Category Archives: Midd Off-Campus

Groennfell Meadery: Owned and Operated by Midd Alum, Interviewed by middbeat

Ricky and Kelly Klein ’07, ’09 are living the life.  No, they don’t have a Manhattan penthouse, they don’t go sailing around the Carribean for vacation, and they haven’t made their fortunes (yet). Rather than leading a life of glamor and riches, these Middlebury graduates manage their own meadery, Groennfell, in nearby Colchester, VT.  

The two met during Ricky’s senior year at Midd while he was pursuing a degree in Philosophy and Religion, and Kelly, then a sophomore, was working for a Math degree.  Both hail from Wilmington, Delaware, however didn’t know each other until meeting at Middlebury; Ricky relates that “in fact, when we were growing up, I knew her mother, and she knew mine.”  After a few years in transition working odd jobs and pursuing master’s degrees, the two married and decided to bring their marital partnership into the entrepreneurial world: they made a down payment on some property in Colchester, and started Groennfell Meadery where Ricky is the Head Meadmaker and Kelly the CEO.

middbeat recently caught up with Ricky, who was just at last weekend’s EatxNorthEast festival in Burlington doling out samples of Groennfell’s mead.  Ricky filled us in on everything from the epic bonfire parties he would host in Ripton while at Midd to his time studying theology, his take on Midd’s drinking culture, Norse mythology, and the entrepreneurial spirit.  His mead is now available on tap at Two Bros, and 4-packs are also available at BevCo. and the Co-Op (maybe). See after the jump for our interview with Ricky, and here for more info about Groenfell.

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A Case of the Mondays: music to start your week off right

What’d I tell you about the weather last week? I hope that everyone enjoyed the incredible weather and got as much sun as possible..and that you’re getting prepared to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage!

This week on A Case of the Mondays we’re getting outside of the Middlebury student population. I’ve always appreciated different perspectives on music — those who consider themselves audiophiles, casual listeners, die-hard fans, etc. Yet I think one of the most interesting groups to talk to are musicians themselves. Shane Carroll ’17 goes to Fordham University, and as personally experienced, is a phenomenal drummer. Seeing musicians engage in something they’re so passionate about is a joy to see, and Shane on the drums is no exception. Playlist after the break.

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Grape Harvest Party at Lincoln Peak Vineyard

unnamedIf you’re not slammed by work today, we highly suggest you make the quick drive to Lincoln Peak Vineyard for the Grape Harvest Party. Picking grapes and crushing them with your feet, live music, bubbly wine, VT cheese and sausage, and it’s free… what’s not to like? If you’ve never been, Lincoln Peak Vineyard is just three miles north of Middlebury, right off Route 7.

And, if you’ve got no time for anything but reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic today, just watch this and be happy.

Date: Today, September 28
Time: 12-5pm
Place: Lincoln Peak Vineyard

Voices From Abroad: Morgan Raith ’16.5, New Zealand


Morgan biking in New Zealand, at the Cook Straight

This week, middbeat’s “Voices From Abroad“ will feature Morgan Raith ’16.5, who is studying in New Zealand this semester. Morgan is a junior feb environmental science and architecture joint major from Nantucket, MA. Morgan is living in Wellington, New Zealand and studying at Victoria University of Wellington. Her classes include Digital Creation (3D printing), Photography, Landscape Architecture, Construction, and Pacific Designed Environments — an incredibly interesting course load that she couldn’t find at Midd. Morgan’s writing is formatted like a personal blog post and focuses on how biking has shaped her experience abroad so far. We can’t imagine studying in New Zealand, arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, could be anything less than fantastic, and Morgan seems to agree. Read up:

About a Bike

I came to New Zealand on a mission to get outside and explore as much of the untouched landscape as possible. Though I walked off the plane straight into a metropolitan area. Wellington is the biggest city I’ve ever lived in. When I tell people that they laugh and say something like, “you know Wellington isn’t really a city right?” When I first got here I complained about the petrol fumes filling my lungs up in my walk to and from campus, but my flat mate who is from DC just sort of giggled and said, “All I can smell is clean air here.” I guess fresh air is always something I’ve taken for granted having grown up on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic and going to school in rural Vermont.

Don’t get me wrong, being in New Zealand for the semester is a total blast, but as I step onward towards new horizons, I’m constantly seeking ways to get a little taste of my life back home. Fall is my favorite time of year being an October baby. Who doesn’t like picking apples? Thanksgiving? Can you beat that Vermont foliage? Though fall does signify the start of a new school year and ensuing piles of work. So, one of my favorite ways to decompress is a ride through the hills around Midd, blasting through the trails kicking up freshly fallen leaves. I longed for the rush in between the trees and wind chilling my ears.

I started classes here in July, cutting my summer really short. I remember sitting in the library looking out the windows at the chilly winter weather with my head buried in a book and thinking, I could be back home right now in the sweet sunshine. Something had to change. I needed to find a way to satisfy my desire for fun in the sun. That sounds cliché or whatever, but I’m being completely serious. So what does one do when they move to Wellington for the semester? I bought a used mountain bike. Duh.

Just one week into classes I walked into a small rental shop and talked with the Dirt Merchant himself, James, a tall ginger-breaded, soft spoken fellow who was happy to sell me last years model of a 27’ Merida Big Seven. It’s a Taiwanese made hard tail, no rear suspension, with stock parts and well-worn tires, but she’ll do just fine. I took the bike for a spin before forking over a good chunk of my summer savings, which I’ll hopefully get back when I sell the little lady on Trade Me, New Zealand’s version of E-Bay, before I leave. James pointed me in the direction of the nearest hill to test out the low gears. I was so determined to take home two wheels that I brought my helmet with me to the shop. I clipped the chinstrap, mounted the saddle and off I went in search of incline. I rode until I felt the burn in my legs as I wound up one of Wellingtons many steep, narrow streets. I took it all the way down to the lowest gear, though that wasn’t hard because I was horribly out of shape at the time. I turned around for the shop. All right, time for the fun part. As soon as I started zooming downhill all that cash I was about to drop got a lot easier to let go of. I wasn’t just buying a bike. This was my new ticket to freedom in a city I barely knew. This was my escape vehicle from the boundaries of the city. I was headed up up and away from the sound of diesel engines, rush of traffic and smell of petrol.

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Photo Gallery: Midd Kids Join People’s Climate March in NYC

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On Sunday, Sept. 2014, an estimated 311,00 people filled the streets of mid-Manhattan to “demand action on climate change”  by participating in the People’s Climate March. According to last week’s edition of the The Campus, about 120 Middlebury students went to NYC to join in the demonstration. Here are some photos of the event and a handful of the Midd kids who took part, collected by Marney Kline ’17.5, a lovely middbeat contributor who attended this march.

Class Ring Discount Ordering Today


If you’re interested in buying a class ring, which we’re not sure anyone does anymore but it could be fun, today and tomorrow are the days to do it. From 10am – 2pm today Jostens, the class ring company Midd works with, will be at the bookstore holding an official ring ordering event. Special discounts on rings will be offered during this two day event. So, if you want a sapphire gem stone to rock at class reunions to come, hit up the bookstore today to check out the great deals.

Date: Today, 9/23, and Tomorrow, 9/24
Time: 10am – 2pm
Place: Middlebury College Bookstore
Cost: Site says the rings cost between $464 and $534. Pero whaaaat?!!

MAlt October Break Service Trip Application Due September 30!


Merck Forest and Farm Center, location of the 2014 October MAlt trip

Love community service? Trying to spend your October break productively, surrounded by the beautiful Vermont fall foliage, rather than on your parents’ couch? The Middlebury Alternative October Break (MAlt) Trip might be perfect for you! The application deadline is September 30, so be sure to read up and apply at go/malt if you’re interested (no prior service experience necessary).

For those who have never heard of MAlt, here’s some info from their site: “MAlt is Middlebury’s alternative break program. Each year, students design and plan six trips during February Break (national and international destinations) and one Vermont-based trip during Fall and Spring Breaks. The goal of the trips is to engage Middlebury students with communities across the nation and the globe in order to share an experience, provide service where service is needed, and learn about the systems that shape community realities around the world.”

MAlt Finance Chair Maya Neria ’15 writes in to tell us about the upcoming October break trip:

Join us for the seventh annual October Mini-MAlt break trip to breathtakingly beautiful Merck Forest & Farmland Center in southern Vermont at the height of the foliage season. Merck Forest’s mission is to teach and demonstrate the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland. Past work has included trail maintenance in the forest, helping with the harvest, and pruning trees. We will be sleeping in a lean-to and cooking together as a group in fall temperatures ranging from 40-60 degrees during the day and 30-50 degrees at night. It’s about a two-mile hike into the site.

We’ll depart Saturday, October 11 at 8 am and return late afternoon on Monday, Oct. 13. Camping gear can be provided!

Applications for the 2014 October Break Malt trip are available at GO/MALT. The trip will cost $30 per person, and financial aid is available if necessary. If you’ve got any questions, Contact the MAlt Exec board, or Malt Advisor Ashley Laux,

Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 30th to MAlt Exec Board via email at You will be notified by October 2nd of your acceptance.

Voices From Abroad: Katie Baughman ’16, Russia


Irkutsk, Russia


For middbeat’s second installment of “Voices From Abroad,” we will be hearing from Katie Baughman ’16, who is studying in Russia this semester. Katie is a junior International Global Studies major with a focus in Russia, and is studying at Irkutsk State University, in Irkutsk, Russia with Middlebury Schools Abroad for an entire year. At Irkutsk, Katie will be studying Russian Oral Tradition, Linguistics and Classical Literature. Katie tells us she chose “Russia for a more pure immersion experience and to be closer to nature.” Plus, she’s used to the cold. Katie’s writing is inventive, unique, and thoroughly grounded in her Russian experience so far, integrating many native terms. Read up, and be sure to check the term glossary at the end for further clarification:

Self exile, I called it. One year in Siberia, bowing down to the great gods of Winter and Grammar, wearing my unti and mask to keep out the cold and the coldness of passerby here. You can imagine it.

But of course it’s not like that here. It’s warm inside the marchrutka bus, the citizens crammed in like a temporary family, on their way somewhere in the minivan. Step out of the thronging crowd and the crawling trolleys and the everywhere ads and see that there’s a man, standing in the river, waiting for the fish to come to him. Then back in: walk up a blue concrete walk-up in a trash strewn street and step into an apartment – warm food, warm light and love.

Some streets are named after revolutions, some after artists. The main one is lined with golden-age literary facades and rust and circuses, the tourists following the Green Line to the landmarks and the Irkutyani following their own well-worn route to the market to buy fruit and meat for the boiling.

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Middlebury THT’s Fabulous Flea Market on Saturday

MiddleburyFleaMarketAre your blank walls mocking you? Sick of explaining that despite bleak decorations, you really do have a personality? Looking for that last upcycled doll or taxidermied squirrel to fully “do you” in your living space this upcoming year? Well, look no further.

This Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM is the Middlebury Flea Market. It will be held in the Town Hall Theater, which is near the ACTR Transfer Point on Merchants Row. There will be antique items, jewelry, ephemera, and collectibles. In the unlikely event that none of the 25+ vendors in attendance has anything your eyes fancy, the Flea Market is also receptive to donations to help fund events to be held there in the near future (such as plays, concerts, musicals, operas, and performances).

So, in essence, bring cash and bring crap. You won’t regret it.

Date: 9/20/2014
Time: 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Place: Town Hall Theater
Cost: Free entry

Saturday: Harvest Festival at Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op


Getting tired of the panini machines in Proc? Me neither, but the noms offered by Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op’s Harvest Festival will inevitably top even the most beloved of dining hall offerings. The festival promises live music from Snake Mountain Bluegrass & The Connor Sisters, a beer and wine tasting, the opportunity to meet local farmers, and sustainably grown, free food. If you’ve ever admired the Co-op’s commitment to energy efficient practices, democratic ownership, and the local economy but thought, “s***, this hummus is expensive,” now’s your chance.

When: Saturday, September 20th, 12-3 pm
Where: Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, 9 Washington Street, Middlebury, VT
Cost: Free