by Robin Boland
At the behest of the Emerald editor (such a demanding boss) I recently found myself ensconced at the Slow Boat Tavern, a newish addition to the Hillman City business family. It’s a long, narrow space, easily accommodating the surprisingly bustling Friday night crowd in residence. I’d characterize the crowd as more Georgetown than at the Union Bar down the street but that may have been due to the motorcycle helmet sitting on the bar. The only thing missing, in my opinion, is a shuffleboard table although I’m not sure where they’d put it.
The Slow Boat’s offerings consist of a carefully curated selection of beers as well as a cider delicious enough that I needed to have 3 just to make sure (the editor definitely owes me for completing this tortuous assignment). My drinking companion ordered a stout with a slight coffee flavor that was also yummy, even for a non-stout drinker like myself. Other than that there’s peanuts. Lots & lots of peanuts. This is most definitely NOT a nut-free zone a la my son’s elementary school. Free, self serve peanuts is pure marketing genius, giving you a powerful thirst as well as providing something to do with your hands while you’re rambling on.
Here’s the deal with the peanuts. If you, like me, were trained by age 3 not to throw food, trash, etc. on the floor then you may struggle with the fact that you’re supposed to throw your basket of empty peanut shells on the floor. Luckily for me my companion had no qualms about it since I wanted more peanuts (see marketing genius) but couldn’t bring myself to just dump the shells on the floor. Around about the second cider I developed a technique of collecting a few shells on the table top and then casually swiping them off on to the floor which somehow seemed less rude. Note that only cards are accepted at the Slow Boat (no cash) and it’s 21 and over all the way (no kid rail here). While nut allergists and neat freaks should probably stay away I otherwise highly recommend a visit, especially if you’re a beer enthusiast.