Clark Smith, Postmodern Winemaking Symposium, Attended by Ken Hardcastle and Chuck Lawrence

 

Ken Hardcastle, Clark Smith, Bonnie Morrison, Chuck Lawrence

Ken Hardcastle, Clark Smith, Bonnie Morrison, Chuck Lawrence


Clark Smith, author of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 2013 Wine Book of the Year, Postmodern Winemaking hosted a postmodern winemaking symposium yesterday in New York.  Our winemaker, Ken Hardcastle, and partner Chuck Lawrence had the good fortune to be able to attend along with a small group of wine makers, winery owners, sommeliers, wine writers, and wine aficionados.

Over twenty wines were tasted during the event including Hermit Woods Petite Blue Reserve, the only fruit wine in the group.  Much to our delight, our Petite Blue was very well received by all in attendance, including a reputable wine writer and critic, Lisa Granik, as well as Clark Smith himself.   In one case, our blueberry wine was thought to be a Sarah, before being identified as a blueberry wine.

Needless to say, this was a very special opportunity for us.  It is not every day a small local New Hampshire winery has the opportunity to share their wine amongst some of the top producers in the northeast and with one of the most respected voices in the wine industry.   Even more important, to be the producer of the only fruit wine present, and have it be received as well, this was a real milestone for us.

And to top it off, Hermit Woods got a mention in a write up by the popular British Wine Writer, Stuart Pigott:  More extraordinary still was the 2012 Petit Blue from Hermit Woods in Meredith/New Hampshire, which provoked a lot of discussion when served blind. However, nobody got the reason for the great berry aromas: It had actually been made from wild blueberries. “I heavily manipulated it!” winemaker Ken Hardcastle with a wry smile. However, it did not taste one dimensionally fruity (there were some discrete tannins) and it had great balance. Maybe I’m amazed!”

You can read the whole story here: http://www.stuartpigott.de/?p=4222

Wines from Clark Smith symposium-web

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Hermit Woods is on the move… and we need your support!

Hermit Woods Kickstarter Campaign

Watch our Zany Video Here!

As many of you may know, Hermit Woods Winery has grown out of our current location.  In order to continue to produce the finest quality wine and serve you in the manner you have become accustomed to, and do so year round, we have had to find a new home.

Through the generous support of Meredith Village Savings Bank and Belknap County Economic Development Council, we have purchased a new building on Main Street in Meredith, NH and have spent the last six months remodeling it, setting up our wine making area, and building our tasting room to provide an even better experience than we do now.  As is often the case with large re-model projects, we have had lots of unforeseen problems and things are taking longer than we hoped.  However, we are now in the home stretch and the end is in sight.  But sadly, we are rapidly running out of funds to see the project through.

This is where we need your help.  We have started a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the final dollars required for us to put the finishing touches on our project and get our new winery open just as soon as possible.   We are asking you for any help you can offer us in raising the necessary capital to open our new winery.  Whether it’s by donating to our campaign or simply sharing it amongst your friends, family, and social media pages, anything you can do to help will be much appreciated.

Please click on Kickstarter below to watch our ZANY video (we had a lot of fun making it) and learn all about our campaign and how you can help.

Kickstarter_Logo

We have only 29 days to meet our fundraising goals, should we not meet our goal in that 30 days, our project will not be funded and any money that has been donated, will not be collected.  Contributions will only be excepted if we raise all the funds necessary to see our project through. With your support and a little luck, we hope to be open by the end of January!

It is through the generous support of people like yourselves and the many wonderful people who have visited our winery over the past three years that we have come this far.  We cannot put into words how much we have appreciated it and thank you for your continued support.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Bob Manley, Ken Hardcastle, Chuck Lawrence, Jerilyn Dolan, and Maya Hardcastle.

PS: If you are in the Meredith area come on by and see the progress of our new winery, if we are there, stop in and say hi, if we have the time, we would be happy to give you a tour.

72 Main Street

Meredith, NH 

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‘HONORING THE HEIRLOOM’ CELEBRATION – OCTOBER 27TH AT ALYSON’S ORCHARD

Honoring the heirloomPresentations by Heirloom Experts Ben Watson & Rich Stadnik & Local Foods Tastings

On Sunday, October 27th, Alyson’s Orchard will host “Honoring the Heirloom: A Culinary Celebration of Quince & Apples” from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Guests will learn about heirloom apples and quince by tasting them plain, in cider, and paired with local cheeses and specialty food products.

Activities include:

  • Cider – Hard & Sweet – book signing and discussion with author Ben Watson
  • “Intro to Heirloom Apples” by Rich Stadnik of Pup’s Cider Co.
  •  “Cooking with Quince” – tips & treats by Vermont Quince Co.
  • Heirloom apple cider pressing
  • Tastings of heirloom fruit, wine, cheese & specialty products

“Alyson’s wonderful selection of heirloom apples represents a treasure trove for those who enjoy making their own cider and cooking with fruit,” notes Cider, Hard and Sweet author Ben Watson. “We invite everyone to come and join the cider and quince revival.”

A local and national food and farm activist and consultant, Watson is co-leader of the Slow Food Monadnock Region chapter and is a member of Slow Food USA’s regional New England Ark of Taste Committee. He is developing a Heritage Orchard project to identify, conserve, and propagate heritage apple trees from America and Europe. In addition to Cider, Hard and Sweet, Watson’s books include The Slow Food Guide to New York City (with Patrick Martins and Slow Food USA) and Taylor’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables.

Rich Stadnik will be manning the cider press and introducing guests to the large variety of heirloom apples grown at Alyson’s Orchard. Nan Stefanik of Vermont Quince Company will be sharing tips about cooking with quince and offering tastes of a variety of hot and cold quince dishes in addition to Vermont Quince’s quince products.

Guests will enjoy wines by Hermit Woods and LaBelle Wineries, cheeses made by Grafton Village Cheese, Woodcock Farm, Hollyhock Farm, and Sawyer Artisanal Cheese paired with chutneys produced by Blake Hill Preserves and dulce de membrillo & preserves crafted by Vermont Quince Company, and caramel products made by award-winning Big Picture Farm and AlpineGlo.

Admission for “Honoring the Heirloom” is $10 and includes all activities and tastings. The first 50 guests will receive a small jar of Vermont Quince preserves and all will have the opportunity to purchase many of the local products.  For more info, please contact 802-365-1056 or info@vermontquince.com or visit the webpages of Alyson’s Orchard and Vermont Quince.

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Hermit Woods Winery Brings Home the Medals this Summer

Hermit Woods 2013 Medal Winners

Sanbornton, NH – August 26, 2013 – Hermit Woods Winery’s Petite Blue Reserve and Lake House White wine recently took silver in the Indy International Wine competition held in Indianapolis Indiana this past month. The Indy is the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States.  This year’s competition received nearly 2,200 entries from 15 countries and 40 US states that were evaluated by 50 distinguished judges.

In other prestigious wine competitions this summer, Hermit Woods took home a total of six more gold, silver, and bronze medals.  Other award winners include a gold medal for their Three Honey Wine at the Mazer Cup, the worlds premier mead competition, a silver medal for their Mélange and a bronze medal for their Petite Blue in the Fingerlakes International Wine Competition, and a silver for their Heirloom Crabapple and a bronze for their Kiwi Wine and Petite Blue in the Big E wine competition in Massachusetts.

Hermit Woods Winery prides themselves on making wines from whole, local, and as much as possible organic fruits and raw honey.  They work with local farmers and apiaries to procure the best fruit and honey possible and support their local economy by only selling their wine in local wine shops and restaurants as apposed to big liquor stores and chain supermarkets.

Bob Manley, one of the partners at Hermit Woods had this to say, “we have only been entering wines for competition for a couple years now, and have yet to not come home without a medal. We are very proud of this accomplishment.”  In previous years Hermit Woods Winery won a silver medal for their Three Honey Wine and Crabapple Wine.  However, Bob wanted to make clear “winning medals is important, but what is most important to us is what our customers have to say, as long as we are making them happy, we will be happy.”

Hermit Woods Winery is a small boutique winery located in Sanbornton New Hampshire. They make a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional wines that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.   Their tasting room is open five days a week in the summer and on weekends in the fall.  You can learn more about Hermit Woods by visiting their website at www.hermitwoods.com or through www.facebook.com/hermitwoods.

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The state of Farmers Markets in New Hampshire

Canterbury Farmers MaketA recent article in the Concord Monitor prompted me to write the following response (a shorter version was submitted to the Monitor).  The Monitors article was titled: N.H. vendors cope with farmers market competition and can be found here.

I am one of the owners of Hermit Woods Winery in Sanbornton and we have been vendors at several farmers markets over the past few years.  I am also someone who feels it is very important to purchase as much of my food as possible from local farmers and producers.

As both a vendor and a consumer, I find the NH farmers market system very challenging and often frustrating.  As pointed out in your article, more and more small markets are opening up every year dividing both the number of vendors and the consumers between the competing markets.  This is potentially unproductive for the market organizers who struggle to maintain enough buyers to satisfy their vendors, and the vendors for the same reason.  Even more important, it makes it very difficult for consumers to do their shopping at farmers markets.  Personally, I often have to make time to visit at least two and usually three different markets across multiple days to find the produce and goods that I need.

Competing markets have too few vendors to ensure a wide variety of goods to be had at any single market.  Do to the increased time of having to drive to multiple markets on multiple days, the increased mileage and gas consumed, it makes for a difficult choice between markets or a single visit to the supermarket where everything you need can be found at one location.  I personally am committed to markets, but until this issue is addressed, it will hard to convince the general public to choose farmers markets over supermarkets.

As most market organizers discourage multiple vendors of the same type of products at a single market, markets will continue to be small and variety limited.  Organizers and vendors fear that allowing multiple vendors of the same products will diminish their individual sales, and they are correct. Unless markets can increase traffic there would not be enough business for everyone. This is the catch 22 that is in my opinion stifling farmers markets in NH.

Imagine if within a 20 to 30 mile radius there was only one Market held twice a week, this market would have hundreds of vendors and would be the single place that consumers could count on every week to guarantee they will find what they are looking for and have choice and variety in every category.   This market would truly be a significant competitor to supermarkets, drawing new customers into the farmers markets as their means to feed themselves.  Organizers would have to spend less money on marketing and organizing. Vendors would only have to dedicate time, staff, and money to two markets a week instead of six and they too could spend less money marketing their market business.

Given that most people I know travel to multiple markets every week to purchase their weekly goods, and most vendors do the same, a great deal of time and gas is already being spend driving between markets.  For this reason, it would be easy to justify traveling further to ensure you could get all your needs met in one location.  Ultimately saving time and money for both the consumer and farmer.

Having traveled in Europe, where the model I have described above is the model whereby most markets operate, there is no doubt it can work.  Some of these markets have as many as one or two hundred vendors and thousands of customers every week, and everyone benefits, vendors, market organizers, and customers.

I am aware that what I am proposing will not come without its challenges.  But, I would argue that the challenges that customers, market organizers, and vendors face now are very real and preventing significant growth in the local food movement. I personally am confident that if we did do things differently, we would all benefit.

I would love to hear your feedback on this issue.

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Meredith Village Savings Bank and Belknap EDC Help Fund Hermit Woods Winery’s Expansion

Hermit Woods Winery is Expanding

Chuck Lawrence, Ken Wilson, BelknapEDC, Gracie Cilley, MVSB, Ken Hardcastle, and Bob Manley

Working with Meredith Village Savings Bank and Belknap County Economic Development, Hermit Woods Winery received the support and funding needed to purchase their future home, a building located at 72 Main Street in downtown Meredith. In addition to loaning Hermit Woods the funds needed to purchase the building, Meredith Village Savings Bank provided a construction loan to bring the building up to date and give it a fresh new look. Belknap EDC also contributed funds toward the purchase of the building, as well as funds to purchase the necessary winemaking equipment to expand production to meet the expected demand of the new location.

Ellen Mulligan, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers

Ellen Mulligan, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers

Bob Manley, owner/partner at Hermit Woods, said, “We are in our third year at our current location, 56 Taylor Road in Sanbornton, and are bursting at the seams. I don’t think we could produce even one more bottle of wine.” Though the team at Hermit Woods briefly considered expanding at their current location, the cost and challenges associated with that choice quickly made it clear they needed another option. With the help of real estate agent Ellen Mulligan of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers, they began looking at other alternatives. Bob went on to say, “Working with Ellen, Gracie Cilley, our Loan officer at MVSB, and Carmen Lorentz and Ken Wilson from BelkanpEDC, we have found the perfect solution for our expansion and cannot thank everyone enough for helping us make this happen.”

“Meredith Village Savings Bank was excited to have the opportunity to work with Hermit Woods to help them achieve their expansion goals,” said Gracie Cilley, Vice President – Commercial Loan Officer for Meredith Village Savings Bank.  “The Hermit Woods team’s entrepreneurial spirit, vision and passion for the wine making business are sure to make for a successful transition to their new location.  We are thrilled to be a part of their new venture and expect that this will be an excellent addition to the Meredith Main Street community.”

Ken Wilson, Loan Officer for BelknapEDC, stated that “We are very pleased and proud of the role that we played in assisting with the financing of Hermit Wood’s expansion into Meredith.  This will prove to be a winning addition to Meredith’s Main Street and the adjoining world class destinations.”

Bob wanted to be clear, adding, “Hermit Woods Winery will not be leaving their present location until the finish of the current season in November. There is still much work to be done before we can move our business to Meredith. Nonetheless, the Hermit Woods team is working hard to create a smooth transition and get our winery and tasting room open in Meredith before the holidays. We are looking forward to being part of the Meredith Community.”

Christopher P Williams, Architect

Christopher P Williams, Architect

Hermit Woods has contracted with Christopher P. Williams Architects to help design the look of their new building, ensuring that the changes they make fit in with the surrounding Main Street businesses.  Eric Gallagher from Gallagher Construction will be bringing the design to life. They expect to begin work just as soon as they get approval from the town of Meredith.

About Hermit Woods Winery

Ken Hardcastle, Chuck Lawrence, and Bob Manley opened this small boutique winery in Sanbornton, New Hampshire in 2011. They make a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional wines from local fruit and honey, as well as a few select wines crafted from grapes purchased from Chile.

You can sample their wine by visiting the Hermit Woods tasting room, which is open on weekends from 11-5, with additional hours in July and August, Wednesday through Friday from 1-5.

Hermit Woods wines can also be purchased in a select few local restaurants, wine shops, and beer stores throughout New Hampshire, as well as in the winery’s tasting room. Hermit Woods wines are also available for purchase online in sixteen states across the country.

About Belknap EDC

Belknap EDC is one of ten non-profit regional development corporations in the state of NH.  Since its inception in 1992, Belknap EDC has brought $3 million in new capital to Belknap County in the form of federal grants and loans that comprised the seed capital for its revolving loan fund. Belknap EDC has used this capital to make loans to 70 Belknap County businesses, which leveraged over $75 million in capital from other sources and created or retained over 1,700 jobs. Our loan fund continues to assist new and growing businesses who cannot access 100% of the financing they need from conventional sources. Belknap EDC works to retain and attract talented people to Belknap County, support creative entrepreneurs in Belknap County, and enhance workforce development programs in the Lakes Region. For more information, visit www.BelknapEDC.org

About Meredith Village Savings Bank

Meredith Village Savings Bank, founded in 1869, is an independent mutual savings bank with 11 offices serving individuals, families, businesses and municipalities in the Lakes Region and Plymouth areas.  The Bank and its employees are inspired by MVSB’s core values: respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence and stewardship.  These values are intrinsic to every decision made at the Bank and are illustrated by the high priority they place on trust, quality service and commitment to community support.  MVSB strives to make the communities it serves a better place to work and live.  For more information, please visit www.mvsb.com.

The new building is currently the location of Fermentation Station.

The new building is currently the location of Fermentation Station.

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Hermit Woods Winery holds their Second Annual Wine Release Dinner

Hermit Woods Winery, Lake House at Ferry Point, and Local Eatery put on Wine Release Dinner

Hermit Woods Winery, Lake House at Ferry Point, and Local Eatery put on Wine Release Dinner

Hermit Woods Winery, along with two other Lakes Region businesses, The Local Eatery and the Lake House at Ferry Point, held their second annual wine release dinner on May 16th. Every year Hermit Woods Winery partners with local businesses to invite the media to discover some of the wonderful new and creative wines and food being offered in the Lakes Region, as well as to showcase the businesses that are putting it together.

Photo Courtesy of Tania Mendes

Photo Courtesy of Tania Mendes

Attending this year’s dinner were Susan Laughlin from New Hampshire Magazine and her guest Barbara Lauterbach, a well-known author and culinary instructor with King Arthur Flour, Stefanie Phillips writing for the Hippo and her guest Tania visiting from Portugal, Bob Mignarri from The New England Wine Gazette, Cam Mirisola, Editor of NH To Do Magazine, and her fiancé Rob Bynum, and Charlie Burk from New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant and his wife Joanne Burke.
Hernit Woods Winery Wine Release Dinner

With such an esteemed list of guests, Hermit Woods and partners had their work cut out for them, and they did not disappoint. The evening started with a wine tasting at Hermit Woods Winery, where Ken Hardcastle, Hermit Woods Vintner, presented six new wines. Every wine was unique and well balanced, and served to demonstrate the depth and breadth of Hardcastle’s skills as a wine maker. Of particular note were the 2012 Whiteface, a crisp, complex, white wine made entirely from local, organic, whole quince, rhubarb, peaches, and rosehips, which Hardcastle compares with a Gewurztraminer, and the Kiwi Wine, made from local, organic kiwi berries.
Hermit Woods Wine Tasting

Upon concluding the tasting at the winery, guests proceeded to the Lake House at Ferry Point, where cocktails (made with Hermit Woods wine, of course) were served on the porch overlooking Lake Winnisquam. Guests were treated to a brief tour of the Inn by Innkeeper John Becker, and soon after were invited to gather in the dining room for what proved to be a truly outstanding seven-course gastronomy extravaganza prepared by Chef Kevin Halligan of The Local Eatery. Having eaten at The Local Eatery before, there was no doubt that the meal would be excellent, but Halligan took it to a whole new level.
Lake House at Ferry Point

Chef Halligan procured the majority of the meal’s ingredients from farms in the Lakes Region and around New Hampshire. From pan-seared diver scallop to a lobster cocktail, organic mixed green salad, braised rabbit, and organic pork medallions, everything was prepared to perfection and beautifully complemented with unique and creative wines crafted by Hermit Woods Winery. Every dish was expertly presented and served at just the right pace to allow every bite to be savored. The two-and-a-half hour dinner concluded with a three-cheese blintz paired with Hermit Woods ‘Melange’ dessert wine.

Joanne Burke, Charlie Burke, and Susan Laughlin

Joanne Burke, Charlie Burke, and Susan Laughlin

hermit woods wine release dinner

Bob Mignarri, Susan Laughlin, Barbara Lauterbach, and Ken Hardcastle

Bob Mignarri, Susan Laughlin, Barbara Lauterbach, and Ken Hardcastle

hermit_woods_wine_release_dinner-029 hermit_woods_wine_release_dinner-034 hermit_woods_wine_release_dinner-035

Kevin Halligan The local eatery

Chef Kevin Halligan from The Local Eatery

 

After dinner, guests were invited to spend the night at the lovely inn, and most did, allowing them to wake up to a spectacular breakfast prepared by John Becker, again featuring mostly local food.

Hermit Woods, the Lake House at Ferry Point, and The Local Eatery did an outstanding job with every detail of this event, from the snail-themed place cards to the unique wines and foods expertly prepared. The event was a true testament to the power of local businesses working with local business to provide an exceptional experience for their guests.

Menu

Pan-Seared Diver Scallop, Basmati Rice, Rhubarb Chutney

Mixed Greens

Pan Seared Diver Scallop w/ Basmati Rice

Pan Seared Diver Scallop w/ Basmati Rice

 Paired with Hermit Woods Lake House White, an engaging blend of local, organic, whole peaches, rhubarb, and rosehips, fermented and aged ‘sur lie’ with a White Burgundy strain of yeast – a ‘Peach Chablis’ of sorts but with no Chardonnay grapes – a crisp and deeply complex white wine.

 Lobster Cocktail, Apple Chip, Cider Aioli

Fresh Chives

Lobster Cocktail, Apple Chip, Cider Aioli

Lobster Cocktail, Apple Chip, Cider Aioli

 Paired with Hermit Woods Harvest Apple, an off-dry apple cider wine made with a blend of heirloom and sweet cider apples from Apple Hill Farm.

 Organic Mixed Greens, Apple Matchsticks, Honey-Glazed Almonds

Fresh Chevre, Honey Ramp Vinaigrette

 Organic Mixed Greens, Apple Matchsticks, Honey-Glazed Almonds Fresh Chevre, Honey Ramp Vinaigrette


Organic Mixed Greens, Apple Matchsticks, Honey-Glazed Almonds
Fresh Chevre, Honey Ramp Vinaigrette

 Paired with Hermit Woods award-winning Three Honey Wine, a mead crafted from three separate, raw, unfiltered, wildflower honeys, each with a distinct contribution to the aromatic, light yet intense, long-lasting, complex flavors.

 Braised Rabbit, Molasses Jus, Parsnip Puree

Sautéed Baby Kale

Braised Rabbit, Molasses Jus, Parsnip Puree

Braised Rabbit, Molasses Jus, Parsnip Puree

 Paired with Hermit Woods Knot Mead, a dry, traditional varietal mead made from raw, unfiltered, honey sourced from Japanese Knot Weed flowers. This black honey has molasses and burnt sugar notes with a surprising light and clean sweetness captured here in this intoxicating, pure honey mead.

Pan-Seared Organic Pork Medallions, Sautéed Bears Head Mushrooms & Spring Onions

Potato Latke, Petite Blue Demi-Glace

 Pan-Seared Organic Pork Medallions, Sautéed Bears Head Mushrooms


Pan-Seared Organic Pork Medallions, Sautéed Bears Head Mushrooms

 Paired with Hermit Woods Petite Blue Reserve, fermented and aged with a Burgundy blend of French Oak, this wine is bursting with fresh blueberry aromas and flavors, and loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. An entire pound of wild, low-bush blueberries are in each and every bottle! Unlike many available blueberry wines, this is a dry red wine and more akin to a Pinot Noir.

 Three-Cheese Blintz, Crème Anglaise, Blueberry Sauce

Fresh Whipped Cream

 Three-Cheese Blintz, Crème Anglaise, Blueberry Sauce


Three-Cheese Blintz, Crème Anglaise, Blueberry Sauce

 Paired with Hermit Woods Melange, a Melomel (mead made with fruit and honey) made from all local, all organic, raw honey, and whole blueberries, elderberries, blackberries, and blackcurrants. Utilizing cold fermentation to trap aromas, this sweet, port-like, higher alcohol wine makes for a great complex and engaging sipping wine.

About The Lake House at Ferry Point

 John and Cindy first visited the Lake House at Ferry Point in September of 2011, and immediately knew that it was the place for them. They purchased the Inn on November 1, 2011, and moved in right away to begin designing the perfect destination for a lakeside getaway.

The Lake House has been a bed and breakfast for 27 years. It was originally built sometime prior to 1800, and at one time served as a vacation home for the Pillsbury family. The original building consisted of two rooms that are currently serving as the lobby and the dining room. Over the years, the house was expanded and remodeled into what is now a 12-bedroom, 13-bathroom house.

The Inn consists of 9 guest rooms, each with its own private bath. A massive stone fireplace, crafted out of rocks and minerals originally mined from Ruggle’s Mine, dominates the living room, which serves as a gathering place for guests year round. The 60-foot front porch is a favorite relaxation spot for guests throughout the warmer months. With 216 feet of lakefront property along the shores of Lake Winnisquam, guests enjoy our small sand beach, kayaks, rowboat, and peddle boat from spring to fall.

 About Chef Halligan and The Local Eatery

 Chef Kevin Halligan is a 2002 graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. He is a long-time Laconia resident, and his wife, Gillian, was born here. They have four children.

When Kevin purchased the Laconia Village Bakery in 2007, he knew it was a stepping-stone to bigger things. His goal was to provide top-quality meals made from local, organic produce and grass-fed, naturally raised meats and poultry. He began offering a daily “local” special lunch at the bakery, which proved to be the most popular menu item.

The Local Eatery opened in 2012 and features a year-round menu using as much local food as Kevin can find. Even through the winter, produce will be preserved from summer surplus or greenhouse grown by special arrangement with local farmers.

 

 

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New Hampshire Meads bring home the Medals!

New Hampshire Meaderies win medals at Mazer Cup

Moonlight Meadery, Sap House Meadery, and Hermit Woods Winery, won multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals for their meads.  Moonlight won silver for their Je’Taime , Silver for Utopian, and Bronze for their Blossom.  Sap House won gold for their Oaked Traditional Mead, and Hermit Woods won a gold for their Three Honey Mead.   Needless to say, the owners of all three meadery’s are very proud of their accomplishments.

“It’s a tremendous feat that all three NH commercial Meaderies won medals at the Mazer Cup.  Having been an active participant in this competition as an amateur and now as a professional, it’s very rewarding to see our meads continue to win medals year after year. The fact that all three NH meaderies won at this international competition speaks to the high caliber of artisan crafted meads our state offers.” – Michael Fairbrother, Founder/Meadmaker Moonlight Meadery

Matt Trahan from Sap House had this to say, “To have recognition from our peers like that is really awesome. New Hampshire is on the forefront of the mead revival.”

Ken Hardcastle, wine maker at Hermit Woods winery commented, “It is such a pleasure to be producing mead in the company of such fine mead makers, Michael Fairbrother and Ash Fischbein, and to have our meads stand out among some of the finest meads in the world.”

Moonlight Meadery passionately brings over 66 artisnally crafted varieties of mead to the mainstream market. Michael Fairbrother started Moonlight Meadery as a humble, part time venture in his garage. In a short three years Moonlight Meadery has grown exponentially now distributing to 29 US states, poised to move into all 50.  You can learn more by visiting their website at www.moonlightmeadery.com

Sap House Meadery makes small-batch, hand-crafted meads out of local ingredients in Ossipee, NH. They pride themselves on integrating and working with their community. Learn more about Sap House Meadery at www.saphousemeadery.com

Hermit Woods Winery is a small boutique winery located in Sanbornton New Hampshire.  They make a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional wines and meads that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.   Learn more about Hermit Woods Winery at www.hermitwoods.com

 

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Breaking News: Our Three Honey Wine Wins Gold

Hermit Woods Three Honey Wine

 

Hermit Woods Three Honey Wine has been award a Gold Medal at Mazer Cup, the worlds premier mead competition!  Ken Hardcastle, wine maker at Hermit Woods winery commented, “It is such a pleasure to have our meads stand out among some of the finest meads in the world.”  Our Three Honey Wine combines three separate, raw, unfiltered, wildflower honeys are blended to make this special mead (honey wine). Each honey has a distinct character and contribution to the aromatic, light but intense, long lasting and complex flavors of this “show mead.”  Our first batch of this wine won a silver medal at the National, American Wine Society’s Commercial Wine Competition. This is a versatile wine which can be served chilled to room temp., enjoyed on its own or with a wide variety of foods, but best with those that do not overpower its alluring and delicate nose …

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Mushrooms and other wonders of the Tilton Winter Farmers Market

blue_oyster New hampshire Mushroom Company

If you have not already discovered the Tilton Winter Farmers Market, you really should. There are over 40 vendors there every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 2:00, including Hermit Woods Winery every Sunday. There is so much wonderful, fresh, often organic food available it would take too long for me to share everything. Just visit their website to see all the different vendors, or even better, visit the market.

However, I did want to mention one terrific discovery, fresh, locally grown organic mushrooms from the New Hampshire Mushroom Company. I have never seen such a wonderful array of fresh mushrooms. You can learn all about them by following this link: www.nhmushrooms.com.   They were recently featured on New Hampshire Chronicle,  check out their video here.

If you like mushroom soup, I recently discovered a wonderful recipe that we make every week now that we have such a wonderful supply of mushrooms:

Pureed Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 onion, coarsely chopped

• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

• 20 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and quartered, (ideally Blue Oyster but I have used a wide variety and usually use multiple types)

• 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

• 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth

• 1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Season with salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add mushrooms, potato, broth, and enough water (4 to 5 cups) to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mushrooms and potato are tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree broth and vegetables until smooth. If using a blender, work in batches and fill only halfway, allowing heat to escape: Remove cap from hole in lid, cover lid firmly with a dish towel, and blend. Transfer to a clean pot as you work. Adjust soups consistency with a little water if necessary. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

 

 

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