Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beer & Teddy Bears

In keeping with tradition, the Krueger side of the family planned a fall pilgrimage to a remote location roughly four hours from home.  Last year we'd decided to imbibe at a few wineries in Western NY.  This year we'd decided to do a brewery tour in Burlington, VT.  The tour included the Vermont Pub & Brewery, American Flatbread/Zero-Gravity Brewery, Switchback Brewing Company, and the ever famous Magic Hat.  I would strongly recommend utilizing a touring service such as Burlington Brew Tours.  It's a good time and a good excuse to start drinking before noon.

Now I have to say I'm a pretty inexperienced beer drinker.  College times included beer made for light weights (i.e. Schmirnoff, Keystone, Bud Light, Rolling Rock and occasionally Corona).  Nowadays I typically stick to hard liquor or wine but I have grown to appreciate Shock Top, Blue Moon, Rare Vos, and Magic Hat's Wacko.  Taking a tour of different breweries in Vermont however has expanded my beer horizons and I can now say I have a fondness for raspberry and blueberry beers, octoberfest beers, and the entire Magic Hat line.  I am still not an IPA fan (bitter!) but I can distinguish between a beer which has been naturally carbonated and one which has not by the "levelness" of the frothy head.  Sounds dirty, but trust me it's as technical reference intended to make me sound smart.

Before heading back to NY, we decided to visit the Vermont Teddy Bear factory.  I know following a few paragraphs about beer with some text about teddy bears may make you think of the Grateful Dead Bears, but fear not there were no hallucinogenics involved.  The tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory was absolutely adorable.  They really take their product seriously, so much so that it's actually fun.  Each teddy bear's box is equipped with an air hole and text on the bottom that says "If you can read this the bear inside is upside down getting a headache."  They also offer a lifetime warranty on all of their bears.  You can send it back to their "hospital" for repairs so long as the tail tag, a moveable arm/leg joint and an eye ball are available to prove it was one of their bears.  I was actually tempted to buy one for Riley because no matter how many times he wrecks it, I can ship it back to get repaired for free.  Instead the hubby and I created a fall themed teddy with an orange bow-tie and a white t-shirt with a pumpkin on it.  I may have to order additional clothing online so he can stay out on display year round.  Makes me think of my Great Grandma, aka "Grammy", who had a doll named Priscilla who stayed out on display year round with different attire for the season.  I guess some things wear off on you.

Anywho, has anyone done any other wine or brewery tours to recommend?  We'll need some new ideas for next fall!

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