PubNight #14 (1/12/06) - 8:00pm at J. Patrick's Irish Pub

In September of 1814, Baltimore's Fort McHenry was bombed for 25 hours straight by British warships. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and poet (try to explain that combination on a resume nowadays), was on board one of the British ships during the battle, having been detained by them after boarding to negotiate release of a prisoner. Unable to tell from there how the fort was doing, his first sign that it had survived was seeing massive 30x42' US flag flying there (sewn together at nearby Claggett's Brewery). He wrote a catchy poem about; you might have heard it.

The fact that this famous flag came together in a brewery reinforces just how deeply beer is intertwined with the course of world events. This week, we make our own trip to the edge of Fort McHenry. Are we planning to get bombed by the British? I think not. Instead, we will be getting bombed with the Irish.

This place caught our attention by winning the "Best Irish Bar" award from the City Paper for, like, every year. It's NYC PN veteran Petro's birthday this week, and he always takes us to a favorite Irish bar; as a result, Greg is conditioned with a reflex this time of year to seek one out.

Thursday nights, like many there, features live traditional Irish music. Directions (to make sure you don't end up in the Fort) are at Some sources suggest they don't take credit cards, so bring that grubby green stuff along.

You say you're still not buying the beer/history connection? Consider this. Over 100 years later, in 1920, the British enlisted reserves to reinforce the Royal Irish Constabulary. That Ireland based police force was overwhelmed trying to surpress the increasingly violent fight for Irish independance from British rule. As there weren't enough of the official uniforms for this RIC Reserve Force to wear, they instead were given khaki army pants and dark RIC or British police shirts and belts. This patched together combination reminded the Irish of a breed of hunting dog bred nearby, and the reserves acquired a nickname. The dogs were named for their coloring, which was Black and Tan.

Class dismissed.

Averaging more than 25 hours bombed every month,
--Your Baltimore gang of four

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