Upcoming Events I am looking forward to!

Very exciting events approaching- which means more posts!

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Soon, I will be going on a very exciting bus, named “Greta the Growler Getta.” Greta is the Granite State Growler Tours tour bus. The tour bus brings you to 3-4 breweries in the Portsmouth/Hampton area (Seacoast area of New Hampshire), as well as a local rum distillery.  Check out their facebook page for updates. I will soon be posting on the tour bus, as well as the breweries and distillery. 🙂

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In September, we will be attending the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival, located in West Dover, Vermont. The festival a weekend long (September 20-22), although we will attend for a day. It is $26pp, which includes a tote bag, wine glass and tastes.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday September 20

Village of Wilmington

5:00-8:00 pm Village Stroll, Wine Tasting Seminars and Valley Chefs Soup Contest

Saturday September 21

Mount Snow Resort

11:00- 5:00 Gates Open Grand Tasting

Enjoy  sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products.

Crafts, artisans and more.

11:00-5:00 Musical Entertainment

11:00- 5:00 Tasting Seminars, Cooking Demonstrations from Junior Iron Chefs, Wine Making     Demonstrations,  Farm Fresh demonstrations and seminars.

Sunday September 22

8:30 AM Pancake Breakfast

11:00 Gates Open Grand Tasting

Enjoy  sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products.

Crafts, artisans and more.

11:00-4:00 Musical Entertainment

11:00- 4:00 Tasting Seminars, Cooking Demonstrations from Junior Iron Chefs, Wine Making     Demonstrations,  Farm Fresh demonstrations and seminars.

Sounds like it will be a great event! I can’t wait to go! Look for my review the following week. 

Powderkeg Beer and Chili Fest

Our last event that we have planned is The 2nd Annual Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival, in Exeter NH. It is happening Saturday, October 5th. The festival will feature beer for all tastes, as well as chili from local restaurants. There will also be live music all day, Also nearby is the 14th Annual Fall Festival, featuring local crafters, vendors and street entertainment. The Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival has over 53 different breweries attending! Many I have had the pleasure of tasting, but many I have not. Look here for the complete list. More interested in the chili? Look here to see who will be there- I already see a lot of great restaurants I know and love!

General Admission tickets are $30 ($35 after Sept. 22nd) and include a Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Fest souvenir tasting glass, 8 beer sample tickets, 5 chili sample tickets and live entertainment. I can’t wait to go and try some new beer and chili!

Are you going to any of these events? The Granite State Growler Tour will be great, I will be able to cross off a few breweries off of my list! I also think the idea of taking a bus is not only a safe way to go, but a fun way to go. I have been at other breweries when a tour stops in, and they always look like they are having a ton of fun. Although I won’t technically be crossing off any breweries or wineries off of my list by attending the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival or the 2nd Annual Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival, both events should be both fun and educational. I also like meeting the winery and brewery representatives at another place than their winery or brewery, because it can help you to determine when you should visit based on what is going on at the respective place, what they are currently working on, etc. Very exciting and fun events up ahead!

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Want to visit Urban Farm Fermentory? There’s a Groupon for that!

Remember my visit to the Urban Farm Fermentory back in March? Well, those of you that have been considering making a visit up there need to check out this groupon deal (I am in no form associated with groupon, I just received the email and figured I would share!).

From groupon:

“$31 for a tour package for 2 (a $62 value)
$59 for a tour package for 4 (a $124 value)
$99 for a tour package for 10 (a $310 value)

Packages include the following for each visitor:

  • Brewery tour
  • Cider and kombucha tasting
  • One 32-ounce growler of cider or kombucha to take home 

Tours and tastings are offered on Fridays and Saturdays, between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.”

 

Mark and I both really enjoyed their cider and Kombucha and highly recommend a visit! Here is the link for the groupon once more: HERE!

Enjoy!

And the fun in between… Stonyfield Yogurt!

I recently went to Stonyfield Farm (located in Londonderry, New Hampshire) with BlogTweetNH. This was my first event with BlogTweetNH, but it defiantly won’t be my last. Upon arriving, we were met by Kristina and Chandra, who both work in the marketing department. Kristina and Chandra showed us a video-tour. Stonyfield no longer offers a typical tour, but the video-tour covered a lot, while still allowing us to stay cool. The video-tour covered how Stonyfield makes their yogurt (Stoneyfield Yogurt has 6 live cultures in it, while most other yogurt has only 2), organic dairy farming, how they use energy and produce energy (the sun plays a HUGE part) and other important topics.

Stonyfield began as a farming school, in Wilton NH in 1983. Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg opened the school together, and started to make yogurt for their own consumption. After determining that the yogurt was good enough to sell, they began to sell the yogurt to help raise funds for the school. After a few years, they determined that a successful yogurt company would make a bigger impact in the community than the school, and decided to run with it. Stonyfield moved to their current location, in Londonderry, NH in 1988. You can now find them everywhere- from grocery stores to colleges.

Stonyfield Yogurt started as two guys who did everything- milked the cows, made the yogurt, made sales calls and even deliveries. Now, they have grown to producing 1.5 MILLION SERVINGS PER DAY!!

After the video-tour was complete, Kristina and Chandra had us all introduce ourselves (and our blogs!) and answered any questions we had… Then came the tasty part!We all went into the yogurt room, and were told to grab a Greek yogurt and Blend yogurt from the fridge. I chose Greek Chocolate on the Bottom, and the Blackberry blend. 

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So delicious! To be honest, I had been afraid to try Greek yogurt- afraid that I wouldn’t like it. It was soo good! The Blackberry Blend was also delicious, and another type of yogurt I probably would not have chosen previously at the supermarket. In the past, I have not been too fond of yogurt that has fruit in it, but the Blend is perfect- you still know that there is fruit in it, it is just finely chopped.

While we were enjoying our Greek yogurt and Blend yogurt, we were told about a fairly new part of Stonyfield, Brown Cow. Brown Cow started in the 1970’s in New York and later moved to California. In 2003, Brown Cow was purchased by Stonyfield and became part of the Stonyfield family. Brown Cow recently introduced Cream Top Greek Desserts. We had the opportunity to try both varieties- Creamy Yogurt with Caramel on the Bottom and Chocolate Yogurt with Cherries on the Bottom. I am usually more of a chocolate person, but since I had just had the Greek Chocolate on the Bottom, I decided to try the Caramel. OMG. Amazing. The yogurt had more of a custard consistency, and when you dipped your spoon just to the bottom and grabbed some caramel- YUM! I was also able to try the Chocolate/Cherry, which was also good, but caramel would be my 1st choice.

IMG_3020[1]They are currently available at Sam’s Club exclusively.

Next up- Frozen Yogurt! The first two varieties we tried were the Greek OIKOS variety, Super Fruits and Honey. The Super Fruits was really good. Great combination of Pomegranate, Raspberry and Acai berry; very smooth. The Honey I wasn’t as fond of, but I think it was more so that the flavor was unexpected. Next was Blueberry, which was very true to flavor. IMG_3021[1] IMG_3022[1]

After trying three of their frozen yogurts, we were told to look in the fridges and see what else we wanted to try. Check out their fully stocked fridges!

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We decided to try three more frozen yogurts, this time we tried the regular yogurts (not Greek). We tried Minty Chocolate Chip, which had a great and strong mint chocolate flavor. We also tried the Vanilla Fudge Swirl.

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My favorite frozen yogurt was the Gotta Have Java- it is like eating a cold cup of the best cup of coffee you have ever had- SO GOOD!

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Stonyfield also had really cool spoons- they were strong and durable, but surprisingly were made from recycled yogurt cups!

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After we were done filling our faces, we each were given a goody bag. The bag itself is really cool- it is a ChicoBag, made from 7 recycled water bottles, and stuffs into itself so you can throw it in your bag. Also included was a Stonyfield pencil, Stonyfield Carabiner, Stonyfield lip balm, coupons and the Stonyfield Yogurt Cookbook. I can’t wait to try out a recipe from the cookbook! We were also each sent home with a 12 pack of the Brown Cow Cream Top Greek Desserts. IMG_3016[1]

Before leaving, we stopped for a group photo (or 2…)

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Want to visit? Stonyfield visiting hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday from 8 am to 5 pm

Thursday 8 am to 6 pm

Saturdays from 9:30 am to 5 pm
Closed Sundays, holidays and holiday weekends*.

Other Blogs From the fellow members of BlogTweetNH (featured are those who also attended the visit to Stonyfield!):

Allie Janine Amy  Sarah  Sarah Jane Emily 

Cape Ann Brewing Company, Gloucester, MA

We recently stopped at the Cape Ann Brewing Company, located in Gloucester, MA.

From their website: “Fisherman’s beer — whose bold flavor and character reflect the spirit and courage of the sailors of the North Atlantic fishing fleet — is a tribute to hard work and a salute to friendships that endure.”

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IMG_2673 a look at the brewery from outside

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their very extensive beer menu

We arrived wanting a snack, and to try new beers. They had a few options- we could each buy a pint, or a flight of 6. We chose to purchase two flights of 6, so we could try all of their current offerings of beers.

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Mark with the beers

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Fisherman’s Brew: had an IPA flavor. 5.5% ABV. American Amber Lager. Dry, hoppy finish

Fisherman’s Ale: I wasn’t a fan of, but Mark enjoyed. 5.0% ABV. A German Style Kolsch Ale. Easy drinking beer with a touch of noble hops.

Fisherman’s IPA: strong flavor. Too strong for me. 5.5 % ABV.

Fisherman’s Great Wit Whale: tastes like I would expect it too. Very refreshing. 6.3% ABV. Light and refreshing, brewed with coriander and orange peel.

Fisherman’s Pils: good, slight strawberry fruity flavor. 5.4% ABV.  Light and refreshing, yet dry and crisp.

Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout: Perfect blend of pumpkin and a stout. Second time around, felt a stronger pumpkin nose than flavor. 7.0% ABV.

Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison: great flavors of strawberry and rhubarb. 150# rhubarb & 250# strawberries! 7% ABV Rhubarb toned the strawberry down, to make it refreshing versus overwhelming.

Fisherman’s Chili Stout: Perfect undertone of chili. Second time around, tastes of chocolate. Reminded me of chocolate-chili truffles I made. 5.4% ABV Brewed with both jalapeno & habanero chilies.

Fisherman’s Navigator:  a traditional doppel-bock. I wasn’t a fan, but Mark was. 7.0% ABV

Fisherman’s Honey Pilsner: was an interesting combination, especially after having had honey wine (mead, at Moonlight Meadery).  Sweet honey wasn’t overwhelming, but made you think about the beer you were drinking. 4.6% ABV. Made with 20# honey.

Fisherman’s Spruce Tip Biere de Garde: spicy. Smelled and kind of tasted like the holidays without being strong or dark in taste. 7.3% ABV, brewed with spruce tips and orange peel.

Fisherman’s Glosta Strong Ale: typical strong ale. The big deal about this beer was that 100% of proceeds of this ale are going to the Boston One Fund, which made me want to try it even more. 7.5% ABV.

IMG_2677Fun way of holding condiments on the table. 

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Mark ordered clam chowda, he said it was really good- clams were ground up

IMG_2686I ordered a chicken quesadilla

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We had sat on the back deck, after eating we went out and took pictures of the area

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Fun taking photos outside after 🙂

Milly’s Tavern, Manchester NH

A brewpub on our list showed up on groupon?! Yes please. There was recently a group for Milly’s Tavern, located in Manchester NH. The groupon was for 1 tasting tray, 2 pints and an appetizer. Nice, inexpensive way to try out a new place and have/start dinner!

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Milly’s Tavern is a brewpub, having at least 18 beers on tap at a time.

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We went on a Saturday night, as we both had worked all day. When we arrived, we were uncertain of what to do, where to go. The bar and restaurant were set low, down a small flight of stairs. We looked around for a sign stating if we should wait to be seated or to seat ourselves… We must have looked confused, because the bartender came over and told us we could sit wherever we would like. We walked over to a high top table.

It took a few minutes for a waiter to acknowledge that we were there. Once he came over, we told him (as groupon tells you to), that we had the groupon. Bad move. More on that later.

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Brew offerings

We were given a sheet of paper with six squares on it to write down which six beers we wanted to try. This was nice, because we had a choice. Many times a tasting tray is set for you, without giving you the option. We chose: Twisted Ale, Raspberry Hefeweizen, Pumpkin Ale, General John Stark Dark Porter, Manch-Vegas IPA, and the Oatmeal Stout.

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Our three favorites were: Pumpkin Ale (much better than Sam Adam’s!), Oatmeal Stout (very smooth), and Twisted (tastes of iced tea, lemonade and beer). I didn’t make the connection until much later that the Twisted was similar to a Twisted Tea.

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Mark ordered a Pumpkin Ale for his first pint, followed by an Oatmeal Stout. I chose the Twisted for both of mine.

IMG_2620Pumpkin Ale

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Twisted Ale

We ordered chicken nachos for our appetizer. We didn’t get them loaded because we (well I) tend to pick off most of that, and it was a ton of stuff that would be added. They were really good, and were devoured.IMG_2618

Following the nachos, we ordered one of their nightly specials, a Buffalo BBQ Chicken Pizza. It was sooo good (and of course I forgot to take a picture of it). The crust was perfect- light but fluffy and crispy all at the same time.

It took awhile to be able to order more drinks, and to get the bill. At the end of our night there, a heavy metal battle of the bands started- made me laugh. The singer made more noises then singing or yelling. Was very… interesting.

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Although sites like groupon suggest that you tell the server you have a groupon, I have found that you are better off not. Typically, when I or others I know have told a server that we have a groupon or other deal, they disregard the table, expecting that they will not be compensated appropriately. We left a tip based on the total bill- including what we would have paid had we have not had the groupon. Although the service was not good, we wanted to prove a point that just because someone has a groupon does not mean you will not be compensated appropriately. We responded to Groupon when asked how our visit was, and let them know.  We did not hear back.

Plymouth Bay Winery, Plymouth MA

We recently visited Plymouth Bay Winery, located in Plymouth, MA with my Dad.

The winery was a little difficult to find- it has the same address as Isaac’s Restaurant, but is located in a separate building, set in the back of the parking lot.
The winery is owned by a husband and wife team, Pam and Michael Carr. The Carr’s are foodies, who love making people happy. They took over the winery in 2011 from a friend.
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Michael was very welcoming upon our arrival, as was the tasting area. Four stools were set up at the end of the counter, but they are able to expand and use the whole counter when they are busy. We were given two options for tasting- we could try four wines for free, or all of them for $5-6, with the purchase of a glass. We chose to try them all.
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Our tasting was run by the owner, Michael . The only negative comment I had about this winery, was that the tasting interactions seemed very rehearsed. Any comments that we made felt as though they were brushed off for a good portion of the tasting. It seemed as if more conversation would ruin his train of thought. He gave very informed information  and it would have been the perfect amount of information if it was a busy time. Since we were the only customers at the time, we were trying to have a little bit more conversation and enjoy the wine as we went. They became more conversational as the tasting wore on, and after we were done tasting (sometimes it seems like because Mark and I look young, we aren’t taken as seriously…?) All in all though, we learned a little and enjoyed what we tried.
We were all pleasantly surprised by this winery. I tend to enjoy more sweet, fruit wines (Mark does as well). Luckily for us, the wines were all on the fruity side and all those listed with the word “bay” have fruit other than grape in them. This winery did not have a wine I disliked.
Widow’s Walk: made with the Cayuga grape (similar to Riesling). Had flavors of apple and pear, and was a delicious way to start the tasting. Smooth, with a great flavor. We bought a bottle to take home… well to take camping and consume that night!
Cranberry Blush: their top summer seller. Called “the pucker.” A semi-dry wine, blending cranberry and white grapes. Told it would also make a great spritzer by adding club soda and fresh limes. We also bought a bottle of this to take with us.
Drydock White: Made from the diamond grape, a cross between the Concord and Lona grape. This wine had soft citrus notes.
Blueberry Bay: A favorite for cabernet and merlot lovers. Was very smooth, and unexpected. This was the first Blueberry wine I have tried, and was pleasantly surprised by it. Very smooth and not too high in tannins (didn’t leave a dry feeling in your mouth). Recommended to serve over pineapple ice cubes.
Blackberry Bay: Light, smooth and easy to drink. Recommended to serve over lime-aid ice cubes; topped off with gin and tonic for a “Billionaire”; or to marinade peaches in for dessert.
Cherry Bay: Sweet bing cheeries. Recommended to serve over lemonade ice cubes with fresh mint for a “Plymouth Bay Bomb,” or with a shot of chocolate liqueur for a “Chocolate Covered Cherry.”
Colonial Red: made from the Concord grape. This fruity red wine is high in antioxidants. I felt it was a good red to share with friends that enjoy red wines.
Cranberry Bay: made from local Cranberries. Great wine to have for Thanksgiving. Recommended: add orange juice to create a “Plymouth Bay Kiss,” or apple cider and cinnamon for a “Plymouth Bay Toddy.”  We also tried Cranberry Bay blended with Cherry Bay, for a “wicked pissah sangria.” The blend worked well together.
Raspberry Bay: A true dessert wine. Great flavor. Recommended to serve over chocolate ice cream; with grilled fruit; cobblers, cheesecake, or coffee cake. Also recommended to add vodka and pineapple to it to create a “Sexy PBW Martini.”
The last items we tried were jellies. In total, we tried three. They typically only have you try two, but my Dad commented on one of them that it would be great on a pork loin (he was planning on making one that evening). Upon hearing this, , had us try one more-. It was perfect to use as an additional flavor on the meat.
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What to purchase was the difficult decision we had to make. All of the wines were delicious! My Dad bought the “Grape Rosemary Jelly”, and between Mark and I, we bought two bottles of wine- “Widow’s Walk” and “Cranberry Blush.”
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Prior to leaving, the owners directed me to their recipe book, found here: www.plymouthbaywinery.com/pdfs/pairing.pdf
Some findings from the pairing book:

PBW’S WICKED PISSAH SANGRIA RECIPE

1 bottle CRANBERRY Bay

1 bottle CHERRY Bay

Mandarin Vodka to TASTE

1 apple, chopped

1 peach, chopped

1 orange, sliced

1 lemon, sliced

1 lime, sliced

Couple DASHES of ground cinnamon

Cherry Bay Bomb

Cherry Bay Wine

Chocolate liquor

Blend to taste with or without ice

Raspberry Bay-Chocolate Ice Cream in a Wine Glass

Raspberry Bay Wine well chilled

Chocolate Ice Cream

Fresh or Frozen raspberries

Wine Glasses

Fill each glass with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. Add fresh or frozen raspberries and top with RASPBERRY BAY wine until 2/3 full. Put in freezer/refrigerator for a few minutes to keep cold. Then bring out the glasses and let them rest a few minutes (letting the ice cream melt a bit), then have your guests drink down most of the RASPBERRY BAY wine and then give them a spoon to enjoy the melted pleasures of the chocolate and RASPBERRY BAY wine

Mmmmm… Might have to restock my supply! I’m getting thirsty!
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The delicious ribs my Dad made that night, using the “Grape Rosemary Jelly.”