Ultimate #Wineing Bus Trip to PSU

by: Sara Bozich
September 20, 2016
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Each year ,The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey packs up a couple of Premier Limousine buses and heads to a Penn State game for the Ultimate #Wineing Bus Trip to PSU, which includes an all-inclusive ticket for a full day of football, booze and food.

For this year, The Vineyard is heading up to one of the biggest games on the Nittany Lions schedule — Homecoming. This is the perfect excuse for any Penn Stater who hasn’t been to a homecoming in Happy Valley.

It’s not just a game, it’s an experience.

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Depart: 6:30 a.m.

Enjoy the beautiful fall ride up 322 to Happy Valley in V.I.P-style while sipping on mimosas or a nice cold morning beer from the brewery. Or sleep, because you will have a full day of tailgating and football ahead of you.

Arrive in State College: 8:30ish

Step off the bus and breathe in the cool, crisp State College air. October football is the best time to tailgate, and The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey will set you up in style with plenty of beer, wine, food, games and MORE. As they say in Happy Valley “Tailgate with the best.”

As they say in Happy Valley, “Tailgate with the best.”

Game time: Noon

Take that last swig of booze and head up the Beaver Stadium squad-deep with the rest of the tailgate to see a new and budding rivalry between Penn State and the Maryland Terrapins. PLUS, experience everything that makes homecoming in Happy Valley so special, from the Blue Band to seeing Penn State legends return to the field.

Postgame

Head back out to the bus (hopefully) for a PSU victory tailgate. Grab your fill of more booze and food before heading back on the bus to depart for home.

Arrive back at The Vineyard: 10 p.m.

Tickets are $150 dollars and are ALL INCLUSIVE.

Just for perspective, a ticket for the game alone would cost $60-75. Add in the all of the food and booze you can dream of, plus take away the worry of having to deal with parking ($40) and traffic, and it’s a deal that can’t be beaten.

The Best Ways to Camp in the Finger Lakes

by: Sara Bozich
September 20, 2016
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Last weekend, we went camping in the Finger Lakes for the first time.

For many of my friends, this trip is a regular occurrence (see Kelly’s trips there), and I’ve long been saying it has the perfect ingredients for Andy and I both to enjoy a trip: wine and fishing.

Squad has a surprising interest in camping — our last trip we rolled in 15-deep to a private campground near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon — and we’ve learned that due to our volume and penchant for beer, wine, and whiskey by a campfire that it’s sometimes best if we avoid more family friendly state parks. 

Campground Owners of New York have sites all over upstate New York, and we were able to score a location at Cheerful Valley Campgrounds. Our agenda was taking us to Central New York on Day 2 (you’ll read more about that next week), so we stayed a bit further north in Phelps, NY.

Another couple joined us for this weekend excursion, and we planned two stops thanks to recommendations from my friend who runs the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association.

Hand + Foot – Corning, NY

We left Harrisburg around 4 p.m., and landed in the cute town of Corning, NY around 7 p.m. We reported to the oddly named Hand + Foot restaurant, where we pretty quickly scored seats at the bar and began pouring over its expansive drink menu.

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I was drawn to a page full of Boilermakers — yep, beer and a shot — but all purposefully matched. I opted for the boonville barbeque, which was Anderson Valley “Briney Melon Gose” (one of my summer favorites) paired with a blend of Del Maguey “Crema,” Mezcal, and agave syrup. The sweet smokey tequila/mezcal mixture was a complemented well by the refreshingly salty gose.

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Meanwhile, my friends sampled from the sours, Belgians and local IPAs from the beer menu (and I, too, eventually had a delicious local DIPA).

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We were hungry, and Hand + Foot had an interesting menu, a variety of items with unusual ingredients (cheeto powder on your BLT, anyone?), and we sampled their housemade pickle plate, Bahn Mi, Poke, Fried Buttermilk Chicken sandwich and Beer Brisket sandwich. The pickles were great, and favorite dishes included the Bahn Mi (done unconventionally) and Beer Brisket sandwich.

Our bartender (who initially told us Corning was boring, but we forgive him) hooked us up with some housemade Fireball shots after someone else purchased them and bailed!

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Then, the check came with Smarties! Total wins.

We still had a good bit of travel yet, so we hopped back into the car and headed to our next stop in Watkins Glen.

Graft Wine + Cider Bar – Watkins Glen, NY

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My friend highly recommended Graft Wine + Cider Bar, the perfect place for a cider lover (Lissa) and wine lover (me!).  By this time it was near closing time, but we were able to have a couple glasses of wine and snacks.

graft wine and cider

I immediately ordered the rosé they were carrying — a local by Atwater Vineyards Rosé of Cabernet Franc. I loved it and took a bottle to go. Meanwhile, Lissa dove into their cider list and took home a few bottles herself.

Graft’s small food menu looked terrific, but since we’d just eaten in Corning, I ordered just a few snacks — warmed Marconi almonds and olives.

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The bonus to this adorable little wine hideaway was that it also was a bottle shop — so we could grab things on the menu, plus additional treats — to go.

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Had it been earlier, I’m confident we would’ve spent even more time here — we’ll definitely be back.

However, it was time for the 50-min trek to our final destination.

Cheerful Valley Campgrounds

camping finger lakes

It had occurred to us while at Hand + Foot that a) we’d probably arrive after the camp store closed, and b) we needed firewood. So I called Cheerful Valley Campgrounds in advance and let them know that we’d arrive late — and asked if we could pre-purchase some firewood.

The staff — even via phone — was so friendly and accommodating. They not only agreed to drop three bundles of firewood at our site in advance (and put the key in the door of our cabin!), but they offered to let us simply settle up the next morning.

fire camping

So when we arrived at the campsite rather late — nearly 11:30 p.m. I believe — we were pretty well set.

I should mention that we all usually tent camp, but given our second-day itinerary, we wouldn’t be spending too much time on-site, and it seemed better to request the cabin. And boy, were we glad we did when it poured for hours on night two.

camping troegs

By morning, however, Steve cooked us breakfast on the grill (with wood, of course) — all Harrisburg local, mostly from Broad Street Market! North Mountain Pasture breakfast sausage, vegetables from Radish & Rye or their own garden, and grilled country bread. A great way to start the morning! (Next time we won’t forget coffee, though!)

Cheerful Valley Campground is largely equipped for RVs, but it does have tent sites and a handful of cabins. They’re basically just coverage and electricity. We slept on bunk beds in a one-room space but had the benefit of windows, a ceiling fan, a small fridge, a microwave and a porch.

»» Check out all of the camping options in the Finger Lakes

The next morning when I went to settle up at the camp store, I encountered possibly one of the friendliest people ever, who helped us with acquiring more firewood and some details about the campground. Other great points of this privately owned campground include clean restrooms and daily trash pickup. Little perks that can make your experience all that more pleasant.

While we visited in the off-season, there would be plenty to do in the summer here from the swimming pool and jump pad to fishing in the stream. Bonus, however, to the off-season (and you can still squeeze in a trip to New York state before the season ends in mid-October) — it was peaceful and quiet. Had we been with a bigger group, Andy insisted we would have taken over some of the fields for flag football.

Meanwhile, we were easy driving distance from countless wineries and water activities.

We’ll be returning to the Finger Lakes again soon, no doubt.

To learn more about Campgrounds of NY, including campground locations beyond the Finger Lakes, be sure to visit their website.

Categories: Craft Beer, Travel, Wine

RECAP: Bras & Bucks for Feel Your Boobies PLUS How to Support this October

by: Sara Bozich
September 20, 2016
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We were so excited and honored to partner with Feel Your Boobies this summer to help support and further their Bras Across The Bridge event. We were able to aid in helping a good cause all while having a great time at some local businesses.

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Check out all of the Bras & Bucks events!

Through the efforts of everyone who came out to the Bras & Bucks events plus more donations, FYB was able to raise $25,000 and string more than 1,400 bras across the Walnut Street Bridge and into Downtown Harrisburg. The event ended with a final celebration at Arooga’s Downtown.

»» Learn more about Feel Your Boobies

Bras Across The Bridge is an annual effort and event to help Feel Your Boobies raise money for their College Outreach Program, which helps provide FREE breast health education kits to health centers nationwide.

Last year they were able to work with 210 college health centers in 43 states.

Support Feel Your Boobies at Arooga’s this October

Oct. 1-31, 2016 – ALL PENNSYLVANIA AROOGA’S LOCATIONS

Don’t miss this year’s 3rd Annual partnership between Feel Your Boobies and Arooga’s!

During October, Arooga’s, in partnership with Wilsbach Distributers, ACE Distributers, and Kirchner, will donate $1/pint of Angry Orchard to support Feel Your Boobies! Now that’s awesome.

Feel Your Boobies will be on-site for a special Glass Giveaway during one night in October! Stay tuned for more details.

GIVEAWAY: Swine + Dine Oct. 2

by: Sara Bozich
September 18, 2016
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Join the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation department for their first-ever Swine and Dine event featuring food trucks, cooking demonstrations and much more for the entire family.

From 12-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, Fort Hunter will be transformed into a virtual hog heaven packed with food trucks that specialize in pork and bacon dishes.

PLUS:

  • Cooking demonstrations with FREE samples
  • LIVE bluegrass music from HogMaw and Colebrook Road
  • Activities, including selfies with a life-sized picture of Jim, Fort Hunter’s 1920’s era prizewinning pig
  • Kids 12 and under are free
  • The first 1,000 people through the door get piggy hats, sponsored by DJ’s Smokeshack.

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»» BUY TIX! 

Tickets are just $10 and include general admission to the festival. Food truck sales not included, so bring some extra cash.

Be sure to get out to experience everything this festival and #SwineAboutIt on social media.

This week, we’re giving away (2) 4-packs of tickets to Dauphin County Parks and Recreation’s Swine and Dine on Oct. 2.

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