The Growler Garage

 

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One of the main ways I have discovered all of these breweries that I have gone to was through Google search results. A few days ago, I was looking for somewhere new to go so I started putting key words relating to breweries/beer in Google. When I searched for “growler Burlington” the third result was the Growler Garage. I have never heard of this place before, but noticed it was only about 5 minutes away. I had some free time that afternoon, so I asked some of my roommates if they wanted to come and they said sure. The Growler Garage is located at 10 Dorset Street in South Burlington, Vermont.

The Growler Garage was different than other places I have been to because it is a growler fill up station and not a brewery. They personally do not make any beer, but have 21 beers on tap from Vermont or other states. It is considered to be Vermont’s first craft beer filling station.

When I entered the Growler Garage I was really surprised to how it was set up. It resembled a modern style garage with a few massive televisions mounted on the back wall that displayed what was on tap. There was an area that had a few tables for customers to stand around and try the beers on tap. They offered flights of four, a pint, or the main attraction the growler fill up. It was a good idea to have the tasting area because sometimes it is hard to decide what to fill up a growler with especially if you have not heard of or tried the beers.

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*Image taken from Facebook page*

The Growler Garage had a wide variety of beers from Quebec, Vermont, Oregon, New York, Maine, and California. My roommates and I decided that we should get a flight so I picked out four beers that I wanted to sample before choosing one to fill up the growler with. I chose the Petit Ardennes by Lost Nation Brewing, the Blue Fin Stout by Shipyard Brewing Co, the Wet Hot American Wheat by Finch’s Beer Co., and the Resin by Sixpoint Brewery.

The Petit Ardennes by Lost Nation was a light bodied blonde beer that had hints of tropical fruit. It was extremely smooth and as a result it had an easy drinkability. For such a light beer I was surprised for much flavor it had.

The Blue Fin Stout by Shipyard Brewing Co. was the exact opposite of the Petit Ardennes. It was a very dark colored beer that had a nice tan head to it. There was a creamy malty taste with a smooth finish. I was surprised that it was not as thick as other stouts I have had, but was still extremely flavorful.

The Wet Hot American Wheat by Finch’s Beer Co. was a surprisingly hoppy beer that was a dark gold. The hops were not overpowering, but complimented the wheat taste of the beer perfectly. The drinkability of this beer was not as easy as the Petit Ardennes, but I enjoyed how it was a thicker beer that was not a stout.

The Resin by Sixpoint Brewery was an extremely hoppy beer. I knew that it would be hoppy because it is a double IPA. It had a rich gold color and a nice white head. The mix of citrus, tropical fruit, and hops created the perfect balance that resulted in easy drinkability which most double IPA’s do not have.

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*Image taken from website*

I decided to fill up a growler with the Resin by Sixpoint Brewery, but it was a close call between the Resin and the Wet Hot American Wheat by Finch’s Beer Co. The Growler Garage only fills up growers that were purchased from the Growler Garage. This is because they will not trade for a growler that is from another brewery and if the growler was not cleaned properly they do not want the beer to taste bad. I like this rule because it ensures the best tasting beer possible. I really enjoyed my experience at the Growler Garage and am definitely going to be going back there soon!

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My Personal Digital Identity

To whom it may concern,

This past semester, I have been working on this blog for my marketing capstone class at Champlain College. I had the opportunity to create and develop my personal digital identity (PDI). A personal digital identity, or PDI can be defined as: how online data composes an image of a specific person from information that is published on the internet. I chose to develop my personal digital identity by utilizing the following online networking platforms: Linkedin, Google Plus, Twitter, and WordPress. The information below exemplifies how I’ve developed my personal digital identity over the past semester starting in September, 2014

Linkedin

Linkedin is the key in developing my personal digital identity. It allows me to network with other professionals that I have met throughout my career both as a student and as a marketer. Currently, I have 138 connections. Since Linkedin is considered to be more of a professional networking platform, it is extremely important to have up-to-date content that shows accomplishments and skills. This previous summer, I was able to network a great deal, because I worked in a large sized marketing agency in Boston. Unfortunately, I only focused on adding connections. These connections on Linkedin are with people who could potentially open doors for me in the future regarding my marketing career. Over the past semester, I’ve learned that networking is important, but what is the point of having connections if there is no content for them to see? As a result I have focused my attention on Linkedin by building up my profile, showcasing my skills, accomplishments regarding my career, and my education.

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Google +

Google Plus is an online platform that I had always underestimated until I started to learn about search engine optimization. Google has a huge impact on personal digital identities. Before this semester, I had not utilized Google Plus and I realize how that was a mistake. I have had a Google Plus account since I created my gmail account a few years ago, but had just left it blank until this semester. I can see that Google Plus is a professional platform, but not to the extent of how professional Linkedin is. In my opinion, Google Plus is the key to having a strong search engine optimization. Google likes it when you play in their sandbox, so I put content on my Google Plus that I want to appear when someone searches for me on Google. I put up my past internships that I am extremely proud of on my Google Plus, and now that information is broadcasted whenever I am searched for. Besides my past internships, I connected my Linkedin, my WordPress blog, and my Twitter to my Google Plus account so that these other platforms have a higher chance of showing up as a result from a  Google search. After, realizing the importance of a Google Plus account, I want to keep updating my Google Plus with content to show that I am active, and also use it as a tool to help boost my search engine optimization.

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Twitter

I created a Twitter account for a marketing class I took in my sophomore year, but again like Google Plus, I never noticed the true value of having a Twitter account. I never realized the benefits of staying active on Twitter. It has the ability to develop my personal online identity. Twitter is a professional platform as well, but certain characteristics of Twitter makes this professional platform more social. Since I created my Twitter account, I never really made much progress with it. Once I figured out that I wanted to be active on Twitter, I started to follow some companies that I could see myself working for, companies who have a big impact on society, social media accounts that provide useful tips, and also some accounts that keep me up to date with what is happening back home. Whether it is news or what my friends are doing. In the beginning of this semester, my bio for Twitter was incomplete and I did not share any detail about who I am or what I do. As of right now, my bio states that I am a senior at Champlain College studying digital marketing and also includes my current internship. Between my current bio, who I follow, and what I tweet or retweet, my Twitter account portrays that I am interested in digital marketing and up to date with what is going on currently in the marketing industry.

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WordPress

WordPress is an online platform that was completely foreign to me before this semester. I have never thought about starting a blog, or considered any of the benefits that would come from blogging, but once I started to use it I realized that it is perfect way to publish content, that can be connected to rest of my online platforms, that comprise my personal digital identity. I have my WordPress blog connected to my Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and Google Plus account. WordPress is also a platform that I can utilize to show my passions and interests. My blog currently is about craft beers in Vermont, and when I graduate I hope to get into the beer industry as an employee who oversees digital marketing. I have spent a lot of time creating excellent blog posts related to craft beer, to showcase my ability to write well and exemplify my knowledge of the beer industry. My blog will be a great way to present interest and understanding to a future employer in the beer industry. Not only does my blog demonstrate my ability to write well, my knowledge of the beer industry, but my understanding of search engine optimization. I understand how to make my blog appear on the first page as the fifth result from a Google search of my name. I have published content on my blog in a strategically, timely manner to ensure my blog represents me as an active user in the online community.

SEO

Before this semester I had a general idea of what search engine optimization was, but I did not know how to utilize it to benefit me. I learned that by being active on these online platforms, it will create and develop my personal digital identity on its own. Not only does it create and develop my personal digital identity with direct involvement, but it also showcases my personal digital identity on the first page of Google as the top results from a Google search of my name “Wylie Mckenzie”. In the beginning of the semester, the only result from a Google search was my Twitter account, but since I was not active on Twitter, it was irrelevant because it portrayed me as an individual who was not engaged in the online community. Now all of the platforms that I desire to be shown are shown, on the first page, and represent how I am active in the online community.

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Klout

Klout is a tool that I had never heard of or utilized before, but when I signed up for it and started using Klout, I noticed how it can be a great tool to help develop my online engagement. On August 25th, my Klout score was a 26.78, which was extremely weak, especially for someone who wants to work in the digital marketing field in the future. Throughout the semester, I learned that by becoming more of an avid user on these online platforms that my online presence would increase. By blogging frequently, retweeting on Twitter, posting on Google Plus, and using my Linkedin more, my Klout score increased greatly over the past 4 months. My current score as of December 8th, 2014 is a 47.84.

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Why Should You Hire Me

As this semester is wrapping up and my time at Champlain College drawing to a close, I believe that I gained a lot of knowledge regarding how to create or develop a personal digital identity. I figured out how to utilize search engine optimization to give myself an advantage regarding publicizing my personal digital identity. I have also learned from my mistakes. Now I can see how to keep developing my personal digital identity to display myself as passionate digital marketing professional who understands the marketing industry. I have skills and knowledge about the marketing field that I believe no other graduate will have. I know how to achieve excellent results regarding any online presence and my personal digital identity is an example of that.

Four Quarters Brewing

Yesterday was a classic rainy Saturday up here in Burlington, Vermont which means there is not a whole lot to do. I called a few of my friends to see what they were up to and they all were just hanging at their houses watching television. My friend Connor McCarthy and I talked about how we wanted to do something instead of of just sitting on the couch all day. He told me he would try to think of something to do and would call me back if he had any ideas. About 20 minutes later he called back asking me if I wanted to check out Four Quarters Brewing located in Winooski, Vermont. Before this I have never heard of this brewery, but it was only 10 minutes away so he picked me up and off we went.

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*Image taken from Facebook Page*

We arrived at Four Quarters Brewing and there was only about 4 parking spaces designated for the brewery and then street parking. The parking lot was empty so we just parked right out front and went in. It was a lot smaller than the rest of the breweries that I have been to, but that has no correlation to how the beer will be so we were still excited about trying the beers they had on tap.

We entered the brewery and it resembled a small warehouse type building. One side of the building had a bar with no stools and the other side was where the brewing was done. They had three beers on tap: The Herbie, Ursa Major, and the Red Eye. We decided to try them all and each bought a flight that had a sample of each one for 5 dollars.

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*Image taken from Facebook Page*

The Herbie was a watermelon wheat beer that was a light yellow color. The watermelon was not overpowering, but definitely could be tasted. The aftertaste was a light watermelon taste with a mix of a very weak wheat beer taste. It was an extremely smooth beer with easy drinkability. The bartender told us how the Herbie was brewed with 100 pounds of baby sweet watermelons.

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The Herbie *Image taken from Facebook Page*

The next one I tried was the Ursa Major, which was a brown ale brewed with lightly smoked oatmeal. It was a dark amber on the verge of brown. The smoked oatmeal created a taste of a surprisingly semi sweet flavor, but then there was a hint of how it could be a barrel aged beer. The drinkability was not as smooth as the Herbie, but it was an interesting yet tasteful beer and I was glad I tried it.

The last one was the Red Eye, which was a coffee red ale that was brewed with roasted barley and espresso beans which created the coffee aroma and flavor. I have never been to fond of coffee flavored beers, but this one was different than the other ones I have tried. The espresso beans definitely made it taste like coffee, but it was not overpowering to the point were it tastes like an iced coffee. It was smoother than I thought and it was a rich amber color. I think that this one was my favorite and again, I am not a big coffee flavored beer person.

Four Quarters Brewing is located at 150 West Canal Street Winooski, Vermont and I could see it becoming a hidden treasure. They were working on brewing a saison, a double IPA, and a few more red ales. I will definitely be returning to try those and am excited to see how they taste!

Citizen Cider

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*Image taken from Citizen Cider’s Facebook Page*

Hard Ciders have becoming more and more popular lately and I did not really understand why. I always considered myself more of a beer guy, but I guess I have never really tried a wide variety of ciders. A lot of my friends have always been telling me how much they love Citizen Ciders’ and especially going to the actual Citizen Cider place located at 316 Pine Street Burlington, Vermont. I have been there a few times, but for some reason did not enjoy the ciders as much as my friends. The Citizen Cider that I would always order was the Unified Press, which was the main cider Citizen Cider produces.

To me the Unified Press tasted like an extremely sweet apple juice and it was hard for me to finish the whole cider. It was a Sunday afternoon and my roommate Cory and I decided to go to Citizen Cider because we finished our homework that was due Monday.

I have always loved going to Citizen Cider, but sometimes I would order a Fiddlehead beer instead of a cider. The reason I enjoyed going to Citizen Cider was because of the atmosphere and the environment. Citizen Cider was recently redone and inside has two large varnished picnic tables with about fifteen seats at each table, the bar has close to twenty stools, in one corner there is a sectional couch with a small side table to place your drink on, a small stage for a band, and garage doors that open up to the outdoor porch section. The atmosphere and environment could described as a comfy and cozy.

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*Image taken from Citizen Cider’s Instagram*

Cory and I sat up at the bar and started talking to the bartender about what we should get. He told us that the Dirty Mayor was his favorite and it was a ginger cider. As a big fan of ginger, I decided to take his word and ordered one.

The color of the cider was darker yellow and as soon it was placed in front of me there was a ginger aroma in the air. I took my first sip and it changed my mind about ciders. The ginger was not overwhelming and there was also a small hint of lemon. The cider was not that carbonated, but did not taste flat and was the perfect consistency.  The after taste that was left in my mouth was a ginger taste, but not nearly as strong as the initial sip.  After I finished my glass, the bartender then told me to try the Sour Cherry which was his second favorite cider that was being offered.

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*Image taken from Citizen Cider’s Facebook Page*

The Sour Cherry did not have as strong of a smell as the Dirty Mayor, but it still had gave off an aroma that resembled a bitter cherry smell. The Sour cherry was a light rose color, that was filled with bubbles so I knew right away that it was going to be a lot more carbonated than the Dirty Mayor. After taking my first sip, I could see why it was called the Sour Cherry. There was a sensation of cherry, but directly followed by a bitter and extremely bubbly taste. The carbonation complemented the sourness and worked together to create a delicious drink. The aftertaste was a very discrete taste of cherry due to the overpowering taste of the bitterness.

These two ciders that I tried I really enjoyed and it changed my opinion about hard ciders. I am glad that the ciders resembled other flavors versus just a sweet apple flavor. My overall experience of this trip to Citizen Cider was awesome. The atmosphere is extremely relaxing and I would highly recommend trying the Dirty Mayor and Sour Cherry if they are still on tap.

Juniper at Hotel Vermont

 

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A few nights ago I went to Juniper, which is the bar at Hotel Vermont, with a few friends. It was Thursday night and since we had class together from 5:30- 8:15 we decided we should grab a drink after class before heading back to our apartments for the night. I have always enjoyed going to Juniper because of the environment. There are couches spread out throughout the bar area, as well as fire places, and usually some local musician playing the acoustic guitar.

My friends and I sat up at the bar and started talking to the bar manager, Nick. We have been here a few times and Nick is usually working so we have gotten to know him. He always asks us about how school is going, if we have been up to anything fun, and just overall how everything is going. In my opinion, this small talk creates a really friendly atmosphere because there are usually some laughs and some conversations shared between us.

Sometimes, I am extremely undeceive and do not know what to order and I ask the bartender to surprise me. Tonight was one of those nights when I was in an indecisive mood. We all asked for a surprise and then we saw the bartender pour three glasses of this dark amber liquid. He brought it over and said that it was Sapling’s Maple Rye Whiskey. Also, he stated that it was made in Vermont. I have always been a huge maple fan so I was excited to try it. Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.09.27 PM

*Photo taken from saplingliqueur.com*

I put the glass up to my nose and tried to smell it, but it smelt really strong so I put it down. I then asked for a glass a water because I knew as soon as I tried it would probably leave a light burning sensation. I took the smallest sip possible, letting it sit in my mouth and I was extremely surprised to how it tasted. The initial taste was equivalent to taking a sip of maple syrup. It was surprisingly thicker than other spirits that I have had, but not to thick. I also could notice that it was pure sugar. The after taste was a slight burn, but not to overwhelming. It took a while to drink the tiny amount that we were poured, but it was nice to just hangout and catch up with my friends before we all went home for Thanksgiving break. I do not think I could have more than one glass due to the how sugary it was, but it would be the perfect dessert drink.

I really enjoy my time whenever I get the chance to go to Juniper because of the laid back friendly environment. Juniper is located at 41 Cherry Street Burlington, Vermont and if you are ever in the area make sure to swing by and check it out.

Fiddlehead Masterminds

Lately, I have a been a big fan of Double IPA’s and love finding new ones to try. Since, I still follow the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski on Facebook, I see when they post about the good Double IPA’s that they get in.

A couple days ago Winooski beverage posted on Facebook about getting a bunch of Fiddlehead Mastermind’s in. After going to Fiddlehead Brewery a little while ago and realized how good Fiddlehead beers are, I knew that I had to make a trip to Winooski Beverage Warehouse and pick some up. They only allowed each customer to purchase 3-4 four packs. When I got to the Beverage Warehouse, I saw people gathered around one of the fridge doors and saw the cases of filled with Masterminds. I thought since they came in 4 packs they would be 16 oz beers, but they were only 12 oz beers.

The label on the can a person that resembled a mad scientist cooking up some concoction, which is was different than any other can I have seen. When I got up to the register the cashier told me a 4 pack was 14 dollars, which in my opinion is pricy for a 4 pack of 12 oz beers, but I knew I had to try them so I purchased the 4 pack. I headed home to put them in the fridge, but could not try one just yet because I had to class that afternoon.

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When I got back home to my house around 5pm, I started to cook up some dinner with my roommates and opened one of the Masterminds. I poured it into a glass and by the time it settled the cup was filled with a bright golden hazy yellow color. The initial smell was a floral, fruity smell that almost overpowered the hoppy smell. I then took my first sip. My reaction after the first sip was that it tasted at first kind of hoppy, but then finished off with a fruity taste that resembled a light mixture of peach, mango, and then an blast of citrus. The aftertaste was almost a flat hoppy taste, but not an overwhelming hoppy taste. This beer was extremely drinkable and was like nothing I have ever had before.

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I was bummed that I only got a 4 pack because I realized that Fiddlehead only releases these beers so often. Before trying this I thought that the Heady Topper was the best double IPA, but the Mastermind was just as good if not better. If you have not had the opportunity to try a Mastermind, make sure to follow Winooski Beverage Warehouse on Facebook to see when they release more or follow Fiddlehead Brewery on Facebook to see the when the next batch gets canned. The Masterminds are well worth the money if you enjoy Double IPA’s.

 

*Pictures were taken from Fiddlehead’s Facebook Page*

Folino’s Pizza

 

 

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The whole time I was in Fiddlehead Brewery I could smell the wood fired pizza in the air and kept seeing customers walk out of Folino’s Pizza with pizza boxes and a growler in their other hand. After trying the beers that were on tap and filling up a growler at Fiddlehead I knew I was ready to check out Folino’s Pizza. The door to enter Folino’s Pizza had a huge glass window. Through the window was a crowd of people sitting down at tables in this rustic environment and behind the counter was a huge brick oven that they used to make the wood fired pizza.

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We approached the hostess and she greeted us in an extremely nice way, but she did say it would take about 30 minutes to get a table. We decided that it would be worth it so we just hung out in the waiting area until the hostess came to get us. She brought us to table that with a wooden L shaped bench, a few chairs on the other side of the wooden table, and left us with a few menus.

I started reading the options on the first page of the menu and saw #12 the lemon zest, bacon, scollop pizza, 3 cheese with a virgin olive oil sauce and automatically knew thats what I wanted to get. My friends and I decided to split a large #12 and then a large buffalo chicken pizza. The total for these pizzas came out to 36 dollars which is not bad for two wood fired 15 inch pizzas.

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So far the experience was great, but then we looked around to see were to get a drink and only saw cups in a freezer. We noticed on the menu it said BYOB, bring your own beer, and at the other end of the restaurant there was the freezer full of frosted glasses. We grabbed some of the glasses and then filled them up with the growler of the Fiddlehead IPA we previously purchased.

It took about 25 minutes before the pizza’s arrived at our table. My first reaction was that these pizzas looked like the best pizza I have since I’ve been in Vermont. Another really cool thing that they do at Folino’s is that they create the environment where the customer helps themselves which is different than most places. The plates were located on this bar type table that has spices, utensils, and napkins. Below this bar are buckets so once you were done eating you would put the dirty plates or utensils in the bucket.

The pizza was delicious. It was the perfect hotness and the crust was perfect thickness. I have never had a pizza that had scollops on it and after my first bite it became my favorite pizza. The buffalo chicken pizza was also excellent, but in my opinion not as good as the scollop pizza. Between four of us we ate both large pizzas and probably could have eaten more because it was so good. After we finished eating we cleaned up our table and headed back to the car. Overall the trip to Folino’s Pizza and Fiddlehead brewery was one of the best times I have had in a while. Great beer and great pizza is a great combination and I will definitely have to come back to Fiddlehead and Folino’s more often. Below is a picture of the #12 before we ate it!

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