Foodie Friday: Magic Hat Brewery

I consider beer to be as important to happiness in life as food which is why I will be covering craft beer in my Foodie Friday posts. Both my husband and I love craft beer and we seek out new brews and breweries every place we go.

There is a well-established craft beer scene in Vermont. There are many great breweries to check out as well; we chose to tour the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington.  This brewery  came in second in USA Today’s poll for Best Brewery Tour.  That is a big deal when you consider it was up against hundreds of other breweries throughout the United States. You can check out the top ten and read more about the poll here.

Its one of those places you just have to “see”. In other words it is hard to describe. I feel like this brewery is what Willy Wonk’s dark and mysterious brother would have opened (if he had existed).  Has a definite steampunk vibe to it.

The entrance to what they call "the Artifactory".

The entrance to what they call “the Artifactory”.

When you arrive you enter into their retail area. There was a nice person at the front desk to answer our questions about taking a tour. In the retail area they have glassware, bottle openers, tee shirts; the typical promotional stuff.

Some of their merchandise is pretty cool. Makes great gifts for a beer lover!

Some of their merchandise is pretty cool. Makes great gifts for a beer lover!

Towards the back of this area is their Growler bar. Its a pretty impressive sight. 48 taps! You can grab your allotted free samples there or purchase a growler and fill it with your favorite beer. Of course we had already had some of their beer at home but it was fun to try some of their seasonal brews as well as some of the harder to find ones. The bartenders were very knowledgeable about the different beers which was appreciated because I didn’t want to use up a sample on something I might not like.  Some of their best loved beers are the Dream Machine IPL and the #9. I went out on a limb and tried the limited edition Feast of Fools Raspberry Stout. I am not a fan of stouts normally but I do like raspberry based beers. It was delicious. Perfect for sipping after a filling Christmas dinner.

The Growler bar. This by itself is worth the visit.

The Growler bar. This by itself is worth the visit.

We were there around 4pm on a Thursday so it wasn’t very busy. We even got our own private tour! The tour itself is pretty short but it is interesting and informative.  They have a video which walks you through the basics of how beer is made which is great for those who are just getting their feet wet in the world of craft beer. Our guide was full of information and answers to all of our questions. It was a fun, memorable visit; I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes Magic Hat beer or who is simply interested in craft beer.

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Bottles coming down the line to be labeled and filled. Every time they want to bottle a different beer they have to stop and clean EVERYTHING.

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They have machines that fold the boxes! What will they think of next?

I like to drink beer from the breweries I have been to whenever I can. I like the connection to the process. Sadly now that we are back in the KC area Magic Hat beer is hard to find. In fact, many of the wonderful brews we had in Vermont are simply not available here. However, we have several great breweries close by so be looking for future posts about the craft beer here in Kansas City.

Have a great weekend!

-Christy

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Ta Ta for Now……

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We miss you Vermont! Send some snow our way.

I am taking a short break from the blog so I can focus on family and fun for the next two weeks. I have enjoyed sharing all of our travel adventures, my LYS finds, and my crafting and cooking creations with all of you. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I look forward to being back in the new year!

-Christy

Cyber Monday = FREE SHIPPING

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Warm, soft goodies at the Etsy shop.

As some of you many have noticed I do have an Etsy shop where my handmade items are available for purchase. And you also probably know tomorrow is “cyber Monday”. To get you in the shopping mood I am offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders from now until 12/10.

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One of my new favorites, the Vermont Cold Weather Cowl.

 

Sadly we will be leaving Vermont soon so my Etsy shop will be CLOSED after 12/10. I plan on being back up and running in the new year with great new finished items and PATTERNS!!

So head on over to my Etsy shop, and use the code “MERRY100” when checking out.  And don’t forget; today is the LAST DAY to enter the Wooly Wednesday contest. Information on that HERE.

Happy Shopping!!

-Christy

Wooly Wednesdays: LYS in Review

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LYS in Review: NIDO

(802) 881-0068

209 College Street

Suite 2e

Burlington, VT 05401

www.nidovt.com

 

I stumbled upon this little gem during one of our many excursions to downtown Burlington. Its located above the amazing café Stone Soup (I wrote about them recently here). There was a little hesitation when I wasn’t sure if I was opening the right door but once inside I could see the sign at the top of the stairs. There are several other businesses located on the upper floors of the building; its a pretty cool space.

Upon entering I immediately liked the warm, cozy feel of the place. Beautiful walls of fabric and well displayed trunks and bookcases of yarn were complimented by the hardwood floors and vintage fixtures.

Trunks filled with treasure!

Trunks filled with treasure!

It is a small space however I could tell everything has been carefully curated. The high-end fabrics and wools are joined by a small selection of patterns, books and notions that you do not see in your big box craft store.

I had the fortune to speak with the owner the last time I was there. Her name is Phiona and she could not have been nicer. She was full of information, she was helpful with my purchases and more than happy to answer my questions.

Originally from Seattle, the craft bug bit her when she was expecting her first child. After she relocated to Burlington she realized there was a need for a boutique style fabric and yarn shop; a place that carried items with a more modern aesthetic. Thus Nido, which means “nest”, was born.

Although Wooly Wednesdays center around all things yarn I have to mention the great fabric lines she carries. She had the latest from Alison Glass, April Rhodes, and the much sought after Cotton & Steel. She told me she likes to have the newest lines as soon as they come out. All of the great quilting cottons are joined by a rainbow of solid color cottons as well as some linens, knits, and heavier fabrics.

Love walls of beautiful fabrics.

Love walls of beautiful fabrics.

She likes to keep her yarn selection local; mostly stocking yarns that are made in the northeast. Swans Island, String Theory and Green Mountain Spinnery are a few of the local favorites. She also carries Madelinetosh which is just stunning in person.

She recently became a flag ship store for the Quince & Co yarn brand. It was great to see and feel all of their yarns, which I had not seen in person. In addition to having what seemed to be the entire range of colors, she also had quite a few samples so you can see how the yarn looks worked up.

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An entire wall of Quince & Co!

 

Every time I have been there the service has been excellent. Helpful but not pushy. They hold knitting and sewing classes, craft nights, and knitting help nights; you can check the website for more information.

Knit fabric, quilt fabric & a pattern! Can't wait to get to work.

Knit fabric, quilt fabric & a pattern! Can’t wait to get to work.

Unbelievably, I have not purchased any yarn yet but as you can see from the picture above, I did find some fabric. The April Rhodes knit fabric is a gift, the rest is for a quilt I am going to attempt. I am not a quilter at all so wish me luck!

I know I promised a yarn giveaway but this post is already pretty long so I think I will add it to next weeks post along with On the Needles.

Where do you go when you want something special for your next project? I would love to hear about some of your favorite shops!

-Christy

 

Favorite Five: Breakfast in Burlington, Vermont

I love breakfast foods. Blueberry pancakes, maple-cured bacon, gooey cinnamon rolls….but who wants all that work and mess first thing in the morning? Not me! Which is why, for me, going out for breakfast is one of life’s little joys.

Fortunately, we just happen to be living within 20mins of the Burlington, VT area which boasts an amazing variety of highly rated breakfast and brunch spots. My husband and I have been impressed with the high quality ingredients and the selection we have found. I’ve decided to share with you some of our favorite spots.

The list below is in no particular order and keep in mind- there are many great places we just haven’t gotten to yet. Hopefully this list will help narrow down your decision of where to eat this weekend!

 

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1. Penny Cluse Café

This place is outstanding and it seems like everyone in Burlington knows it. Prepare for a bit of a wait even during the week. Our favorite part of the Penny Cluse experience is the variety on their menu. There is a great selection of traditional breakfast items as well as dishes with an authentic Mexican flavor.

We have eaten here several times; Wyatt goes for the Mexican items, I tend to pick the more traditional. Everything has always been excellent. The standouts are the home fries which definitely are NOT from the freezer, and the corn bread muffins, which are so soft and moist you wish you knew how to replicate them at home.

Penny Cluse is located at 169 Cherry Street in downtown Burlington. They are open Monday-Friday 6:45am-3pm, Weekends 8am-3pm. They have a sister restaurant next door called Lucky that we are planning to try in the future.

Dining area at Leunig's.

Dining area at Leunig’s.

2.Leunig’s Bistro & Café

This place, without question, is the most beautiful I have ever eaten in. It is one of the oldest restautrants in downtown Burlington and feels like it is brimming with history. Everywhere you look there is something beautiful to rest your eyes upon.

Of course no amount of interior decorating can make a restaurant last if the food is not also exceptional. And it is. We have only eaten there for brunch but the food was so good I am sure their lunch and dinner entrees would not disappoint. I ordered the chicken friend steak poutine. The chicken was perfectly fried and juicy and the gravy was delicious and flavorful. My husband had the eggs benedict and he declared it was the best he had ever had!

Leunig’s is open Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday 11am-11pm. Weekends, when they serve brunch, they open at 9am. They are located at 115 Church Street right in the middle of historic Church Street. Plan ahead, it get very busy.

3. Bayside Bakery & Coffee Bar

This place is so off the beaten path it doesn’t even have a website so I have linked to its page on Yelp. Doesn’t look like much on the outside, nothing fancy in the inside but the food is GOOD. Everything tastes like it is made from scratch and comes out of the kitchen piping hot. The service is great too; I am pretty sure it is run by a family because we always see the same people there.  We have been here several times and I don’t think you can go wrong with their menu. They are also open for lunch and dinner and have a bakery section where you can purchase items to go.

There doesn’t seem to be hours posted anywhere online so if you need to know I would just give them a call: (802)862-3318. They are located at 824 W. Lakeshore Drive, Colchester, VT 05446.

4.Chef’s Corner Café & Bakery

We accidentally discovered this place hidden away off of Hwy 2 down the street from the Maple Tree Place shopping center. When you walk in you are greeted with glass cases of delicious looking baked goods and menus of their food and espresso drinks. You order at the counter and then they bring it out to you. Our food was delicious and served quickly. In addition to my food I had a peppermint mocha from their seasonal menu that was like a dessert. I would love to order one of their cakes or try something from their bakery area.

Chef’s Corner is located at 2121 Essex Road in Williston. There is another location in Burlington but we have not been there yet. The Williston location’s  hours are  7:30am-3pm seven days a week,  hours may vary on holidays.

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5.Stone Soup

We have only been to Stone Soup once but it made quite an impression on us. Its a cozy spot in downtown Burlington, the kind of place that makes you want to sit and drink coffee there while it snows outside. The space is full of warmth; worn hardwood floors, thick brick walls, chalkboard menus, and glowing light from vintage school house style fixtures.

We both ordered quiche and decided to share a maple walnut scone. We should have done it the other way around! The pieces of quiche were huge and very filling while the scone was so amazing we each wanted the whole thing to ourselves.

The cheddar cheese in the quiche was outstanding and the sharpness was the perfect compliment to the richness of the eggs and cream. The scone was bursting with walnut flavor and had the most delectable maple glaze on top. There were walnuts in it and all over it. Although the quiche was very good, the scone was outstanding.

Stone Soup is located at 211 College Street. They are open Monday-Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday 9am-9pm.

 

Make sure to check out these places this weekend if you are in the Burlington area! And if you are not, plan a trip here. Burlington is pretty cool.

Have a great weekend!

-Christy

 

 

Hello from Vermont

Natural Vermont. This was taken at the Underhill State Park. This state is FULL of State Parks!

Natural Vermont. This was taken at the Underhill State Park. This state is FULL of State Parks!

Once again I have fallen behind on my blogging. Trying to keep up with this in between moves is hard because of the long car rides with no computer access and when I get somewhere new there are so many distractions!!

My husband applied for his Vermont RN license while we were in Carlsbad. The chances that a travel RN position in Vermont would open up just as we were looking for another position were slim but we were hopeful. Some states, like California, have a ton of positions available. Vermont is not one of those states.

Everything wrapped up in Carlsbad at the beginning of September so we loaded up the truck and headed back to the KC area.  It was great to be home for a bit, even though it seemed like we were in a constant whirlwind of activity. We were able to attend my Grandma’s 95th birthday celebration and got to see a lot of family we had not seen in some time.

During the madness of trying to squeeze in as much time with friends and family as possible, Wyatt got a call for a job in Vermont! We couldn’t believe it! The position had already been filled but for some reason the person backed out so they called the next person on their list!

The colors of fall are everywhere. Lucky for me since fall is my favorite season.

The colors of fall are everywhere. Lucky for me since fall is my favorite season.

We have been here since the beginning of October and we love it. We found a furnished rental on Lake Champlain which has allowed us to soak in the brilliant fall foliage. We are close to Burlington, which is filled with locally owned shops and restaurants. I know we are in for some cold weather and probably some snow before we head back to the KC area in January but we are more than happy to endure it. Vermont is really a special place.

One of my favorite areas- Stowe. So beautiful.

One of my favorite areas- Stowe. So beautiful.

Now that we are “settled” for a bit I’ll be able to get going with this blog again. I’ve got some great free patterns in the works and posts that will cover some of our other travels.

Hope everyone is having a great autumn!

-Christy