Thomas Hooker Brewery: Watermelon Ale

Thomas Hooker Brewery: Watermelon Ale

Hops: Saaz, Cascade

Malts: Canadian 2-Row, Carapilis, Wheat Malt

ABV: 4.8%

IBU: 11

Availability: Seasonal from April to August

@untappd says: 3.16/5

Every couple of months, you know I have to have a Hooker on the Windowsill!

You ever wonder where watermelons come from? I did, so I looked it up. Turns out the big green fruit originated in sub-Saharan Africa, and we’ve been enjoying it thousands of years. Evidence of the cultivation of watermelons in the Nile Valley exists from at least 4,000 years ago. From there, it spread to India and China in the 7th and 10th centuries respectively, and was being grown in Europe around the same time. Colonization soon took the fruit all over the world, and European colonists and their slaves eventually brought it to the New World, aka the Americas (North and South). In 1939, Japanese scientists figured out a way to grow seedless watermelons, which I can’t really get behind, but 85% of watermelons sold in America are seedless today…so I guess I have to. Now you know about watermelons!

Why did I just go through all that? First of all, I’m running out of cool stuff to say about Thomas Hooker Brewing Company. Secondly, because today’s featured brew is the Bloomfield, CT brewery’s Watermelon Ale. It’s a light, crisp ale made with a hint of watermelon essence. Was this the greatest watermelon beer I’ve ever tasted? No. But it’s light and refreshing on a hot day, that’s for sure. I might turn to a different watermelon brew next time, but that won’t stop me from enjoying the six pack I bought of this one.

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Lock City Brewing Company: Figure Four +1

Lock City Brewing Company: Figure Four +1

Hops: Chinook, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy

ABV: 7.2%


Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.18/5

Are you ready to ride Space Mountain on the Windowsill today?

Let’s talk about wrasslin’, shall we? I’m not ashamed to say that I have been a fan of professional wrestling since I was a kid. Ric Flair is not my favorite person, but I can’t deny his impact on the industry. Over the last five decades, he’s become one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the history of the business. He’s a 16-time world champ—I know wrestling predetermined, but they put the championship on the very best performers, who put the most asses in the seats—a two-time WWE Hall-of-Famer and he’s wrestled all over the world in just about every legitimate company. As he says more loudly than anyone else, he’s the man. Perfect to be immortalized on a beer can label, if you ask me.

When I found out the Figure Four+1 was being released in cans, I had to get my hands on some. Thanks to my good buddy @drinkcraftscookwithcast for stopping by Lock City Brewing Company while I was stuck working my day job in the city. This beer is named after the Figure Four, Ric Flair’s infamous finishing move (was it ever not reversed by the good guy, though?). My brother put me in that hold once. It hurts. This beer, however, does not. The original Figure Four was an American IPA brewed with Chinook, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra. For the +1 version, Lock City added a second dry hop of all Galaxy hops. Five hops! It’s a lovely juicy color, with great tropical aromas and flavor. Solid hoppiness on the finish, too. This beer is definitely a stylin’, profilin’, limousine ridin’, jeft flyin’, kiss-stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ son of a gun, as Flair would say. Made me say “Wooooooooooooo!” when I took the first sip.

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Alewife Brewing Company: Death to Ego

Alewife Brewing Company: Death to Ego on the Windowsill

Hops: Azacca, Centennial, El Dorado

ABV: 6.1%

IBU: 54

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.9/5

Let’s set our egos aside in favor of good beer on the Windowsill today!

Yesterday, my good pals Mike and Christine introduced me to Alewife Brewing Company—a great brewpub in Long Island City, Queens. I’m really grateful that they did. Not only did Alewife have a Windowsill for me to put a beer on (although it was a tad dark), they also brew their own solid beers, and carry over two dozen craft beers from New York, and all over the country, too. I tried some delicious in-house beers, as well as other craft brew on tap from LIC Beer Project, SingleCut Beersmiths and Clown Shoes Beer. One nice detail you can see in the photos in the Instagram post below… at 8:29 PM, they printed out a new tap list. It replaced the 3:38 PM tap list. These guys are on top of their stuff. Oh, did I mention they also have delicious food? I devoured my burger so quickly, I didn’t even take a picture of it. If you’re in Long Island City, check them out!

It doesn’t matter how many craft beers a brewpub has, I have to judge them on the beer they brew in in their own barrels and tanks. Thankfully, the Death to Ego was tasty! It’s an American IPA, and the official description says it all. CITRUS. FRUIT. LOVE. If you ask me, those are some pretty key ingredients for brewing a good IPA. Thankfully, they also used actual ingredients—namely, Azacca, Centennial and El Dorado hops. Great combo! I wish I’d tried more of Alewife’s in-house brews to see how they stacked up to the Death to Ego, but I was too busy oogling the rest of the craft brew list. Oh well. Next time!

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Evil Twin Brewing and Lervig Aktiebryggeri: Big Ass Money Stout 3

Evil Twin Brewing and Lervig Aktiebryggeri: Big Ass Money Stout 3

ABV: 17.2%


Availability: Limited

@untappd says: 4.05/5

We’re all getting rich and wordy on the Windowsill today… Where’s the pizza?

Leave it to Evil Twin Brewing to concoct what is easily the craziest beer I’ve ever had on the Windowsill. The soon-to-be-Brooklyn bound brewery teamed up with Norway’s Lervig Aktiebryggeri to brew the Big Ass Money Stout 3, which features three essential bits of insanity. First, it has a 17.2% ABV. That’s knock-you-on-your-ass strong. Second, it’s made with a super popular Norwegian snack: a ham and peppers pizza named Grandiosa. Third—and I’ve saved the best for last—it’s made with Norwegian money. Yes. Money. Filthy, dirty, disgusting money. The currency is added after fermentation, essentially like a dry hop. Money! I had to try it.

Why would they do this? Well, for his third collaboration with Lervig, Evil Twin’s head nut, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø wanted to make a truly Norwegian brew. He asked Mike Murphy—an American currently living in Norway and brewing for Lervig—to suggest ingredients that would make this beer uniquely Norwegian. Well, Norway’s roughly 5 million people consume 40 million of those pizzas, making it the country’s de facto national dish, so Mike suggested that. Jeppe wanted something to put the brew over the top, and Mike mentioned that Norway is one of the richest countries in the world. Money became the obvious choice. Has Evil Twin finally gone too far?

Oddly, no. I actually really liked the Big Ass Money Stout 3. If you’re into stouts, this is a good one to try. I think the beefy alcohol level—Jeppe and Mike set out to make the strongest beer in Norway’s history—covered up any residual money and pizza flavors (although, to be fair, I was eating pizza when I drank it). This just tasted like a really sweet and delicious stout. It was also really smooth, which I didn’t expect from such a high-alcohol brew. Evil Twin… you’ve done it again! I just hope Jeppe never brews in Iceland, which is known for a delicacy involving rotten shark meat.

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Stone Brewing: Stone I’m Peach Double IPA

Stone Brewing: Stone I'm Peach Double IPA

Hops: Loral™, Mosaic

Special Ingredients: Peaches

ABV: 8.8%


Availability: Special release

@untappd says: 3.82/5

Let’s get a little political on the Windowsill today, shall we?

Warning: this post isn’t going to be for everybody. I love Stone Brewing Company for putting this beer out, and for the message you can see on the back of this can. And no, it’s not just the tongue-in-cheek message about how to resolve our current political landscape; It’s the message of unity they preach, too. “Unite hops, peaches and each other?” I think that’s the only way to move forward. Like Stone, I want to shout “I’m Peach” from the rooftops. Instead, I’ll shout it from my Windowsill. I’m Peach today!

As supportive as I am of the message on this can, it would be a shame if the beer itself wasn’t good, wouldn’t it? The I’m Peach is a double IPA brewed with Loral™ (not Yanny) and Mosaic hops. The added peach combines wonderfully with the hops to give this beer a bright citrus and floral aroma and flavor. I wouldn’t say it’s over-the-top peachy, but it’s peachy enough for me. Even if you don’t agree with the political message of this brew, you should give it a shot. You might find our opinions to be the same on at least this one thing.

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BAD SONS Beer Company: Bourbon Barrel Aged Roper

BAD SONS Beer Co.: Bourbon Barrel Aged Roper

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: 33

Availability: Limited

@untappd says: 3.73/5

Come and knock on our door…

There’s not a whole lot left for me to say about Derby, CT’s BAD SONS Beer Company. I’ve been to the tap room a few times, so instead of going on about how cool it is there, and how great their beer is, I’ve decided to include never-before-seen photos from my trip last year in this post. Enjoy in the embedded Instagram post below!

If you’re a child of the 80s and 90s, then you know exactly who the hop-headed, robed gentleman on the bottle is. Mr. Roper, the original landlord on the hit sitcom “Three’s Company,” played by the legendary Normal Fell. Mr. Roper was always there playing straight man landlord to the hijinx of Jack, Janet and Chrissy (later Cindy, and then Terri). Although Mrs. Roper was never satisfied with him on the series, I was super satisfied by this brew. The Roper is a Scotch Ale, also known as a Wee Heavy, aged in bourbon barrels for 4 months. I picked up two bottles several months ago, but just decided to have a crack at one this weekend. Really good Scotch Ale, with the added bourbon kick. I certainly wouldn’t evict this beer from my fridge!

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Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company: Happy Treez

Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company: Happy Treez

ABV: 6.2%


Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 4.03/5

Let’s get some happy little treez on the Windowsill today!

Although I haven’t yet visited Middletown, CT’s Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company, I have had the pleasure of tasting a couple of their brews now, and I’ve been very impressed. I’m glad they make great beer, because I really like their branding. The logo is a lovely rose (the color changes depending on the can color), which many consider to be a stubborn beauty because, although it’s aesthetically and aromatically pleasing, it sure will stab the crap out of you if you aren’t careful. The name, logo and the early 20th century photos that adorn their website (old time drinkers, boxers, etc), this brewery has a very old timey feel to it. I can’t wait to visit!

The great painter Bob Ross once said, “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.” I always say, “There’s nothing wrong with having a beer as a friend.” The Happy Treez melds these two philosophies perfectly. I wasn’t able to find out what hops are in the recipe, but this American IPA is definitely loaded with dank citrus flavors. It’s fruity and smooth, with some solid bitter touch at the end. I’d take Happy Treez over a regular tree any day—and over many of my friends. Cheers!

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Kent Falls Brewing Company: Awkward Hug

Kent Falls Brewing Company: Awkward Hug

Hops: Citra, Azacca, Centennial

ABV: 7.0%


Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.11/5

Everybody loves a hug, especially an awkward one!

Last time, we discussed the fact that Kent Falls Brewing Company is Connecticut’s first farm brewery. Today, let’s talk about their water. All of the water they use in brewing comes from a well on the farm. Amazingly, this artesian water is preheated in a barn using solar power, which saves a ton of energy. Into composting? So’s Kent Falls. All of their spent grain, yeast and hop trub, and their spent fruits are composted with wood chips, providing much needed nutrients to the farm’s crops—including the hops that go back into the beer. Pretty cool stuff!

The Awkward Hug is a thing of beauty. It’s not just the beautiful label art, which features couples of all races, ethnicities, ages and preferences giving each other every kind of awkward hug in the book (even Waldo’s hugging someone awkwardly!), but also the beer itself. It’s an IPA brewed with Citra, Azacca and Centennial hops—some of Kent Falls’ “favorite hops.” It was the first “clean” IPA produced at the brewery, and has now been packaged seven times. Hopefully this one stays in rotation, because it was crisp, juicy and delicious!

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Knee Deep Brewing Company: Breaking Bud

Knee Deep Brewing Company: Breaking Bud

Hops: Simcoe, CTZ, Mosaic

Malts: Crystal

ABV: 6.5%

IBU: 50

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.92/5

We’re knee-deep in archived photos, so let’s get a Flashback Friday post on the sill!

Knee Deep Brewing Company was founded by Jeremy Warren in 2010. Like many eventual would-be-brewery owners, Warren first started brewing his beer in his garage, before signing a contract to brew Knee Deep beer at Mt. Tallac Brewing (since closed) in Lake Tahoe. Eventually, his beer got so popular that they were able to lease their own facility in California. These days, I easily get Knee Deep in Connecticut. Pretty solid growth, in not a whole lot of time. In 2015, Warren decided to leave Knee Deep, selling his piece of the company he founded to co-owner Jerry Moore. Knee Deep keeps making solid beer, and Warren moved on to start Revision Brewing. Looking forward to trying some of their stuff, one day!

The Breaking Bud is a fun brew that I’ve been lucky enough to try a couple of times—once in a can, and once in this bottle. It’s an IPA with a lovely pale yellow/orange color and lots of solid tropical fruit aromas. It’s hopped using Simcoe, CTZ and Mosaic, which gives it some nice mango and passion fruit flavors, along with some good pine and dank to balance it out. I love the name and label art, which is obviously based on the hit TV show Breaking Bad (Yo, Mr. White!), but you know who doesn’t? Sony. Enjoy the Breaking Bud beer while you can, because the media conglomerate filed a lawsuit against Knee Deep a couple of months ago for appropriating the branding of their show. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

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To Øl Brewery: Mr. Pink 2018 Edition

To Øl Brewery: Mr. Pink 2018 Edition

Hops: Citra, Mosaic

Malts: Pilsner, Unmalted Wheat

Special Ingredients: Beets

ABV: 6.0%


Availability: Limited

@untappd says: 3.49/5

We have our first ever re-post on the Windowsill today… or do we?

Last year, I posted To Øl Brewery’s Mr. Pink. I lauded the creativity behind the the Mr. Series of brews, which are named after the characters from the 1992 classic film, Reservoir Dogs (Mr. Pink was Steve Buscemi’s character). The beer was a Berliner Weisse made with lychee and pink Guava. It was pretty tasty, and my wife really liked it, so I picked one up for her at @beertable the other day while we were stranded at Grand Central Terminal due to inclement weather. Imagine our surprise when we popped the can and found a completely different beer inside!

To Øl Brewery: Mr. Pink

See that image just above this line? That’s last year’s Mr. Pink. As you can see, it looks nothing like the 2018 edition. That’s because this year, To Øl scrapped the lychee, the guava and even the Berliner weisse, and filled their Mr. Pink cans with an IPA made with beets. Now, like Doug Funnie before me, I love beets. I actually kind of liked this beer, too. It’s hazy and juicy, made with Pilsner malt and Unmalted Wheat, and hopped with Citra and Mosaic. And beets! Who makes beer with beets? I like that! I was just caught completely off-guard by the color, and the fact that a brand new beer was in my can. It threw off my experience, for sure. I’m hoping this becomes the branding for this series—a new [insert series color] beer every year (the other beers in the series seem to also be different this year)—but with more warning next time! OK, this Windowsill rant is now over. Cheers!

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