Giving gifts is its own reward, but at The Gifted Ferret, get-well cards, trinkets and candles accompany a robust collection of boutique wines so gift-givers can reward themselves as well. The shop's wine racks brim with vino crafted by vintners who treat winemaking not just as a business but also as a passion as well as the best way to teach grapes a lesson. During onsite wine classes, industry experts regale attendees with information while pouring samples from among the shop's dozens of varietals. For those seeking an intoxicant-free fix, the staff brews Newman's Own coffee and Green Mountain Naturals apple cider. In the gift area, patrons peruse handmade cards and Arthur Court pewter home-decor items alongside gift bags and an expanded array of gourmet food items.
Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.
More than 90 nontoxic paint colors, 600 pottery pieces, and an unlimited amount of creativity—that’s what guests find at Splatters Pottery, Painting & More when creating their own masterpieces. During a painting session, guests take the first step by selecting a plate, mug, or other glass or mosaic piece, and then cover it in doodles or paint. Once guests are satisfied with their work, they hand it over for firing and return in a week to pick up the finished product. The kiln-fired pieces are also food safe and wash easily, making them extra efficient for eating soup in the bathtub. For avid artists, parties and camps let guests sculpt their own pottery from clay, make a mosaic, or drizzle colored sands together.
Boutier Wine & Design owners James and Laura Cawthern oversee a collection of award-winning, locally produced red, white, and fruit wines. Inside their facility, the couple casts casual vibes across a variety of special events, including Ladies Night on the first Thursday of every month and Wine Down Fridays, when visitors can celebrate the weekend by sipping wine instead of by fervidly burning their work clothes. In addition to their potables, the Cawtherns help lift spirits with personalized gift baskets and custom labels that outfit bottles with personal photos.
After searching for an easy and affordable way to sample craft brews from across the country, Moondog Growlers’ proprietors began selling specialty suds in bottles that customers can bring back and refill with a new selection each time. The growlers hold between two and four pints depending on their size, bestowing beers with a shelf life of 7–10 days inside a fridge, 36 hours outside of a fridge, and 0.4 seconds inside of a thermonuclear jet engine. A rotating selection of 30 craft brews—which may include selections from famous hop houses such as SweetWater, Bell's Brewery, and New Belgium—changes based upon seasonal availability.