Weekend Roundup 7/23

by: Sara Bozich

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Today kicks off a weekend-long camping trip with a big group of friends at Little Buffalo State Park. As of last night, my husband tried to buy the entire Bass Pro Shops store, and so we are semi-well-equipped. I’m looking forward to hiking, kayaking and relaxing in nature on this beautiful weekend.

pinchot

It will be semi-interrupted, however, as I will be joining Bruce on Saturday morning for our show.

We wrap up camping on Sunday, then Dad is coming over for dinner. I just got a Veggetti, wonder if he’s into zucchini noodles?

ICYMI — Definitely check out these posts this week. More to come from #TandSdoAsheville, too, so stay tuned.

What are you doing this weekend?

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Giveaway: Free Wings for a Year from Arooga’s

by: Sara Bozich

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Arooga’s turns seven this Saturday and is ready to party like a rock star all weekend long.

Rt22AnniversaryBlogSaraBozich(1)

The 7th anniversary celebration kicks off Friday at its original Route 22 location by doing several things that you’d expect the from the region’s best sports bar:

  • free beer fest
  • 59 cent wings
  • $6 pitcher specials
  • $500 cornhole tournament
  • Great live music plus DJ battle
  • Of course, sports on widescreens
  • And a $250 wing-eating contest

“It’s been a great seven years and our brand is just hitting its stride,” said Gary Huether, Jr., president and co-founder of Arooga’s.

Arooga’s is one of the fastest growing restaurant concepts in the country and currently has nine (soon to be 10) corporate locations in the area, and it opened its first franchise location in Uncasville, Connecticut adjacent to the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in March as part of a 15-location multi-unit agreement with the Mohegan Holding company.

In addition, new franchise agreements with several partners gives the Arooga’s brand a total of 48 units, 10 corporate and 38 franchise locations, either built or under contract. Arooga’s is perhaps best known for being selected as America’s Next Top Restaurant Franchise, beating more than 250 entrants from 36 states in a program co-sponsored by Sysco Foods and The Franchise Edge in a nationwide search to find an independent restaurant to become the next great restaurant franchise.

To celebrate, this week we’re giving away FREE WINGS FOR A YEAR from Arooga’s! To enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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REVIEW: Oskar Blues Brevard

by: Sara Bozich

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The 2015 Beer Bloggers Conference kicked off last Friday in Asheville, NC — “Beer City, USA” — and after a welcome discussion from CraftBeer.com‘s Julia Herz, and a discussion on Asheville’s journey to become a hub for craft beer featuring brewery owners and beer writers as panelists — we were off for two brewery tours.

First stop: Oskar Blues Brevard.

oskar blues

T and I hopped the Oskar Blues trolley, obviously. Who needs air conditioning? Not me! (P.S. I love this about Asheville. I know I’m in the minority. #humidityhairloveitthere)

We prepared poorly and didn’t have libations for the ride there, but we did make new friends when Ryan Self from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery called out Tierney for not drinking a stout nor wearing stilettos.

oskar blues

Thus began the beginning of a weekend-long friendship with Nick from Drink.Blog.Repeat. and Jonathan Wells, a.k.a., All the Wells.

Once at Oskar Blues, we were offered our choice of Oskar Blues Pinner or Mama’s Little Yella Pils and helped ourselves to coozies and those Oskar Blues can necklaces that I of course took but have no idea what I will do with it.

oskar blues

You guys know I’m like, obsessed, with Oskar Blues Pinner, right? I had it first at Brewhouse Grille in the spring, and it is — hands down — the best session IPA I’ve ever had. Jimi filled me in on the name (my pot knowledge isn’t what it should be?) — A “pinner” is a thin, tightly rolled marijuana cigarette low on buzz.

Pinner the beer is a session IPA that is miraculously full-bodied and oh so dank.The biggest problem with session IPAs is that often the beers smack you in the face with hops but are too light-bodied and disappoint the palate. Even Tierney said Pinner was dangerously easy to drink, and Jimi and I have been singing its praises for months.

After a reasonable amount of socialization, we were welcomed by Anne Fitten Glenn and presented with breaking Oskar Blues news:

OBIPA

Yes, that’s right — and no, they don’t already have one! Pretty exciting stuff, and I can’t wait to try it. (PSA: Oskar Blues is available locally via Westy’s.)

We also got a tour of the brewery, snacked on some crystal malts and crushed up some hop pellets before heading back out to the outside beer garden (?) to sample more beers.

Oskar Blues

We got to try the Oskar Blues Death by Coconut, an Irish style porter with chocolate and coconut, which was soooo good. But of course my favorite was the Crowlers floating around of a mango habanero version of Dale’s Pale Ale. Yes, please.

Before we left, our new friends scored a sixer of Dale’s to smuggle on to the bus ride to Sierra Nevada. Stay tuned!

Categories: Bloggers, Craft Beer, Travel

Finger Lakes: Bachelorette Style

by: Kelly Leighton

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I am getting married at the end of August, and so it was decided I needed a bachelorette party.

Back in the day, I was all about the late nights, last calls and “oh-my-god-what-happeneds?” Today, it’s rare I am up past 9 p.m. on a weekend, so I knew I wanted a much more low-key weekend. A weekend drinking wine in the Finger Lakes with 10 friends was exactly what I needed.

kelly bachelorette

With so many of us, my soon-to-be sister-in-law rented a large house in Ithaca from Airbnb. Half of the group arrived Friday, and we kicked off the weekend by visiting Six Mile Creek Vineyard. This winery had a beautiful patio, and we split two bottles of wine and some snacks out there while enjoying the pleasant afternoon.

After getting settled at the house, we decided to head to Viva Taqueria for dinner. The place was packed, but we didn’t have to wait too long for a table. The food was delicious and affordable. Margaritas were only $6, so everyone was pretty happy.

After that, we called it a night, electing to sit outside of our weekend home, drinking wine and being overly nostalgic … Or maybe that was just me demanding everyone sing along to Third Eye Blind.

kelly bachelorette

Our limo picked up the 11 of us at 10 a.m. on Saturday. We used Fitzgerald Brothers, and I can’t recommend them enough. Our driver, Gary, was so kind and so funny. We loved him.

Our first stop was Three Brothers Wineries and Estates. Tim and I visited here when we came last August and loved it, so I was happy to return. On the property, there are three wineries and one brewery, so whether you preferred sweet wine, dry wine or beer, you were able to get what you wanted — or all of the above, like most of us did. This is a really fun place to visit, and I highly recommend it.

kelly bachelorette

Our second stop was Bellwether, a cidery. We were running late from spending too much time at Three Brothers, so we didn’t stay here too long, but their cider, ranging from dry to sweet, is very good.

Our last stop was Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard. As I have mentioned, I like sweet wine, and I love some Red Cat, because it really tastes like juice, so this was a great stop. Not only is the wine marked way down available for purchase, but they have an amazing patio, The Oasis. We had a little bit more time here, so we were all able to enjoy wine slushies while sitting outside. It was awesome.

kelly bachelorette

Our grand plans for going out to dinner dissolved in some take out, as well as a few loud rounds of Heads Up.

It was exactly the kind of bachelorette weekend I wanted — I even stayed up past 11 p.m. both nights, which is pretty remarkable for me these days. And, of course, I logged some solo miles in Ithaca, because what kind of bachelorette doesn’t involve running? Hint: Not mine.

Categories: Travel, Wine

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