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Posts from the ‘Ramblings’ Category

Craft Beer Fridays — Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Ale

Peeper AleIt’s still not summer out there, but the weather is definitely warming up, which makes Maine Beer Company’s refreshing Peeper Ale a fantastic pour!

Based in Portland, Maine, the Maine Beer Company is very small, very green (they not only donate 1% of their proceeds to charity, they purchase wind credits to offset their carbon footprint and recycle as much as they can, including their spent grain, which goes to local farmers), and only fairly recently available in Massachusetts. With little extra cash for marketing, the company relies mostly on word of mouth to find new drinkers.

Luckily, the word is that you’re going to want to drink down Peeper Ale by the mouthful: crisp and hoppy with a hint of orange (and none of the bitterness that some hopped-beers get), it goes down easy, and pairs great with everything from spicy Thai food to cheese and crackers.

Sold by the pint, this beer is best when fresh, so pick up a few, and knock ’em back!


Spread The Love To Win A Diamond!

Amperfans, we’re not too proud to say we like you.

We might even LIKE-like you.

We’re also not too proud to say we need your help! We want to give this beautiful Bertoia chair to one of our fans, but we can’t do it until we get to 2000 likes on our facebook page.

Bertoia Diamond Chair Contest

So tell your friends, your family, and anyone you know who’s caught the mid-century modern bug that if they like-like us back, we have diamond (chairs) to spare.

Remember, when we do find a winner, we want him or her to hear the good news, so make sure that after you click that “like” button, you add Ampersand VM to your interests list.

Don’t worry it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1. Go to our Facebook page

2. Click on the settings dropdown menu (the little gear icon) next to the Message box

3. Select “Add to Interest Lists”

So start spreading the word (and crossing your fingers) and this stunning piece of mid-century design could be yours!

Craft Beer Fridays – Pretty Things’ Saint Botolph’s Town

Pretty Things St. Botolph's

The only thing better than grabbing a 22-oz. beer for a(nother) snowy weekend is knowing your winter-warmer is keeping the heat on in a neighbor’s house!

Founded in 2008 by husband and wife team Dann and Martha Paquette, the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project is right around the corner in Somerville, MA (and we’ve been fans for a long time!). Their Saint Botolph’s Town brown ale was originally conceived as a tribute to the city of Boston. Apparently the original Boston (England) was a linguistic mutt: named after the medieval saint, it started out as either “Botolph’s Town” or “Botolph’s Stone,” but over time, muddy pronunciation left us with the “Boston” that we know (and love!) today.

Though this beer isn’t nearly as heavy as Southern Tier’s Imperial Choklat, it has more than enough body to stand up to a wintry day. Malty,  nutty, and just a little toasted-tasting, this smooth ale perfectly complements a cheese tray (and cold days).

Make sure to snap up bottles of St. Botolph’s Town, and any of Pretty Things’ beers, when you see them; as tenant brewers (they rent brewery space, brew in the middle of the night, and let the host brewery bottle for them), just about everything they make is limited-edition, at least until they can get back into the brewery!

Shining A Little Light On Art Nouveau Icon Louis Comfort Tiffany

Here at Ampersand VM, we’re all about the mid-century modern aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate some of the visionaries that came before and paved the way for the modernist design movement. In the half-century leading up to modernism, few had as pervasive an influence as designer Louis Comfort Tiffany, who would have turned 165 today.

Born in New York in 1848, Louis was the scion of another famous Tiffany, Charles Lewis, the founder of Tiffany and Company. Originally trained as a painter, he soon moved onto the glass-working that would make him famous – even infamous – in his own right.

Tiffany’s “Wisteria” lamp, c. 1902

Hanging lamp shade c. 1899

But while Tiffany is best remembered for his stained glass panels and lamps, he applied his signature Art Nouveau style to everything from enamel, to pottery, to jewelry, to metalworking, to blown glass.

This Tiffany bowl from 1908 is an example of his “lava” glass technique, the contrast between the rough black surfaces and the shimmering lustered portions meant to mimic molten lava pouring over the edges of a volcano.

Favrile glass, in which the irridescence is ingrained in the glass itself, was patented by Tiffany in 1894. He used it in both blown glass and stained glass pieces.

This art deco brooch by Louis Comfort Tiffany, ca. 1920, shows how his style evolved towards modernism over the years.

And his iconic glasswork wasn’t just limited to lampshades; the trompe l’oeil glass curtain he installed in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City is considered by many to be a masterpiece.

The glass curtain in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, installed in 1911.

Though Tiffany died in 1933 at the age of 84, his progression from Aestheticism through Art Nouveau and into Art Deco shows a truly modern, evolving approach to his multi-varied art career.

While we may be mid-century devotees here at Ampersand VM, we wouldn’t say no to a Tiffany piece or two, as an eclectic focal point in an otherwise modernist interior. If only we had a few hundred (thousand) dollars to spare…

Happy Valentines 10% OFF for Vintage Lovers!


All our fans will enjoy 10% off today when you enter the coupon code “VintageLove” and click Go! at checkout to update your cart with the discount.

Diamonds are Forever, But This Contest Isn’t!

Valentine’s Day is almost here! If you want to get a diamond, make sure you’re sharing the &VM love.

When we get to 2000 likes on our facebook page, one lucky Amperfan will win this stunning Bertoia diamond chair.

Bertoia Diamond Chair Contest

Remember, we not only want to find a winner, we want that winner to hear when it’s his or her lucky day, so make sure that after you click that “like” button, you add Ampersand VM to your interests list.

Don’t worry it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Specifically:

1. Go to our Facebook page

2. Click on the settings dropdown menu, the little gear icon, next to the Message box

3. Select “Add to Interest Lists”

It could be you, so make sure to tell your friends! Spread the love for a chance to win a piece you’ll adore!

Craft Beer Fridays – Southern Tier Imperial Choklat Stout


Southern Tier Imperial Choklat stout: even better when paired with more chocolate.

With a Nor’easter on the way, there couldn’t be a better time for a new installment in our craft beer series – after all, starting Friday, we’re all going to need a (few) winter warmers to get through the snow-in!

And there’s nothing that fits cold, snowy weather quite as well as a rich stout. Southern Tier, a small batch brewery founded in Lakewood New York in 2002, has one that’s going to help me get through the weekend: the Imperial Choklat (added to their roster in 2007).

The name really says it all with this beer: you can definitely taste (and smell) the chocolate, and the creamy-smooth texture of the beer fits perfectly with the bittersweet chocolatey flavor. Hints of coffee, vanilla, and caramel add dimension to the heavy, rich brew, but make no mistake, this is a chocolate bomb.

This hearty beer would pair well with a charcuterie-and-cheese spread, or as an accompaniment to almost any dessert.

And best of all, it’s got your back if the power goes out: Southern Tier suggests adding a couple scoops of (melting?) vanilla ice cream to this sweet stout to make a boozy beer float.

Of course you do have to be careful: the Imperial Choklat might taste a little like a mudslide, but it is definitely boozy (with an ABV of 10%). But then, it’s a blizzard; where do you have to be but here, with a fantastic beer?

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