The Pedal-Pushers Go to Beer Skool
Tap Time’s legendary Beer Skool events offer both education and fun.
They are not quite a biker gang. Hell’s Angels — shucks, Heck’s Angels — would never accept them as members.
But despite the fact that they ride bicycles and not Harleys, carry purses, not pieces and are delightful (not intimidating) to look at, they are a force to be reckoned with. Known as The Pedal-Pushers, these young-at-heart ladies are based in The Retreat at OIB, and their bike rides are more social excursions than power statements.
One recent night, at the suggestion of one of their social advisors named Suzette, they decided to attend one of Tap Time’s legendary Beer Skools to learn about beer and how to taste and enjoy it. Thirteen of them bellied up to the bar to taste a total of eight different beers.
And at least two of them swore they did not like and would not drink beer. By night’s end, those same two were enjoying Lindemann’s Kriek Lambic and Bitburger’s Lemon Radler (which, to be candid, do not taste like what most think beer tastes like).
But that’s the wonder of this wonderful beverage. There are so many styles and flavors that appeal to a variety of tastes. Unless one has tried EVERY style and beer, statements like “I don’t like beer” are suspect at best and nonsense at worst.
Take that Radler, for example. What better beer for a bicycle club than a 1.9% mixture of lemonade and beer? The story of the creation of the Radler (which translates to “cyclist in German) is exceptionally interesting, Not a lady at the bar had a bad thing to say about that Radler. Some even took pictures of the can it came in, presumably to make its acquisition a goal for their next ride.
Other beers on the menu met with mixed reviews, which is perfectly acceptable at a beer tasting. You’re going to like some more than others, but it’s knowing that those beers are out there that makes beer drinking interesting.
Our first beer was a Southern Pines Pilsner, which came with a discussion of the style and its origins. Next came a Triple C Blonde Ale, which prompted a short lesson on the distinction between ales and lagers.
Next up was a Blood Orange Hefeweizen from those wonderful brewers at Firestone Walker. The ladies were excited about that one, commenting on its citrus, grapefruit and orange flavors and hints of banana and clove. They were also apprised of the fact that to put a lemon or orange wedge in your hefe is a dead giveaway to Germans that you are American. As German-born Susan said, “That’s right. We German’s don’t put sh!t in our beer.” (She might be a candidate for Hell’s Angels.)
That was followed by a Coffee and Cream Pale Ale from Wilmington’s Waterline Brewing, which caused a few of the women to reconsider their usual morning breakfast drink.
After those openers, it was time to pass out the chocolate chip cookies and to send in the big boy, a 7% Sycamore Pastry Stout. They each took a bite of cookie, a sip of stout and another bite of cookie. Like most who do that for the first time, there were comments like, “Wow. That’s good!” Or “I never thought cookies and beer could go together.”
Hah! Wait till they try a dollop of good vanilla ice cream in a barrel-aged stout…
Spirits were high at this time, but none of these ladies were “in their cups” or dancing on the bar. They were just enjoying a different type of evening entertainment. Although I had to keep a bell near Jane, who, I was told, could become loquacious.
That meant it was time for tulip glasses and Lindemann’s Kriek Lambic. If you’ve never had one, consider your beer journey incomplete. Those lambics also come in framboise, peche and pomme (raspberry, peach and apple), and they make a great dessert beer for your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
Social Chair Suzette even provided another beer for everyone — a barrel-aged Gingerbread Stout that met with rave reviews.
The PubScout delivered the lessons in his inimitable style, and he was ably assisted by Chris, Keith and Donna, who handled the pouring and cleanup. The Pedal-Pushers had all brought extra food, snacks and goodies, so the party continued for a considerable time.
There was no information available as to whether the Pedal Pushers made their run the next morning. But look for their signature yellow shirts if you visit the OIB area.
If your group is looking for a different type of evening out — one that comes with both beer and education, contact Keith or Christa at Tap Time in OIB. Parties of 12 to 14 can be accommodated.
Want to go?
Tap Time Tap Room
1564 Marketplace Boulevard, Ocean Isle Beach