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Fayetteville Sip & Dip Festival

Do you like cheese dip? Beer? Good. Keep Reading.

This past Saturday I had the unique and quite tasty opportunity to judge the Northwest Arkansas Cheese Dip Classic.

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A cheese dip festival? Yep. It’s exactly what you think it is.

Pretty amazing.

When we arrived at the festival, I was immediately sequestered to the judges’ room to begin my official duty.

Now I love me some cheese, but a cheese dip expert I am not. 

There were many that were really good and a few that were just so-so. We were brought  numbered cups for each entry and given plenty of tortilla chips for dipping. The entries were divided into professional (i.e. restaurants) and amateur divisions. We were also given sherbet to cleanse our palates. Genius.

Pretty soon the space in front of me went from this

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to this

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to this

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Let’s just say after 14 different kinds of cheese dip, your brain (and appetite) starts to get a little fuzzy.

We turned in our scorecards and I made my way outside to see the festival firsthand. Jacob, Alex, Josh and Betsy were all making the rounds and I waddled over to join them.

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At this point you’re probably thinking, “Could this day get any better?”  Yes, yes, it can.

The Cheese Dip Classic  was only half of the fun. There was another festival taking place at the fairgrounds later that evening – -the  Fayetteville Foam Fest.

 From the site – “Craft beer connoisseurs will gather at the Washington County Fairgrounds to sample over 200 craft brews from around the world.
Foam Fest passes come with a mug, live music and free reign to sample international and national brews. Locally crafted brews from West Mountain Brewery, Hog Haus, Fossil Cove Brewery and Tanglewood Branch will also be featured.
Foam Fest attendees can sample their brews while enjoying live music from Tiffany Christopher, Durham, Bill Dollar and Loose Change. Local food vendors Hammontree’s, Mellow Mushroom and Hog Haus Brewing Co. will also be on site.”

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VIP always

After a quick detour for the first snow cones of the season, we arrived back at the fairgrounds ready to taste 200 beers. Or pass out trying.

We were given a sampling mug tiny beer shot glass and proceeded to make a beeline to the booze tents.

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Everything was pretty chaotic, but  the weather was beautiful and the beer was flowing so it was a really great event in my book.

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It turns out when you drink enough tiny beers, you get just as boozed up as drinking several regular sized beers. Good to know for future reference.

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Betsy and I spent the majority of the night becoming BFFs with a few of the beer vendors and taking pictures with strangers.

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Totally normal.

All in all, a great day with great friends and great food (and beer!)

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Painting with a Twist

Painting? Wine? Sign me up.

Have you heard of Painting With A Twist?
There are 62 different locations across the country, but we just got one in Fayetteville a few months ago.

I had the opportunity to take a class for work a few weeks ago, and it was such a fun experience.

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From their website

“Looking for a fun evening out? Painting with a Twist is the answer! The "twist" is you can bring your favorite bottle of wine or beverage** to enjoy during the class. Come alone or invite your friends. Paint, canvas, and brushes are provided, as is an experienced and enthusiastic local artist who can lead you step by step through the process of recreating the featured artwork. At the end of the evening, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind creation and a newfound talent you’ll want to explore. This is not your average art class, this is art entertainment.

Book a private party! Choose from over 1500 paintings, from landscapes, abstracts, and cityscapes to creative renderings of seafood, animals, iconic buildings, and florals. Birthday parties, bachelorette parties, office parties, sorority functions, date nights, theme parties, and team building are just a few of the fun events that are celebrated at Painting with a Twist.”

Unfortunately, due to local liquor laws, the Fayetteville location doesn’t offer BYOB. But, they do have a cash bar that serves beer and wine as well as a variety of non-alcoholic drinks.

The painting for the class that I took was a whimsical little snowman.

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The classes are either two or three hours depending on the difficulty level. Two hour classes are $35  and three hour classes are $45 – which gets you everything you need to walk away with your own work of art (canvas, paints, etc.),  including a talented local artist to show you how, step by step.

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I know what you’re thinking, but you DO NOT  have to have any experience painting to take one of these classes. Most of our group had never painted anything  before and everyone’s snowman turned out beautifully. Seriously.

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The finished masterpieces

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And here’s another little video I made of the experience:

If you have a Painting With a Twist near you, I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

In fact, I enjoyed the class so much that I’ve already signed up for another one!

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