Silver City, NM- On Saturday, March 17, the famed Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery hosted a pub crawl in honor of St. Patrick’s day. The Mustang Editor and his fiance participated in the event and took on the crawl.
We woke up early on Saturday and start making breakfast- pork chops, chorizo and eggs. Lining your stomach with greasy foods before a day of drinking is normally a good idea. This was Kat’s first pub crawl and my second. I’d once done one in Las Cruces, NM many moons ago. A pub crawl is the act of visiting and drinking at local restaurants and taverns in a single day and usually traveling by foot. This particular crawl, sponsored by Little Toad Creek, would take us through the downtown area, starting at Q’s Bistro and then through Fry House, Diane’s, Vicki’s Eatery, Revel and finally ending at the Toad itself.
Participants would be given a game card and servers at each establishment would take the game card and place a shamrock sticker on it. Once a participant collected five stickers, they would present it at the Toad and receive a free pint glass. Kat and I decided that would we get an early start and beat the crowds that would come out later in the evening and headed out at 2pm, right as the crawl started. 2pm may have seemed a little early, but in Paramaribo, down in South America, it was 5 o’clock, so it was okay.
There are a few unofficial rules when participating in a pub crawl:
First, it’s important to plan your route. Fortunately, the Toad had more or less done that for us, since we could start the crawl at Q’s and then follow the line-up of restaurants that they’d listed all the way downtown.
Another is to pace yourself. It is a crawl, not a race. A participant wouldn’t want to have too much, too early and not be able to finish the crawl. Worse, a participant doesn’t want to have too much, go past their limit and start causing trouble. Nothing can ruin a crawl faster than getting arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
It’s also good to eat regularly and keep some food in your system.
Finally, it’s cool to make friends while you’re on the crawl. People on crawls can be fun, especially on a festive occasion like St. Patrick’s Day. People wear elaborate costumes, body paint etc. People inevitably laugh easier, become friendlier and more talkative on a day/night out (so long as they’re pacing themselves.) Many of them also have fun stories to tell.
When the clock finally struck 2pm, Kat and I departed from our home and headed downtown to start the crawl at Q’s Bistro.
Starting early meant that there weren’t very many of our fellow participants out yet. We arrived at Q’s and took a seat at the bar, receiving our game card from the server. I decided to kick things off with a Stella Artois with green food coloring. Stella is a relatively light Belgian-style beer with a low alcohol percentage. Kat decided to be festive and order Jameson and coke. Taking a sip, Kat marveled at how smooth the Jameson Irish Whiskey was in comparison American whiskey’s like Jack Daniels.
The trip to Q’s Bistro was ultimately a relatively low-key start to our adventure.
Our next stop was Fry House, a popular spot located in The Hub in downtown. This was where we decided to have lunch. Kat ordered the Fry House classic burger, while I simply got a basket of fries and a pint of Landshark, a Florida-brewed Island Lager that has only been on the market for a little over ten years.
Our server was a bubbly WNMU student named Lilia Cordova, who immediately commented Kat on her green eye shadow, telling her it was “hella cute.”
Lilia commented that the crawl was “a good way for people to get together, celebrate, drink a little and have fun.”
After getting halfway through her burger, Kat ordered a pink lemon-drop shot. A lemon drop is made with Vodka, lemon juice, sugar and Triple Sec curacao liquor. Kat of course liked it for it’s distinctive pink color.
Fry House was the first spot where we actually saw people in costumes, with the people at the table beside us wearing gigantic, elaborate green hats. As we were finishing eating, a couple with a four month old baby dressed as a leprechaun walked into the restaurant. Upon catching sight of the baby, every woman within the establishment immediately lost their minds and swarmed the child, Kat included.
“I want one,” Kat cried as a chill ran down my spine.
Our next stop was Diane’s Bistro, a classy spot a block from The Hub and the halfway point for the crawl. Diane’s was notably the first restaurant we visited to actually play Irish music. This time Kat ordered a water while I got a nice, refreshing Guinness, an incredibly good dark beer. It was here that I noticed that my pint selections were gradually growing darker and heavier.
My Latin-Italian fiance loved the old family pictures that lined the walls of Diane’s, a common trait among old Italian restaurants.
At Diane’s, I finally spoke to two of the other pub-crawlers that had started with us back at Q’s. When asked for a comment, it was clear that both of them were already starting to feel the effects of the crawl.
One of them provided two comments, first stating, “life is good, do what you like, like what you do,” then changed their mind and said they would rather say, “do good, be humble, stay kind.” Both quotes are words to live by.
Their companion simply laughed and said her advice was, “don’t stop. Get it, get it!”
Both of them then suggested that everyone sitting at the bar do a round of Jameson shots, signaling my cue to leave.
Vicki’s Eatery was the first restaurant not located down Bullard St, but instead it was located on the corner of N. Texas and Market St. It is also located in the historic Silver City Elk’s Lodge. Normally, the restaurant opens on Saturdays at 5pm, but for the Pub Crawl they were open at a much earlier time.
At Vicki’s, I ordered an Italian import, Birra Moretti La Rossa, which was said to be one of their most popular items. The La Rossa was brewed by the same company as Heineken and is known as a doppelbock, which is a dark German beer with a high alcohol concentration. Coming right after the Guinness from Diane’s, I was starting to feel the effects of the crawl.
Kat got a Guinness Chocolate Cupcake, which is baked just like a regular cupcake, only with the addition of a bottle of Guinness added to the ingredients. The cupcake was an item exclusive to the crawl.
As we got up to leave, I could feel the four pints I’d drank swimming around inside me. Not in my stomach, but in my head.
Revel is one of the hottest spots in town, something we clearly saw by the number of tables that had already been reserved for the evening. When we arrived, most patrons were ushered to an outdoor area. Fortunately, Kat and I were able to find spots at the bar.
Kat decided to abstain from having anything more to drink and originally I had planned to order something light. However, a familiar can caught my eye- a La Cumbre Elevated IPA. La Cumbre is a brand of beer that is brewed right here in our home state of New Mexico, and their elevated India Pale Ale is one of my favorites. Naturally I had to order one, disregarding my original plan entirely.
One of the servers, an especially quirky young woman, shared my fashion sense with both of us wearing the same t-shirt. Naturally, this called for a photo.
Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery
With five restaurants under our belt, it was time to complete our journey and visit Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery. It was the early evening when we finally arrived but the Toad was already poppin’. While the band that would be performing that evening was still in the middle of their sound-check, the bar was packed, with several tables completely filled. The staff of the Toad was also quite festive, with the manager of the establishment, Mike Shelton, wearing a kilt to celebrate the occasion.
Kat and I made our way to the couch and took a seat, presenting our game cards to our server and ordering. Kat ordered another water, while I decided to complete the crawl with a dark red Copper Ale. The server returned a moment later with our prizes, a pair of shiny new pint glasses.
We relaxed at the Toad for a while after that. I’d ingested two pints short of a gallon of alcohol that day and needed some rest.
Overall, the Pub Crawl was a fun and worthwhile event that had taken us to several restaurants in Silver City that we had never visited before, but were definitely planning on returning to. I encourage other students of WNMU to visit Q’s, Fry House, Diane’s, Vicki’s, Revel and The Toad as well.
However, if you planning on sampling some of the pints, please drink responsibly.