The Blog Cabin

Craft Beers & Ciders For Summer

Christine Mitchell Adams May 29, 2015

Here at Ursa Major, we have a weakness for craft beers and ciders. Comparing tasting notes and sharing new discoveries is certainly a weekly (if not daily) conversation in the office. We wanted to open up the discussion with our community of fans and friends by sharing what we've been into this season. We'd love to hear what you've been reaching for lately... share your recommendations in the comments!

Carmen has been drinking Lemon Cello IPA, a collaboration with Mikeller (Denmark), Hill Farmstead (VT!) and Siren Brewing Co (UK) this spring, "It's basically a sucker punch in a bottle. That sounds like a bad thing but I mean it in the best of ways."

Even with some of the world's finest craft beers within his grasp here in Vermont, Marshall's favorites are from Vacationland. Specifically The American Farmhouse Pale Ale from the crew at Oxbow Brewery in Newcastle, ME. Marshall claims it's the best saison he's ever had, "If you're in the Pine Tree State, pick up a growler or two from their taproom - it's liquid gold." 

True to his home roots in Massachusetts, Tyler's go-to is Ipswich Ale's IPA. But he also enjoys a good cider. When he's craving the juice from the apple, he heads to Champlain Orchard

Zoë is our resident cider aficionado. This spring she's most partial to local spot Citizen Cider and their flagship cider, Unified Press, "I like that it strikes the right balance between too dry and too sweetit has the perfect amount of juiciness and fresh apple flavor without tasting sugary."

Nicole is a huge fan of The Alchemist Brewery's notorious Heady Topper, but this season she's been reaching for their new IPA, Focal Banger. It's a little lighter than the Heady, making it perfect for summer. 

Emily's beer of choice these days is Gose from Lost Nation Brewery, "It’s definitely my summer fav (the Wind is a variation on that and also insanely good)!" Her second choice is Edward from Hill Farmstead, and bringing up the rear in third is the TLA IPA from Zero Gravity.

Oliver is on the same wavelength as Emily, favoring Lost Nation's Gose and Wind. He's also into a new lighter ale from Hill Farmstead, but he's blanking on the name. So if you can give us a hand with recalling it, give us a shout in the comments.

As a marketer, Chris is a sucker for good packaging and design. Which is why one of his favorite breweries is Oskar Blues, "Their can design is awesomeI love how OB incorporates them into their taps." His choice for summer, is their Pinner Throwback IPA.

For Mia, a well-earned beer always tastes the best after a great day of skiing (which is her family's passion). In the summer, she prefers a lighter beer, "I recently tried the Hill Farmstead Edward, and thought it was fantastic!"

And for myself (Christine, the author of this post), after living in Boston for the past seven years, I love Pretty Things's Field Mouse's Farewell. I also really enjoy Backacre's sour golden ale from Weston, VT. But when I want something super light to wash down a burger at a summer barbecue, I'll reach for a Miller High Life. 

Toxic Chemicals in the News: 5.18-5.26

Zoë Furlong May 27, 2015

5/19/15 — White House makes bid to save honeybees but ignores toxic pesticides(Guardian). The White House has announced an ambitious plan that makes millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly. Unfortunately, it does not ban the use of neonicotinoids, which research shows are closely linked to bee life loss.

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He Lives Major: Jon Gaffney

Christine Mitchell Adams May 21, 2015

You've probably already heard of Jon Gaffney, or of his moniker The Van Man. He's been driving back and forth across the country with his girlfriend Gale Straub in a sprinter van. They spent last summer at Jon's family home in Maine retrofitting the van before hitting the road. With a fresh paint of coat, a snazzy Huckberry logo, and a few essential mechanical fixes, they headed West! We caught up with Jon during one of their pit stops to talk about the major year they've been having, their new company Sap Lines, and what adventures are in store for the summer.

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Health in the News: 5.6-5.19

Zoë Furlong May 19, 2015

We religiously follow articles and news about toxic chemicals at Ursa Major HQ. But we're also keen on reading about health and wellness. We'll be sharing some of our favorite articles here on the Blog Cabin, along with our regular Toxics in the News series. What are some of your favorite resources for health articles? Share in the comments. 

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The Stellarscope

Christine Mitchell Adams May 14, 2015

As you're already aware, we're avid sky gazers here at UM HQ. So it won't come as a surprise when we share our giddiness over this Stellarscope from Best Made Company. This highly portable sky gazing tool can help you quickly locate and identify more than 1,500 stars that are visible to the naked eye.

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Toxic Chemicals in the News: 5.4-5.11

Zoë Furlong May 11, 2015

 The Story of Stuff takes on the microbead” — Treehugger, May 5, 2015

Panera Bread Plans to Drop a Long List of Ingredients” — New York Times, May 4, 2015. The restaurant chain wants to banish a variety of artificial preservatives, flavors and colors, as well as different kinds of sweeteners and meat from animals raised with antibiotics.

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Burger Night at Bread & Butter Farm

Christine Mitchell Adams May 08, 2015

It's officially May and even more exciting than the May flowers, is Burger Night at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne. One of our favorite local events in the summer, Burger Night brings together amazing food (right off the farm), local community, and great music. Lucky for us, its a weekly event happening every Friday, 4:30-7:30pm, May 7th through September 11th. We recommend reserving a spot ahead of time as they tend to sell out, especially when the weather prediction is warm and sunny. See you on the farm!

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