Vermont Brewers Festival on Lake Champlain

Happy Monday!!! I just spent a lovely weekend up in Burlington VT with a great group of friends. This past weekend was the annual Vermont Brewers Festival at Waterfront Park right on Lake Champlain. We dropped the pup off Friday morning and headed up with a couple stops along the way. We stopped at Cabot Creamery in Cabot, VT for a tour and some free cheese. The tour was great, just $3. I love how the Cabot Creamery works- its a coop, owned by the dairy farmers that supply the milk. Over 1 million pounds of milk arrive at the creamery from farms across New England and New York. Favorite cheese? Definitely the alpine cheddar- it was so good, had to get a block to take with us.

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Cabot Creamery- World’s Best Cheddar!

From there we stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s in Waterbury. Oh man, it was so packed. There were so many people, we walked around but didn’t stay…..I did get some Ben and Jerry’s at the scoop shop in Burlington though 🙂 Last stop before the campground was Prohibition Pig, also in Waterbury. They had some great beers of their own on tap, and then an awesome selection of local beers- some from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Hill Farmstead, and Alchemist that are tough to find!

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Ben and Jerry’s! So much sugar, milk, and cream! Look at those mountains in the distance 🙂
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All the flavors that have been retired over the years- RIP
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I would totally camp in this instead of my tent!
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Scoop shop in Burlinton! The line was much better here. I am usually a phish food kinda gal, but gave chocolate therapy a chance- so good!

We stayed at North Beach Campground for the weekend, 4 couples, 4 tents, 2 sites. We put all the tents on one site and used the other site for the fire pit, picnic tables, and set up the screened in EZ-up. We were close to the bathrooms, and they had battery operated hot showers, which are great amenities at a campground. It’s not my favorite campground that I have stayed at, but the location was perfect. It was just a short walk to the lake, and just a little longer walk to the park where the beer fest location. The beer fest on Saturday was great. It was hot, but they had plenty of free water thankfully. We pooled our tickets to try as many beers as possible, attacking each brewery with a divide and conquer strategy. Thankfully we are all close friends, because there were a lot of passed beers! In all, I think we tried around 75 different beers!!! Not bad! We made really great food for the weekend- marinated steak tips, turkey burgers, rotisserie chicken salad with dried cherries and walnuts, and of course, s’mores. We had a camp fire and played cards for hours…it just seems like time doesn’t exist when you are camping.

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I was trying to get a picture with this lovely light house but my friend was being such a goof ball I couldn’t stop laughing. Dress is from Mahi Gold 🙂 
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I love lake views with mountains as the backdrop- do you see Champy out there? That’s Lake Champlain’s version of the Loch Ness monster!
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North Beach- we think those are NY mountains over there!
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Love water views

Sunday we got up, packed up the sites, and explored Burlington a bit. I loved Outdoor Gear Exchange, had to hold myself back from LLBean, and grabbed a couple chocolates at Lake Champlain Chocolates. We did lunch at Farmhouse Tap and Grill and I got the best BLT I have had ever. Everyone loved their meals and beers, definitely recommend it!

Very last stop for the weekend was the Magic Hat‘s brewery which is called the artifactory. It’s a very cool brewery….the building itself looks like a plain, industrial warehouse, but they have really done a lot inside to make it feel like a different planet. It’s dark, neon, and kinda psychedelic- lots to look at. You can try beers there and get growlers. I really liked the Single Chair Golden Ale, dedicated to the single chair lift at Mad River Glen, and Stealin Time which is a wheat ale with ginger.

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Artsy-industrial tower outside the brewery. They definitely know how to dress up the factory. 
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Very cool poster for Magic Hat #9, an elixir that is not quite a pale ale 
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Fitting for my ski bum to take a pic with the Single Chair frame!

We had such a fun weekend. I loved Burlington and Lake Champlain and think we will be returning next year. It was definitely tough getting up this morning to row at 5:30. Oh yes, I am in a learn to scull program this month, what a throwback. I have loved every second of it, but man is it early. I will write a post about it soon! Anyone else been to Burlington? Where did you go? What were your favorite spots?

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Ski Sweater & Christmas Party

Happy Monday!! Mondays usually aren’t the happiest day of the week but since this is only a 3 day work week, and my parents are getting in from Florida today, AND Christmas is this week….well its not that bad of a Monday at all!

This past weekend, my fiance Jon and I hosted a little get together for his friends. We made meatballs set out with rolls and provolone cheese, brussel sprouts roasted with bacon & maple syrup, and then we set out cheese & crackers, chips with a garlic dip, and raw veggies with ranch dressing. One of our friends brought cut up French bread with a mozzarella, tomato, and basil dip. It was so good. To round out our little buffet, Jon and I made chocolate peppermint crunch cookies & peanut butter cookies.

Jon and I like good beers, and so do his friends, so we made that an integral part of the party. Everyone had to bring a beer to share, so either a six pack or one of the bigger 22 oz bottles, and everyone brought a beer for a yankee swap. So we all got to try some fun beers and then everyone got to take a cool beer home with them too. It was a really fun twist on the traditional Yankee swap, and worked with this particular group of friends because they all love trying different beers. My personal favorites to try were the Magic Hat Winter Mingle stout with vanilla from their Winter Wonderland variety pack & the Yard Sale lager from Uinta Brewing Company out in Utah that has a skier on the can with all their equipment scattered around them (been there, done that).

For the party, I threw on my leggings (back is still ouchie from falling off the pony) and my LLBean boot socks with my LLBean quilted scuff slippers, my Old Navy chambray dress shirt that’s long enough in the back to make wearing the leggings acceptable, and a great vintage Ralph Lauren handknit cardigan with snowflakes and little downhill skiers. I think I got it from Ebay for $35.00. There are soooo many awesome sweaters on Ebay and Etsy for great prices. Ralph Lauren, LLBean, and Woolrich are some good brands to look for.

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Peanut butter cookies and chocolate peppermint crunch cookies (favorite)

FullSizeRender (2) I have been struggling a little bit with my hair because we are pretty sure I tore my rotator cuff falling off Dutch (horse friend). It hurts to raise my right arm, so blowdrying has been tough!!! Mizpah is in the second pic, she loves a good party. She loves to cuddle with different people on the couch, clean up dropped food on the floor, and sing (bark) at everyone when they come in the door. We have to watch her though, she has a thing for boozy egg nog this year. Mizpah’s only 5, not old enough to drink haha.

I am loving everyone’s Christmas/Hannukah blog posts. I am kinda happy that most bloggers are done with gift guides, because I love the holiday party/traditions posts more. Yesterday we did the Patriots game over a friend’s house, and then Jon and I went to see the new Star Wars movie….it was amazing, totally geeking out and can’t wait to see it again! I would definitely recommend seeing it if you are a Star Wars fan, but honestly it was a great action movie as a standalone movie too. Ok, stay tuned for more holiday posts this week, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

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