Matt and I both HEART beer cheese!!!
So when I saw they were going to be having a beer cheese festival on June 14th within an easy car ride away from our house, I promptly typed it on my calendar and asked Matt if he was interested in going even though I knew he would.
Today was a perfect day for a car ride and the weather was perfect to be out in the sun. We couldn't have asked for a better day.
At this point, locally, we had only tried beer cheese at Drake's, Apple Bee's and Sidebar.
We had both decided the best is found back home at a pub near where are parents live. We haven't been there is YEARS - I am sure we will make it there before the year is over.
Yes, I am very proud to say I have seen it. However, when I read about it online, I was expecting it to be larger. Had I of read the description like I just did a few minutes ago, I would have known it is only about 12 feet left to right. Either way, I really am happy we got to see it and take my picture next to it as proof. How many people can actually say they have been here and seen it? I'm guessing not many. Certainly no one I know.
This was a very quick stop - about 2 miles from the interstate. Worth seeing if you are driving by it already. I would not go very far out of my way to see this landmark.
About an hour later, after our sausage detour, we made it to the 6th annual Beer Cheese Festival. We were able to park very close for FREE! I thought for sure we would have to pay to park. I was pleasantly surprised.
For $5 you could purchase a wrist brand allowing you to sample all the different vendor's beer cheeses and then you got to drop your vote on your favorite. Was worth the $10 total for us both to try all the different spreads. Great way to save money. These were all locally owned (within a few hours drive) small businesses. Not only could you sample them, you could also purchase products if you wanted to take some home with you.
I know we voted for the second vendor, but all I can remember was the company name started with the letter 'B' and they handed out free bottled water. Not that the free water swayed our vote. This beer cheese had a very nice/strong beer like taste.
Walking around the downtown area, I was in love! I felt like I had stumbled into a movie set. They have really taken care and/or restored these buildings wonderfully.
Look how beautiful they are:
When I saw this, I thought I wanted to get my sweet snack of the afternoon from this cute trolley.... until I ate my lunch and decided to get some homemade ice cream from a different vendor. (Pictures below)
How cute is the name of this restaurant?
I love the 'and sometimes dinner' part.
The name of the place speaks to me.
I wish they had posted there menu on he window. I might have ate here if they had posted it. Of course, I could have looked it up on my phone. I was too hungry though. I plan on looking it up online and possibly eating here next time we are in the area.
I couldn't resist having this picture taken next to the mock street signs.Now if only I could have gotten those guys to move out of my picture....
After Matt and I walked around sampling all the different beer cheeses (in a marked off area), we sampled some wines and other goodies while scooping out all the different vendors selling lunch items. Mmmmm.... grilled meat......
I settled on a rib eye sandwich and Matt decided to have pulled pork nachos.
Mine was really yummy! Matt said the nachos were decent. I did try a bite - they weren't really my thing.
The Diet Ale 8 we drank is made locally in Winchester. We drank two of them... They are made with Splenda and are very tasty! I wish we had bought a few to take home....
Prior to coming here, I had read online how it is made in this town and they offer tours on Fridays. I already told Matt I would like to make it out there one day this summer for the tour. I liked how most the vendors at this festival seemed to only offer this soda which seemed very loyal to me. Wish more towns honored there local companies by exclusively using the products made in the town. Maybe they already do and I just don't know they do. I am going to believe this to be true.
After lunch, it was time to check out the craft vendors on the other side of the road.
It could be because I am used to the large scale of vendors on Glendale Days, but the craft area wasn't big enough in my opinion. I am hoping next year they can advertise a little better and get more small business owners to sign up to be here.
We did see one vendor with the most unique products:How freaking adorable are those???
Seriously, do you see how adorable these are???
If I had a big tree to put one on, I would have bought one.
Actually, I need a screened in porch so I could enjoy it 'outside' while it was protected from the rain and birds. Ha! Yes, I do realize it is a bird house. I don't want them near it though because they would just ruin it.
It is too cute to be ruined.
Great, now I have buyers remorse! Should have gotten myself one!
Before we knew it, we had walked by all the craft vendors and it was time to head back to the food area and get some delicious homemade ice cream.
We sat near this statue while eating. I tried to post it with the building pictures....
Our ice cream:
Mint chocolate chip for me and Cookie Monster for Matt - both in a waffle cone.
Overall, the Beer Cheese Festival had a great flow in regards to the different vendors and seemed to be very well ran. We didn't see anything shady and we felt safe the entire time. Matt and I had a lovely time and we both look forward to visiting the festival next year. I am also positive we will visit the town again by the end of this summer to go on the Ale 8 factory tour. Would have enjoyed going today if they had been open, but I am glad those employees had the opportunity to come to the festival if they wanted to go.
Until next year,