Senior spring has a funny way of inspiring enthusiasm for all the things that we’ve always talked about doing in Williamstown but haven’t gotten around to. But nothing on our senior year bucket list has been more anticipated than “The Great Williamstown Pub Crawl.” Ten close friends, 10 local watering holes, 10 different drinks – an ambitious endeavor and certainly not one for the timid. We set out with pen and paper ready to record our ruminations, knowing full well that by the end of the night coherent reflections would be a tall order.
After a few rousing inspirational speeches in our living room, we got underway.
5:43 p.m. It begins. College! No parents!
5:52 p.m. We pile into the “family car,” with a designated driver at the wheel, of course.
6:02 p.m. At the Purple Pub, we commence with shots of “liquid cocaine,” a complex blend of Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps and Jagermeister with significant undertones of mouthwash, taken in the traditional “pirate shot” style: Keep it in your mouth for 15 seconds, followed by a quick gurgle. Arrrrgh indeed!
6:04 p.m. Surrounded by lots of post-hockey game families, some with children. Feeling kind of judged, getting lots of stares.
6:12 p.m. Reporting for duty at the American Legion/VFW lounge, sir.
6:37 p.m. Friendly American Legion patron Steve recognizes one of the pub crawlers, Pat Barren ’11, from his glory days on the gridiron as a linebacker for the Ephs and asks what brings us to the VFW. After we explain the bar crawl to him, he has two words for our boozy endeavor: “[expletive deleted] tremendous.” Sadly, his enthusiasm is not so great that we can convince him to accompany us on the remaining stops.
7:00 p.m. Berkshire Brewing Company IPAs at the ’96 House. Delicious and hoppy, with hints of citrus.
7:03 p.m. Shockingly, people here are classier than us. We’ve been forced to sit by the fire. Outside. In the cold. Thanks a lot ’96 House!
7:34 p.m. The staff at the Moonlight Diner seem a bit taken aback by our desire to sit at the bar, explaining that no one’s done so in years: the Williams Pub Crawl, boldly going where few drinkers have gone before!
7:40 p.m. We’re asked respectfully by the Moonlight staff to keep it down – this is, after all, a family establishment.
7:52 p.m. The inevitable R. Kelly sing-a-long. Hey – we never promised good decisions.
8:14 p.m. We arrive at Chopsticks for sake, the traditional Japanese rice wine. Shots will be taken in the time-tested sake bomb style, balancing a shot glass on two chopsticks resting atop a glass of traditional Japanese brew Sapporo. Knock the shot into the beer by banging on the table and chanting. Hope no one takes issue with how obnoxious you’re being.
8:54 p.m. With sake keeping us nice and toasty, we proceed to our next, and perhaps most eagerly anticipated stop: Mount Greylock Bowl for pitchers and a round of 10 pins.
9:01 p.m. Some of us have adopted the four-year-old method of bowling, walking up to the line and slowly rolling the ball between our legs. Not the smoothest of styles, but it works.
9:03 p.m. Is it necessary to make this many “Big Lebowski” references when one goes bowling? Yes. Obviously.
9:22 p.m. Celebration dances are becoming increasingly intricate, and in the case of some (looking at you, Jonah Zuflacht ’11), increasingly embarrassing.
Due to beer spillage on our notepad (for which Peter Drivas ’11 apologizes thoroughly), documentation of the last few stops became difficult, if not impossible. However, after a glorious start, the ’82 Grill, an off-campus party and, last but not least, the Red Herring, did not let us down.
It’s easy to think of our little corner of the Berkshires as a two-bar town, but that’s far from true. But remember: If you do go to Chopsticks, one carafe is enough.