Book Review: “The Tender Bar” by JR Moehringer

I felt a strange connection with JR Moehringer while reading his story even if it was just the moments he wanted me to see.

Last week, I saw a trailer for an upcoming movie called The Tender Bar. Something clicked in me with the story and, after seeing that it was based on a memoir, I bought the memoir from Amazon the next day.

I flew through the book in a week.

It’s a true story about an east coast boy growing up without a father. While he has a strong connection with his single mother, he also yearns to learn what it means to be a good man and searches for father figures around him. The book is called The Tender Bar because the author forges a connection with a specific bar in his Long Island home-town where he’s drawn to the men who congregate there including his Uncle Charlie. The coming-of-age story culminates when the author writes of a transformative scene with his father, looking into the mirror after the near-violent altercation the author exclaims to himself, “my father is not a good man but I am not my father.”

The Tender Bar is a touching story of a young man struggling to discover the secret to manliness, the secret ultimately coming from the one place he never thought to look when he was a child.

The movie adaptation will be released through Amazon this December. Directed by George Clooney and written by JR Moehringer and William Monahan.

Milk Mustachio Stout – Tractor Brewing

Creamy, smooth, muted hints of coffee, and superb drinkability – this stout is Tractor Brewing‘s coup de grace (if you like stouts).

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Milk Mustachio Stout, Tractor Brewing Company, 2019.

A smooth coffee-flavored, alcoholic beverage seems perfect for a Friday night as a lone guitarist provides some euphoric background tunes.  I may have been a little harsh in my last review of Tractor, one cannot judge a brewery by on beer.  It’s a good place to relax after a busy day at work serving fried food to fat Americans, a place where nostalgic millennials can go to lament about their lost hopes and forgotten dreams.

Happy holidays, you degenerate pig fuckers.  Be safe out there.

Who brews better beer in Nob Hill?

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

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The Tractor Brewing Company is a mid-size taproom in the heart of Nob Hill, Albuquerque, down the street from the Nob Hill Business Center.  The establishment contains a wide, U-shaped bar for plenty of hoppers to get in and immediately go for a drink.  There is also a plethora of tables scattered around the periphery of the building that makes for cozy spaces to sit down with friends for an interesting night.  I sat at the bar as I do.

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Tractor Brewing Company’s Double Plow Milk Stout

One look inside the beer menu and my eyes are drawn to the Double Plow Milk Stout which I order with some enthusiasm.  The bartender (or “beertender” as Tractor Brewing calls them) brings me a pint of the delicious dark brown elixir but, after the first sip, I feel underwhelmed.  The taste is okay for a stout but slightly bitter for my own taste.  It also is a dichotomy of flavors – through my nose, I detect a hint of chocolate flavor but, on my tongue, I only taste coffee.  This particular beer may not be for me.

A look at the specialty beers on the wall menu reveals another milk stout called Milk Mustachio Stout.  I may try that one next weekend.

I am willing to try Tractor Brewing again in the future but, at this current point in time, my favorite stout remains the Driftwood Oatmeal Stout from Bosque Brewing Company.

Albuquerque residents, what is your favorite local brewery?

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Bosque Brewing Company, Nob Hill Public House

Lava Rock Brewery – Filling Food and Hearty Drink

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

A few blocks away from my current place of residence there is a restaurant/bar called the Lava Rock Brewery, a fine establishment with filling food and hearty drinks that I would recommend to friends. Located on Unser Boulevard in west Albuquerque (north of Ladera), the brewery is in a relatively high-trafficked area of the city and within walking distance of several dense neighborhoods.

I walked to the brewery from my apartment near the Ladera golf course and ordered their “Killer Sandwich” – grilled chicken with slices of a tomato and a red onion and guacamole-smear – served with a pickle spear and French (I don’t think the food item colloquially known as French fries actually originated in France) fries. The food arrived at my spot at the bar within 15 minutes and, upon its delivery, I ordered a pint of Chocolate Milk Stout which I received immediately (after displaying my driver’s licence, of course). My review of Boxing Bear Brewing Company’s Chocolate Milk Stout is live here.

The food was well-presented on its plate and the restaurant looked clean and well-organized with a window into a back room where one could see a cook finalizing each order for the waiters. The building is spacious enough and I did not feel cramped or claustrophobic at all during my stay. The sandwich was not as large as I would have preferred but it was just as filling (most likely from the chicken and guacamole).

If you enjoy classic American fried food and craft beer, the Lava Rock Brewery is definitely worth checking out.