Paradise at Amnesia Brewing.
Amnesia Brewing

One of my favorite statements of all time is "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is." This is a quote from Kurt Vonnegut that is actually a quote from his uncle Alex. Vonnegut encourages us, as his uncle did, to make this statement whenever we notice we are happy. Depending on who you are, the moment that would warrant the utterance of this phrase will vary from something as simple as watching Kindergarten Cop to something as complicated as watching Ghost Dad. For me, the most recent event that made me recall those words was a very modest yet very enjoyable one. The sun was shining, I was in the company of friends and I was enjoying a finely crafted beer at Amnesia.

Just to let you know, I am a year round fan of Amnesia. At any point in time you can ask me if I would like to go there and my response will always be on the affirmative side of the yes/no answering system, except for that one time when I was on fire. I am fond of the no frills yet eclectic atmosphere of the place. A converted warehouse filled with picnic tables and simple sturdy oak furniture where the bar is the only thing that separates the customer from the brewing process is really my idea of a perfect place to enjoy a quality beer. And when I say quality, I mean quality. Both the Copacetic and the Desolation IPAs are phenomenal, the ESB is a must try for anyone who is skeptical about ESBs, and I cannot remember a seasonal that I did not pray to the heavens would remain a permanent fixture. Add to that a wonderful brewery smell--which I love--and one of the most delightful staff in the city. I find myself smiling ear to ear whenever I sit down with my pitcher of Desolation. It’s just about the nicest thing in the world.

That is until the rain stops, the sun emerges, the temperature rises and the garage door opens to the beer garden. After that, things get nicer.

Amnesia Brewing
Amnesia's Wall of Beer!
While it is always possible to sit outside, there is something about that simple act of the garage door being opened wide that makes this place become whole. It turns Amnesia from a brew pub into a backyard Bar-B-Que, minus Uncle Charles taking his shirt off and rubbing his belly with suntan lotion while he talks to your girlfriend (who is meeting your family for the first, and last time) about the recent scheme he cooked up to make millions selling a device that makes it easier to peel bananas. Curse my wretched teenage years! Anyway, the aroma of grilled sausages and burgers replaces the yeasty indoor aroma and compliments the outdoor setting perfectly. The taste of these grilled delicacies is even better than the smell. Chatter comes from all directions and it seems like everyone hasn't a care in the world. Mix in a couple of friendly dogs and an occasional impromptu “What beer are you having” conversation and the experience is complete. All of this provides a sense of comfort that makes the beer even better and I always find myself thinking, and occasionally stating, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Amnesia Brewing
Where the beer comes from...
So the next time the sun is shining and you feel like heading out to get a beer, I strongly suggest heading to Amnesia. With friends mingling, dogs a plenty and a sausage right off the grill, I dare you not to be happy while there. In fact, I double dare you. Physical challenge!