Ah, spring — the time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to love. Unfortunately, we haven’t had spring for two years, so it’s a good thing Valentine’s Day is solidly in the middle of winter. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you clearly need to catch up with me. Come on, I picked out a couple of places where you can get started. Red Light • 1758 N. Water (on top of Trocadero) • 272-2050 Ambiance: Very dark, with, shockingly, lots of red light. Red rope lights under the bar, transparent red candle holders, red tinted photographic prints. . .very chill. Crowd: Before 9:30, us and the bartender. After 9:30, a capacity crowd of 20-somethings dressed better than me. On Tap: Kronenbourg 1664 (new beer experience of the evening), Beamish, Newcastle, Bass, Haacker-Pschorr Weiss, Nomad Red, Heineken, and Trocadero Belgian White. Top Shelf: Yes. Juke Box: House sound that constantly seemed on the verge of settling on one band, then hanging a sharp left. Men’s Room: A unity of design with the rest of the bar was maintained. Unfortunately, this means that you can’t see a damn thing in the gents’, which perhaps inspired the “You cannot take my integrity nor my faith” and V For Vendetta symbol graffiti. Women’s Room: “They need to put a better sign on the women’s restroom; Jeff just walked into it.”- Lovely Assistant Additional Comments: Excellent chandeliers. Red Room • 1873 N. Humboldt Ambiance: Would you believe it’s a big room with dark red walls and extremely dim lighting? Funny how that seems to bring a laid-back, enjoyable vibe. Crowd: The auxiliary division of the crowd at Red Light. On Tap: Bell’s, New Glarus Spotted Cow and Native Ale, Guinness, Harp, Redhook, Dogfishhead, Newcastle, Bass, Frazischer (probably spelled wrong, font and light levels were at odds), and Allagash (distant runner up for new beer experience of the evening, but recommended for Belgian White fans). Top Shelf: Glenfidditch, Glenlivet, multiple Stolis, Grey Gooses, and Van Goghs, Knob Creek, Godiva liqueur, and many others. Juke Box: House sound once again, which tonight was techno that was about halfway between pop and just-released-five-minutes-ago-in-London. Men’s Room: Like Red Light, the slick design continues inside. Unlike Red Light, the designers have learned the virtues of illumination. Women’s Room: “It’s a bathroom. It’s clean, but it’s definitely possible to lock yourself in if you’re drunk.” Well, you can’t have everything. Additional Comments: There was this one really well lit corner in the back, under a lamp, with one chair at one table, and next to a large speaker. Kind of weird. This concludes the report of the alcohol committee for February. And remember: Barhopping — more fun than watching paint dry, less interesting than mining for uranium on Venus.