Edison, WA: Home of the infamous ‘Brewstillery’

OCTOBER 10, 2020

Head 90 miles north of Seattle, and you will find nestled in the open farmland of the Skagit Valley, the quirky town of Edison, WA. A creative hub inhabited by artisans and farmers alike, there is one place they both come together in synergy, a place called Terramar.

What is Terramar?

Overlooking the banks of the Edison slough, Terramar Brewstillery is as eclectic as this small town. Combining a brewpub, winery, pizzeria, and a newly opened distillery coins their now infamous phrase “brewstillery.”

Terramar is the brainchild of Chris and Jen Barker, who, after many starts, stops and life lessons, opened their big barn doors of the brewery in the summer of 2019. This year, on their first anniversary, they celebrated with the grand opening of their newly renovated distillery and speakeasy.(Image:Richard Schmitz)

Terramar is a local business that is doing it all, doing it very well, while keeping their commitment to sustaining a lighter footprint on the earth. Once an old slaughterhouse, the Barker’s revamped this withering structure into the lively, community gathering place it is today, all while maintaining the existing footprint and upcycling materials.

“Sustainability has been very important for us from the beginning,” Chris said. “Every decision made has that in mind.” Including their process for making libations. In keeping with their repurposing principles, they make beer and then use the wash from the brewery to make grain-based spirits like whiskey, vodka, and gin in their newly opened distillery.

Come inside for more on the modern day speakeasy….

How I Prepared a 10-day Meal Plan for Our Sailing Vacation

Cruising out of lockdown on a 36-foot sailboat.

I stand looking down at the piece of paper in my hand, on which I have scribbled my grocery list. I am in front of the potatoes in my local grocers produce aisle. I do not find potatoes on my list. Do we have potatoes? I don’t recall seeing any in the pantry.

Never enough potatoes, I announce to no one around, as I plop a 5 lb. bag into my cart.

A few months ago my partner Richard and I began discussing what it would look like to embark on an extended sailing trip. We had postponed all our previous travel due to Covid-19 restrictions, consequentially feeling a little landlocked.

But there is always sailing! An exciting, fun, and socially distancing activity.

The Vacation Plan

We live in the Pacific Northwest, near some of the region’s most beautiful waterways. With some vacation time coming up for him, we decided on a 10-day sail around the northern Puget Sound waters, circumnavigating Whidbey Island and ending in the archipelago of the San Juan Islands before completing our circle by returning to Bellingham Bay, where we moor the sailboat.

A few weeks ago, we began preparing for the trip. After a weekend sail, earlier in the month, with my son and his fiancee, we knew the sailboat needed to come out of the water for some clean-up and general up-keep maintenance. Richard spent a week cleaning, scrubbing, painting, and waxing the hull of the sailboat Selkie, getting her ready from bow to stern.

My main job was to ready the inside of the boat. Making sure all our supplies were in order from washed linens on the bed to toiletries, to well-stocked pantry shelves.

This brings me to standing in the grocery store, reviewing my lengthy list, and hoping I did not forget anything. Like potatoes.

Creating A 10-day Menu.……

Going Wild at Cafe Wylde

P stands for Plant-based

Plant-based. What is it?

“We offer local, vegan, and organic food straight from the earth”, reads the sign of Café Wylde in Everett, WA. It is a late February day and uncommonly dry for the Pacific Northwest. I stand on the sidewalk and wait for my friend to arrive for our late afternoon dinner. Both of us just had birthdays and this is our celebration together. Knowing I am vegetarian, she suggested a “plant-based” restaurant. This may conjure a picture of tie-dyed hippies with long hair and Birkenstocks serving behind the counter but today “plant-based” diets reach across many demographics.

There are several derivations for the term, “plant-based”, encompassing diets which exclude red meat to the more commonly associated vegan diet. It is the latter which most people may think of when seeing this description on a menu. Wikipedia says it this way, “a diet consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, and with few or no animal products.”

People may choose “plant-based” diet for a variety of reasons. Ethical, environmental, and health are usually the most common reasons leading someone to alter their food habits.

At Café Wylde, they encourage that extra leap of health by using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Keeping it local reduces the carbon footprint as well as ensures the highest nutrient value because the produce is picked daily, from the field to your table.

Along with creative and delicious main dishes, there are a variety of healthy teas, smoothies, and fresh juices all prepared in house and on the spot at Café Wylde.  The women who dreamed this vision also incorporate gratitude as their motivation behind the scenes.  Gratitude for the planet, its abundance, but most of all for the support of customers celebrating their birthdays.