1. The Deke and I attended Old Line's Pumpkin Ale Fest and bought a ticket for a single pour, but before we decided what to have our cup filled with, we enjoyed complimentary samples at about five different breweries' stations. Not all the beers at the festival were pumpkin, but all were seasonal, I'd say. I had my small plastic cup filled with Expect No Mercy, a bourbon barrel-aged Scottish Ale from Oliver Brewing in Baltimore. I enjoyed its sweet character and I love the boozy warmth beer develops when it's aged in barrels -- whether rum, bourbon, wine, or another kind of barrel.
2. The Deke and I took our plastic cups into the bistro and sat down in a booth and over the next ninety minutes or so, I enjoyed two small glasses of, once again, barrel-aged ale. The first was from up the road, Laurel's Jailbreak recently brewed their double IPA, Big Punisher, in barrels once containing Old Line Smooth Amber Bourbon. Soon this beer will be gone and I wanted to enjoy at least one more snifter before it disappears. I also enjoy Abita's Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels. I think it's called Bourbon Street and I savored a small glass of it. It was a festive afternoon at Old Line. It inspired the Deke and me to plan a drive to Chesapeake Bay on Sunday.
3. Back home, I got a phone call from Christy, updating me about Mom. Mom has been in the hospital since early Tuesday morning. Her lower right leg got infected at home and caused a series of problems. She is getting better and is ready to have us kids write a bit about her illness and ask for support. She is also ready for visitors at the hospital. She will be in the hospital a while longer as the infection continues to clear up and as she undergoes rehab. It was a great relief to hear from Christy that she's doing better. Earlier in the week, Mom had some very rough days and nights.