Unwinding with BrassTap, Roller Derby, Satchel’s Pizza and Craft Beer

imageA couple of weeks ago, my work week was hectic and not only mentally but physically demanding. By the time Friday rolled around I was exhausted and ready for the weekend. The phone signals don’t reach me in my office so when I left for the day my phone did it’s normal blow up of email, text messages and app notifications.

One app notification in particular caught my attention. According to Untappd, the Doctor had just toasted one of my check-ins of craft beer. If he was toasting, that means he was checking in as well. So I looked it up real quick and sure enough he was supping a craft beer. So I toasted it and waited for a response.

A minute later I got a text message inviting me to join him at BrassTap. I replied I would join him as soon as I got home and checked on the dog and changed clothes. Not long after that the Maestro sent out a text to the group suggesting happy hour at certain spot. The Doctor told him where he was and Maestro was all for it so the two of them were already seated and supping suds when I arrived.

The regular hand shaking and “Howdy-dos!” were exchanged while I sat at the bar with my friends. The bartender approached and we exchanged greetings as well. Luckily I’m there regularly enough that he knows me and my taste buds because when he asked what I wanted to drink I asked “What’s new?” He knows what I like and steered me toward Ballast Point Brewing’s “Victory at Sea”, an Imperial/Double Porter. It has really smooth coffee flavor with hints of chocolate.



The Doctor, Maestro and I philosophyed for a bit, then I had Bold City Brewery’s 1901 Amber Ale, which I thought was a well-balanced ale. I could taste some hops but they didn’t over shadow the slightly roasted malt flavor of a red ale.


The last beer I wanted to be lighter as I usually start light and work my way darker, but this time was reversed. The bartender recommended First Magnitude’s Cool Pond Belgian Blonde, which I had to agree with him was really good and finished well for the set.



The Maestro had another appointment and had to take his leave of us. After the Doctor and I finished our last beers we talked a bit then parted ways until we would meet again the next night at Rowdy’s Roller Derby Bout. Unfortunately he wound up not being able to make it the next day.

The next day I went to a fish fry at O’Leno State Park then headed back in time to get changed and head out to meet Rowdy at the Alachua Country Fairgrounds where the roller derby was held. If you have never been to Roller Derby you need to go at least once. Once you understand the rules and how points are scored it makes easier to understand and root for your team. While the teams were warming up I found Rowdy and said good luck to her then went and purchased a Swamp Head Brewery Stomp Knocker poured from a pitcher. That was the only craft beer they were selling there, though they had cans of your normal American lagers.


I spent the couple hours rooting for the Gainesville Roller Rebels, to no avail, as the Dub City Rollers were Amazons and kicked butt. Though I don’t think they made as many points as they wanted to.

After the bout I found Rowdy and asked if she wanted to go the after party they were having at Gainesville House of Beer. She said what she really needed was food so the nearest place that had good food and craft beer that I could think of was Satchel’s Pizza. Rowdy liked the sound of that so I went to get in line for a table while she helped her teammate’s clean up.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you seen me mention that I don’t like lines and that I will usually not wait for any lengthy time to get a table. Well, there is an exception to every rule, and Satchel’s is it. If you have never been to Satchel’s then you must be new to Gainesville as it is one of the most well-known local restaurants and has almost a cult following. And not without reason.


Satchel’s is known for their pizzas, calzones and salads. They have other items too, but these three things they do very, very well. They also have one of the most unique atmosphere’s you will ever see. Right in front of the restaurant is an old VW bus parked that has sit in the same spot forever. In fact it is actually used for seating guests outdoors. They have indoor and outdoor seating with the whole building kind of decorated in a 60’s deck/patio theme. At the rear of the restaurant is Lightning Salvage, which sells paraphernalia from the 50s, 60s and 70s like the magnetic rolling yo-yo, superballs, flash travel card sets, etc. I could spend hours in that place just looking around. Check out their website at www.satchelspizza.com


In fact, while I was waiting for my table to open and Rowdy to arrive I went to Lightning Slavage and ordered a craft beer at the bar there, First Magnitude’s Drift Mild English Ale, then spent the next 20-30 minutes just looking at the junk they sell (When I say junk in this instance I don’t mean it in a negative connotation. After all one man’s junk…) and thought about the some of the items I remembered from my youth that they sold there.


After a bit Rowdy showed up and about five minutes later our table was ready. We both ordered a craft beer, (I ordered First Magnitude’s Ursa American IPA), and a salad. Then I ordered the Major Calzone and Rowdy ordered a custom calzone. Our beers and salad arrived not long after and we caught up and ate and supped some suds. After we were done with our dinner and got our to-go boxes, the waitress brought over complimentary deserts in the form of cookies. I think Rowdy snagged a chocolate chip, but I couldn’t swear to it because I was eyeballing the macadamia nut. And I ate that cookie with delight, it was one of the best I ever had.


If you haven’t been to Satchel’s Pizza before, one word of caution, they don’t accept credit cards there, but there is an ATM machine which will charge you a fee for using. Luckily my bank refunds those fees for me, because I forgot to bring enough cash with me. Rowdy and I said our goodbyes and were on our separate ways home. But it was a weekend well spent with friends and craft beer.

If you haven’t been to Satchel’s what in the hell are you waiting for?! GO… NOW!!



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