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Historically, I’ve used New Year’s Eve as an excuse to drone on in wistful, nostalgic (see: annoying) tones about how “OMG LIFE HAPPENED THIS YEAR” to anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across my footprint on the Internet.

Well, I didn’t do that this year. Even though this was one of the crazier years on record with a new job, moving from Washington, D.C., to Annapolis, starting this blog, the new column, etc. Whoops.

So what did I do on New Year’s Eve instead of reading way too much into the banal minutiae of 2013? I slept in, and then I drank beer and ate food with Heidi at Lures Bar & Grille in Crownsville.

Definitely an activity upgrade.

The beer list at Lures is exciting and diverse, boasting offerings that I often have trouble tracking down in retail bottle form. At the time of our visit, it was a bit IPA-heavy, but that’s not uncommon. I also found myself, once again, a bit sandy over the minimal Maryland beer representation in the draft lines of bars in and around Annapolis, but that’s a whiny soapbox for another time and not really a mark against Lures. 

Anyway, what made the trip extra cool was the fact that I could get a paddle of four 5-ounce pours for $8.00. Seriously, I wish more places offered this option — or even half-pint pours like at Old Line. This prevents me from having a panic attack over having to choose between (a) getting ridiculously drunk on full pints of all the stuff I want to try, or (b) only getting to try one or two of the beers I want, because I’m going to be a “responsible adult" and not get wasted.

For my tasting paddle, I chose: Southern Tier 2XMAS, Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, Green Flash Palate Wrecker and Aztec Noche de los Muertos.

When we gave our beer orders to our super-nice waitress, I was impressed that she wasn’t writing anything down. “I want her brain,” I told myself. Because I forget everything. All. The. Time.

Unfortunately, I knew something was wrong when, a few minutes later, she put my paddle down in front of me and proceeded to tell me that the light amber beer second from the right was an imperial stout. It wasn’t long before we realized we didn’t get what we ordered.

Look, I promise I’m not some crazy snob who expects every waiter or waitress to be a craft beer aficionado. But if you are taking an order for eight different beers at once, write it down. I totally would, if it were me. And then I’d awkwardly recite your beers to you from flashcards as I served it.

It took us about two minutes to sort everything out — sniffing and sampling all of the beers in front of us, making a few corrective trades between ourselves and replacing a duplicate. Once we did, however, it was smooth sailing. We spent the rest of our time there eating some seriously awesome food and tasting a bunch of different kinds of beer — always a great way to spend an afternoon.

Even with the hiccup, I left knowing I’d definitely be back. It’s quite the diamond in the rough, and I’m really intrigued to see what will be going on tap next.

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