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Our College BookshelfXtra Miles

I live outside of Philadelphia -- a fine area for craft beer.

Last week I was assigned to pick up my girlfriend's younger brother from the airport. The poor kid was only traveling from North Carolina to Philadelphia, but his trip went awry. Long story short, he spent a couple days in Detroit and eventually made it to Harrisburg International. For those of you who don't look at maps, Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania (yes, the same state in which Philadelphia can be found). Harrisburg International Airport is about a three hour drive from Philadelphia International.

Please, bear with me. I'll allow you a beer after this is all over.

Long story short: I drove two hours to Harrisburg to pick up my girlfriend's little brother after being stuck in what is left of Detroit. We then drove three hours to Philly to get his checked bag. His bag made it to Philly much quicker and more efficiently than he did. I then drove him to his college. That took another two hours. All in all, I was on the road longer that day than I was at my job. Once I got the guy to his college, the entire campus was dark. Poor kid comes home to the lights out; power outage.

I was tired and I found my way back to the main road. I was about 40 minutes from home. I was driving south on Route 113 and guess what? I found a brewery: Sly Fox. I've tried some of their beers before. They can a very nice pilsner. But after such a long time of sitting on my ass driving, I couldn't wait to get out of my car and sit down at a bar stool. I quickly gulped down their "Abbey Xtra." Talk about hitting the spot! It was described as a Belgian Single, a hard style to find. It had a medium body, was refreshing, and had some subtle, but nice Belgian flavors.

I am telling you, I didn't mean to, but the beer was inhaled ... the glass hadn’t yet touched the bar and the beer was going down my throat. I actually didn't even realize how quickly I drank it until I saw a man (who I assumed to be a regular) looking at me with sad drunk eyes and an open mouth.

But I survived my long drive and had a couple beers. And now, since I am a man of my word and since you have survived to the end of my story (as I had survived its reality), I allow you to have a beer if you don't already have one. Finish reading this sentence, get up, go to the fridge, and find the beer in the back that you forgot about. Open it, drink it down, and take a seat, but only for a moment, for you don't know if your next journey will lead you to another beer.

-- Jon Harahan