Beer Drinking Report: Where's 2 A.M.?

Many of my misadventures in Boston over the years have involved an old friend of mine who I like to call “2 A.M.” He and I have consumed an obscene amount of beer together. Some of it good stuff, and some of it in 40-ounce scuba tanks.

Recently — I think it was during March Madness — I realized I hadn’t seen the guy in practically a year. I knew he had some stuff going on, but he kind of just disappeared. Before calling in the Feds, I decided to do some investigative work of my own — i.e. heading back to some of the places we used to drink beer back in the day.

I started at Big City in Allston. Many years ago, I used to drink beer and play pool there when he lived around the corner. As soon as I walked in the door, I realized I had forgotten one key piece of information — “2 A.M.” isn’t 23 anymore. There’s no way he’d be caught dead in here.

While I was in the neighborhood, I figured I’d stop by the Sunset Grille. I’ve been wanting to try the Batch 19 I heard they have on tap there, and besides, it’s possible that “2 A.M.” went in there 10 months ago and decided to try to drink every beer on their encyclopedia-sized beer list. That would explain his lengthy absence from the beer drinking scene. Nope. He wasn’t there either.

Next, I decided to check out the Sports Depot, right down the street. We watched a lot of college hoops and football games there back in the day. Oh, snap! There is no Sports Depot anymore! How come nobody told me? Pizzeria Regina? Really? Damn.

At this point, I was starting to think this search might be fruitless. But I still had a couple of places to check out.

Champions was up next. Yes, another sports bar. Always one of my favorite places to watch a game. But I swear “2 A.M.” used to go there for the mudslides alone. In his defense, they were actually pretty good. But that didn’t keep me from giving him an endless load of shit about it. I mean, mudslides, topped with whipped cream? Really? Of course, Champions today looks nothing like it did a few years ago. They’ve completely re-done the place, and made it a much more upscale sports bar. Instead of being inside, it’s now got an open-air feel to it that’s pretty cool. Parking, though, is still a problem. I still remember the time “2 A.M.” had to buy a $15 gourmet cookie at the cookie stand just so he could get his parking validated. That’s three beers worth of cookie right there. Anyway, I was out of luck again. He wasn’t at Champions either.

My next stop was the Fenway area. I got into the ballpark and checked the seats behind the visitors’ on-deck circle, “2 A.M.”‘s favorite spot for shouting obscenities at Derek Jeter. But he wasn’t there either. At this point, I was pretty damn tired.

I figured I’d give it one last shot, and stopped by Causeway Street to check Hurricane O’Reilly’s and Boston Beerworks. Figured maybe I’d catch him sneaking a blueberry beer. Still no luck.

I had all but given up hope when, about a week later, I was sampling some beers at Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge (look for a post next week), when my phone started ringing. I picked it up and said hello. Holy shit. It was “2 A.M.”

“Yo, I’m back on the grid,” he blurted out.

It’s about time.

Mr. X is a contributor to the Beer Drinking Report.