Red Oak Brewery
Attendees: Harper, Joey and Brian
Ah Burlington, the underrated forgotten city between the Triangle and the "Triad" (come on - the Triad? - I've been here 15 years and I'm still not buying it) Ok I don't really know for sure it's underrated, it's not like I've spent a lot of time there but I've always been a fan of hitting up games in Burlington. It's the cheap, low-level, sparsely attended games that I really equate with minor league baseball.
Let's start it off with some beer. Red Oak is one of the elder statesmen of the NC brewing scene . It's quite different from most other breweries. First off they strictly adhere to those Jerry Reinsdorf brewing rules so there are no funny ingredients or flavors. Just hops, grain, water (and yeast) In the end they only make three types of beer and they are uber protective of these. If you are wondering why you've never seen them, in part it's because they don't allow it to be shipped if it can't be refrigerated along the way. Also the place is SUPER clean. Like eat off the floor clean. Honestly it's kind of weird - but let's face it, you'd rather it be super clean wouldn't you?
Is it THAT good? Well some people swear by it but I don't go that far. It is good though so you should try it. And if you go to the tour they'll give you ice cream beer floats (an acquired taste I'll admit.)
After that it was off to Burlington's BBQ place of choice, Hurseys. It's been years but I don't remember anything specific about it so it must have been at least ok. Pretty standard plate from the looks of it.
Then we go off to one of my favorite places to watch a game in North Carolina. Formerly the Burlington Indians (lovingly called the B-Tribe by all), a few years ago it fell under the Royals farm system and changed accordingly (lovingly called the B-Court by... well me).Is there anything really special about it? No, not specifically anything you can pick out. But it's minor league baseball in a nutshell. It's a park a little outside of downtown that looks like it could be a fancy high school place. It's a place where you can pay like $10 and sit in the front row and get pics like you were on the field.
It's a place where you get to see a load of people drive down from Minnesota to see their local hometown boy pitch in a game. (Don't expect to see him in the majors soon) Where the talent is more likely to be selling cars in two years than selling tickets to a major league game (Though Wil Myers did have a few at bats for the B-Court that year. Did I see him? I'll have to look through my notes)
And it's the home of one of my favorite mascots Bingo. Why is Bingo one of my favorite mascots? Because he does the base race right. Look, we've seen these mascots move. They are clearly fast enough to beat any little kid around the bases. This makes a mockery of these races UNLESS you play it like Bingo. You see Bingo is just so dumb he doesn't know how to run the bases. He goes the wrong way. He gets distracted by things. He goes out into the outfield. He loses not because all of a sudden he's super slow, but because he's always super dumb. It just makes far more sense to me and therefore is a lot more enjoyable. Fist bump to you Bingo.