In last week’s column I started a series based around random happenings in the Q.C. Spurred by a rift between my boy toy and I two weeks ago, I decided to take the opportunity to surround myself with friends. I forced myself — an only child and recluse at heart — to break my usual routine of work, nap, eat and sleep. Instead, I rallied every night of the week. What happened next, was the start of a really great book.
After attending a last minute show, Esperanza Spalding: Emily’s D+Evolution, with my bestie and binge watching Luke Cage all week, I was left feeling empowered and thought, “I can drink all the drinks and no one can stop me.” I was wrong, of course, but I still managed to make it through the work week without excruciating hangovers. That Friday, I realized I had two tickets to Creative Loafing’s Best of Charlotte party and the weekend had officially begun.
After scrounging all the drink tickets at BofC, and realizing Red Bull was nowhere to be found, I settled on a sour I hadn’t tried...Aunt Sally maybe? Full of beer and maxed out on dominating the conversation, I accepted I was a third wheel and should seek fun elsewhere. I stopped by The Brass Tap, where I was convinced to take a shot, before heading to The Local in Uptown. I ended up dancing the night away on the small dance floor in front of the DJ booth — yes, solo twerking is a norm for me.
Naturally, the next morning I wasn’t feeling 100 percent. I had settled on the idea of retail therapy at Concord Mills and lunch at IKEA — have you ever tried the Swedish meatballs there?! Honestly, truly, they’re to die for. While at the mall, a co-worker started blowing me up on my phone. “Do you want to go on a trolley pub crawl around 2?” she asked.
I let out a few sighs. The way my bank account was set up after a shopping spree and the way my stomach was set up after a full week of drinking, I attempted to dodge the invite via text: “Where y’all picking up at? I’m at IKEA so I might be a minute.” Ineffective, she sent the location (in Google maps), followed up with the required smart waiver and a series of texts that read: “Okay! Just be there by 2:15! Pick up a six-pack on the way. You can meet us.”
There was no way I was getting out of this. Can I use the “I’m black and what about my hair excuse?” Nope. Even though Hurricane Matthew was in full effect, I hadn’t gotten my hair done in weeks. While contemplating, I read through the texts and noted: We have extra jackets and ponchos. P.S. the trolley is completely covered. They have tarp walls. I scarfed a few Swedish meatballs — after all, that was certainly a priority — packed my large purchase in my car and headed to NoDa for a rainy-day pub crawl.
For months, my friends and I had contemplated setting up a day drinking excursion with Trolley Pub Charlotte but kept putting it off. And now, I had the opportunity to give it a whirl — for free! I turned my frown right side ‘round and prepared for the need to rally.
Once I arrived at the first stop — Heist Brewery — John and Vincent greeted me with a warm smile, took a look at my waiver, snapped a group pic and next thing you know I was straddling a bicycle seat with a beer in hand. The only rules? You have to be buckled in when the trolley was in motion and you can’t put your foot on the ground with a drink in your hand. Fair enough.
We pedaled from Heist to Free Range Brewery and ended the tour at Jack Beagles, where my friends tried to force me to take a whiskey pickle back shot. Have you ever had one? On top of six beers? That wasn’t happening. And after I figured out that I didn’t actually have to pedal, I realized I was having a really good time.
Considering Trolley Pub Charlotte for your next outing in the Q.C.? Here are a few pro tips:
1. BYOB for rides between stops. Beer or wine, plastic or can and you’re good to go.
2. Prepare for the weather. Hurricane Matthew is over, but who knows what the weather will be like for your crawl.
3. Be strategic with your crawl. You’ll want to enjoy being able to drink and ride while also hitting up some cool spots. Find balance between distance and quality breweries.