘long about Sunday night, I start to see the light. Every Monday night, a group of my guy friends go to Pint Night (or Nite) at the Flying Saucer (link), where “most draft beers are $3.” Most. Mostly, I can find one of my favored Pale Ales (Sierra Nevada almost always, Diamond Bear sometimes, Boulevard hardly ever, even though it’s ALWAYS on the extensive beer menu). And sometimes I’ll try something different – something out of my wheelhouse. (Hey, it’s just three bucks.)

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I’m missing Pint Night tonight, so I bought myself a bottle of a local brew to celebrate (or commiserate)—Il Maestro Birrificio’s Route 77 Birra Ambrata (Amber Beer). It’s a pale ale made with American hops. Very, very tasty. A good-sized 75 centiliter bottle, 5.8% alcohol, hopped just enough, slight bite, scant notes of fruit. Really nice. I was surprised that the brewery (with seating for all of four people) did not have their wares on tap, or “alla spine.” But they had several varieties in bottles in the cooler. So, I bought one from the lovely Federica and drank this for the Pint Night guys back home, who graciously invited me into this sacred circle last year… a circle that’s been around for some ten years.

We stayed in today and worked around the house, as we were expecting a visitor. I re-sealed the kitchen woodstove and the living room fireplace. They’re predicting snow tonight or tomorrow, so I’m impatiently waiting the 12-24 hour curing period for the high-temp adhesive to set. Will definitely fire them up tomorrow.

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The police came to visit us today. An unpleasant local carabinieri lady had to verify that my sister did actually exist and that she is actually here in the flesh, occupying the house, in order to establish her (part time) residency here. She’s been working on this process for about a year and a half. The three colors of Italy’s flag are red, white and green, in equal parts. The red really should be much larger in proportion, to go with the gargantuan amounts of red tape you have to wade through (and wait through) to do pretty much anything official here.

Is it worth the wait? To live here even part time, I mean? I can’t answer for you. You’ve seen some of the photos and read about some of my experiences here in Le Marche. I didn’t know what I was missing at Pint Night until I was invited to join in. But those guys– and that regular Monday guy-get together—they’ve made a world of difference in my life.

That Route 7 Birra Ambrata… it was reeeeally good. A memorable quaff to be sure. Well worth the drive to Urbisaglia, one walled hilltop town away from where I sit tonight.

 

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