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Brewconomy Film on Tap to Showcase NC’s Beer Economy

Beer tourism is a thing. People flock to North Carolina for its beer. We are lucky to have a zillion breweries within arm’s reach. Hyperbole aside, there are breweries every which way you turn. And here’s the thing, quality abounds. This is not basement brewed swill I’m talking about.

The beer industry in our state is blossoming. It’s not just about getting hopped up on cans of cold beer at a backyard shindig. Beer is contributing to North Carolina’s economy in profound ways. The documentary film Brewconomy, to be released later this year, tells the story of craft brew and its impact on our state.

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“Through the voices of brewers, community leaders, government officials, scientists, farmers, business owners and others, Brewconomy tells the story of craft brewing’s affect on agriculture, community, and economy. These effects include providing jobs, increasing tax revenue, strengthening community ties, encouraging agricultural innovation and production, and generally improving the overall state economy.”

Filmmaker Camden Watts Roessler is a friend of mine and guest posted about this film venture on Dirt & Noise when the idea was in Kickstarter incubation. It’s been an incredible journey to watch unfold as Camden and her team took this rice grain sized idea and turned it into a film. Camden is a driven, creative spirit who sees a story where some might see none. From the first time I ever met her I knew she’s the kind of whip smart gal I’d like to enjoy a beer with.

Head to your favorite bottle shop to pick up a mix of North Carolina beers. Sit back and watch Brewconomy with an extra dose of satisfaction that you are helping our state’s economy. Let’s support both independent craft breweries and independent film makers! Share this trailer and help the film make its way to your community. Brewconomy will run first in the Triangle and make its way across the state with our help.

So tell me, what are you drinking these days?

I’ll start. I’m a fan of Trophy Brewing. It doesn’t hurt that I can walk there.

Camden tells me she’s enjoying Raleigh Brewing, Trophy, Crank Arm, Fullsteam. Her partner Shane Johnston is indulging in Raleigh Brewing, Nickelpoint, Fullsteam, and Crank Arm. You should know that Shane’s Ignite talk about craft beer’s impact on North Carolina’s economy sparked this film. I was at that talk and I think about it every time I buy an NC brew. Cheers to all the great things brewing in North Carolina!

Fill Your Easter Basket With NC Treats

The Easter Bunny is a procrastinator. You’d think all that sugar fuels him to hop around like…well, the Energizer Bunny. Alas, he lacks organizational skills. If your Easter Bunny needs a boost this season, hop on over to fill your basket with state fare.

If there’s one state that can boast the motherlode of locally made Easter basket gems, it’s North Carolina. We have curated some ideas to make your bunny’s job easier. Shopping locally bolster’s our state’s economy, of course, but filling your basketwith  local fare truly makes for a unique gift that makes a difference.

Fill your Easter Basket with NC Treats

Piedmont Candy Company is one of the last vestiges of a family owned candy company with production in the United States. It’s based in Lexington, NC, home of more than barbecue. Try the Puffs in the citrus and fruit flavors.

Piedmont Candy Peppermint Puffs #HandmadeNC

 

Chapel Hill Toffee, Videri Chocolate Factory, and The Secret Chocolatier will satiate your chocolate cravings way better than a waxy, hollow chocolate bunny.

Videri Chocolate Factory #HandmadeNC The Secret Chocolatier #HandmadeNC

Chapel Hill Toffee #HandmadeNC

Crude Bitters & Sodas has a wonderful selection of unique bitters and shrubs. I cast my vote for the Pineapple Ginger schrub. Serve it up with some Topo vodka for the grown ups. I mean really, Easter baskets aren’t just for kids, right?

Crude Bitters Pineapple Ginger Shrub -- #HandmadeNC

Big Spoon Roasters’ Peanut Cocoa Butter isn’t a body butter but it is a balm for the soul. Eat it off the spoon. Founder Mark Overbay’s favorite snack is a big ol’ spoon of peanut butter straight from the jar. Mine too.

Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Cocoa Butter #HandmadeNC

Tonya’s Cookies are the best kind of homemade treat…they are made in someone else’s home! Tonya comes from good kitchen stock; Chapel Hill’s famous Mama Dip’s is her grandmother’s restaurant. The ever so tasty White Chocolate Pecan Crisp is my favorite.

Tonya's Cookies White Chocolate Pecan Crisp #HandmadeNC

Counter Culture Coffee will be a hit among the adults who woke up for a sunrise church service. Try the #46.

Type Mache Makes Letters an Artform

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I collect the letter E and have variations from the flea market and other places where serendipitous finds can be had. I love words. I love letters. Imagine my giddy surprise to have discovered Heather Ng of Type Mache. Heather, artist and mother of three in Cary, NC, is a graduate of the renown Rhode Island School of Design. There she studied 3 D art, and her work makes that apparent.

Heather is at once creative and earnest. There are no cliche artist airs about her, despite her pedigree and talent. What I appreciate most is how Heather literally and figuratively rolls up her sleeves and gets her hands in the muck to create art that is one-of-a-kind indeed. In a strange twist, Heather thanks her parents for not letting her putz in paper mache as a child, sparking the desire to plop her hands into the gluey muck at first chance. Who knows what talents our children hide all the times we say no? As a mom who eschews a sticky mess of any sort, I can totally identify with Heather’s parents.

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As a lover of words and an appreciator of type, I positively drool for Heather’s large letter pieces. The process is quite in depth, starting with hand cut stencils made with the piles of corrugated cardboard knowing neighbors leave on Heather’s porch (way to be green!). How amazing is this example paper mached in maps? I also happen to love maps, ironic considering I have a lousy sense of direction. But I digress…

The ways Heather can make a letter personalized are as vast as your imagination. Sheet music, maps, menus, concert tickets, comics, dictionary pages, sewing patterns, newspaper clippings, vintage ads, the list goes on… Heather is more than a doer; she’s a thinker too, a tinkerer. She’s bursting with elan and can give you ideas to help guide you. You see, artists like her don’t stop creating, and their brains are always click-clacking away. There are seeds for new ideas pollinating in Heather’s creative spirit. Her new 3D texture tiles are the most recent thing to bloom. I covet a collection of the Wave and Petals to hang as a series on my wall.

All of Heather’s work is painstakingly handcrafted. To hear her talk of her art leaves you smiling, her joy palpable and contagious. To own a piece of Type Mache is to truly have an artist’s touch in your home.

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Ozone Layer – Aluminum Free Deodorant That Works!

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Though it’s nippy out now, soon enough summer’s heat will breeze in, inducing weather amnesia in us all. We will cease our griping about winter’s chill and make way for complaining about Heat Miser’s grip on our state. The heat of summer brings all sorts of fun – beach days and poolside daze. We’ll relish popsicles and daiquiris and backyard barbecues and the like. But the smelly little secret of the savior of summer is the stink. Peeewwww.

I live in a house full of boys. There are tween boys running amok at any given time of day. The whole lot of them carries a certain scent that wafts up into your nostrils, taking hold in the most unpleasant way. The shoes, the sweat, all marks of the hormonal battle raging in their young, growing bodies. Their coming of age, while sweet in its own way, still reeks.

We discovered Ozone Layer deodorant quite serendipitously while vacationing in Kure Beach. My sons and I struck up a conversation with Reid, one of the founders. He was ebullient and so giddy that we were simply tangled in his joy upon first glance. He’s the kind of guy you immediately trust. A good aura, I suppose, is the mark of a good businessman. We talked about boys hitting their tween stride and noted the change in the air. I mentioned we had been looking for aluminum free deodorant options that were natural and effective. So far the ones we had experimented with were natural and smelled nice but stunk it their efficacy.

Ozone Layer is made in Kure Beach, NC. Todd and Reid, the founders, make up the batches themelves and served as guinea pigs in all the testing. No animals were use in their testing, but I imagine they crinkled up their noses quite a bit until they found a formula that works. Ozone Layer is made from shea butter, beeswax, and oils for scent. I’m partial to the lavender. My husband and sons like the eucalyptus and lemongrass. The scents are all quite lovely, not treacly. All the deodorant is free of sulfates, phthalates, paraben, and artificial colors. The packaging is recyclable and even refillable. You can mail back your empty container for a refill at a reduced cost. Cool, right?

The secret ingredient in Ozone Layer is oxygen. This is where I really wish I had paid more attention in chemistry class. The oxygen rich environment basically chokes out all the bacteria that makes us smell bad.

Deodorant is admittedly not very sexy, but I’d argue that stinking is even less so.