With 22 years of brewing experience, Malty Dog Brewery pours an assortment of handcrafted brews designed to seduce taste buds and tempt ambitious homebrewers with do-it-yourself recipes and homebrewing classes. During the 60-minute introductory class, carbonation creators maneuver through detailed instructions on how to use equipment, perfectly combine hops and malt, and harvest yeast from fields of abundant bread. Participants can savor a flight of four to five beers from Malty Dog’s taps, discussing each ingredient's impact on the flavor, as well as the correlation between foam on the nose and dignity.
The staff at 1-800-4Blinds have been dressing homes with window treatments for the last 40 years. And although blinds are their bread-and-butter—both from Hunter Douglas and their own line—they also boast an impressive selection of shutters, shades, drapery, and even flooring, outfitting abodes from top to bottom. Their services include estimates, based on their products' lifespan, and installation for new window treatments and repairs for old windows that have had one too many cars driven through them.
English Gardens began as a single, family-owned nursery in 1954, and has since blossomed into a full-service landscaping and garden center with multiple locations, all owned and operated by second-generation family members. Each location facilitates both indoor and outdoor gardening projects. The florist department brings the outdoor flourish inside by arranging fresh-cut floral bouquets and gift baskets for all manner of occasions. Workshops and in-store presentations also allow the green-thumbed experts to impart advice on common gardening and decorating topics such as building a kitchen herb garden or housetraining a dogwood tree. During the summer season, English Gardens holds a summer planting sale as well as weekly in-store gardening tutorials every Saturday at 10 a.m.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
The hibernation experts at Mattress & Futon Shoppe help foster deep sleep with cushions from top brands such as Sealy, Stearns & Foster, and Corsicana. Well-versed in all forms of sleep habits, the store employees are happy to expound on the finer points of each mattress they keep in stock, which range from traditional innerspring beds to high-tech gel memory-foam mattresses. If your new mattress doesn't feel right or already has a family of monsters sleeping under it, Mattress & Futon Shoppe has a 100-day Don't Worry Sleep Happy comfort warranty, and you can return the unwanted item to one of 13 convenient locations.
With more than 3,000 products in stock and learned clerks, Organic America infuses would-be green thumbs with the supplies and skills to bolster indoor and outdoor gardens. The staff, which includes professional farmers and retired Swamp Things, educates clientele with seminars and in-store conversation. Weekly workshops detail the essential techniques necessary for successful organic or hydroponic harvests, including crop rotation and biological pest control. Behind the store's low-slung façade, verdant displays show the life cycle of healthy plants as they mature from seeds to flowers and eventually to parade floats.