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Bottles of Beer

2015-03-11 by andyman

How Many Bottles of Beer on the Wall

A Tale of One Man’s Yeast Affection


by DocSnookers


So, where does an Irish family go on vacation? Answer: A different bar. (I slay myself.) An old joke to be sure, but if you’ve ever been to the Parting Glass Pub in Saratoga, you know why an Irish tavern is such a great hang.


Back in the early to mid 1980’s a few of my friends and I entered the Beer Tasting Club (which would account for my haziness of specific dates in time) at the Parting Glass Pub on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs. One only had to “sample” in the neighborhood of 200 beers in an approximate 10 month period and grade it on a scorecard. If you could preview 2 to 3 beers a night, 2 to 3 times a week, this great gift to mankind was very do-able; without requiring emergency room treatment. And do it we did.


What a great time we had sampling beers from all over the world. From little 7 ounce Pilsners to the 25 ounce Fosters Lager can, we finished the important job with time to spare. We built many bridges and solved many problems of the world sitting in front of that wonderful bar. One night, during a heavy snowstorm, I actually skied down with my faithful dog Rocky from my apartment off north Broadway; refusing to let Mother Nature sway me from my dedication to important matters concerning the human condition.


After the in-depth study of the beverages were completed, the “Glass” threw a swell party for those that made the measure. Many of the beer vendors donated nice gifts of beer memorabilia for the qualifiers. The owners mounted a plaque on the wall with all the Beer Tasters engraved on it; something I’ve dragged many new friends in to see. The last time I stopped in, the plaque was nowhere to be found. The barmaid told me someone had stolen it (no doubt someone I had shared space with on the wall trophy – oh, the inhumanity). She also said they were thinking about starting the Taster’s Club back up, so go check it out and keep me posted.


The Parting Glass Pub is located on Lake Avenue in downtown Saratoga Springs. A short distance east from Broadway, it is down the hill from the Police Station, a couple of doors before the Fire House and kiddy-corner to the Armory. They host a lot of great bands and it is a frequent stop for a popular local Irish group know as the McKrells. The famous Saratoga Racetrack is not far away.
As a kid I remember it as Rocco’s Italian Restaurant and recall they had the finest thin crust pizza in town. When it was Rocco’s, the booths were across from the bar and the dining room was in a separate room. When the Parting Glass took over in 1981 they removed the wall and opened up the bar to the dining area. The booths were separated and moved to the outer walls of the dining area. Over the years they have purchased adjoining real estate and have expanded quite a bit to accommodate another larger dining / music area. The joint has some really nice vintage woodwork and a great ambience.


The Glass also has an excellent dart room with several dart boards and a nice selection of custom darts and dart accessories for sale. At one time they also owned a pub called Cohans (I believe that was the name) in Ireland and used to have dart competitions between the two establishments; keeping score by fax machine. I always enjoyed the fact that the place was family owned and patrons could feel a part of the family as the girls and their mother poured beers, mixed drinks and waited tables.


With everything from pizza and wings to steaks and lamb stew, the menu is first-rate and quite varied. I am especially fond of the sweet potato fries and the Shepherds Pie. Parking is pretty good compared to Broadway and there is a parking garage a short distance away, making it a good meeting place for newcomers to busy downtown Saratoga Springs. Of course, The Parting Glass is “the” place to be on St. “Paddy’s” Day with plenty of live music, dancing and lots of Guinness on tap. Delicious corned beef and cabbage specials are served on the week leading up to, and including, the big event.


You can visit their website at:
Owner Joan Desadora is said to have named the pub after the Irish song of the same name. Following are the lyrics:


Of all the money that e'er I spent 
I've spent it in good company 
And all the harm that ever I did 
Alas it was to none but me 
And all I've done for want of wit 
To memory now I can't recall 
So fill to me the parting glass 
Good night and joy be with you all 

If I had money enough to spend 
And leisure to sit awhile 
There is a fair maid in the town 
That sorely has my heart beguiled 
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips 
I own she has my heart enthralled 
So fill to me the parting glass 
Good night and joy be with you all 

Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had 
They're sorry for my going away 
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had 
They'd wish me one more day to stay 
But since it falls unto my lot 
That I should rise and you should not 
I'll gently rise and softly call 
Good night and joy be with you all

#partingglass  #pub   #dining  #nightlife

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