We’re building another fort on the Windowsill today!
Last February, we had an ass-kicking raspberry ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery on the Windowsill. It was called Fort, and I can honestly say that it’s still the strongest fruit beer I’ve ever had. Today’s beer is Dogfish Head’s follow up to that brew, the Fruit-Full Fort.
Rather than just raspberries this time, owner Sam Calagione has opted instead to open up his berry sensibilities by including a “boatload” of raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries and elderberries in this version of the Fort. The result is more of the same oomph that the Fort brought to the table. Boozy and fruity—almost like a glass of sweet wine. Be careful with this one, but enjoy the fruity goodness!
Did you notice the yellow bottle cap on the Fruit-Full Fort? Most Dogfish Head heads know what it means—that you’re about to get knocked on your ass by just a few sips, since all yellow-capped beers from Dogfish Head are over 15% in ABV. However, like everything else about this Delaware-based brewery, there’s a story behind it.
Back in the 1990s, when Dogfish’s World Wide Stout first came out, it had a very similar label and cap color to a different, much less expensive beer, the Indian Brown Ale. Sticky-fingered, stingy beer drinkers would often conceal World Wide bottles in their Indian Brown six-packs to sneak them past unaware liquor store clerks. The company took enough losses on the World Wide that it started using these yellow “Yield” caps to put an end to the thievery. Eventually, they started putting the “danger cap” on all of their hefty beers, as a warning to consumers that booze is on the way, and they might want to put on a helmet before sipping. For me, these aren’t a warning, though; they’re a challenge!
How many danger caps have you had, Windowsillers?
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Jim and Jason Ebel followed their dreams to start Two Brothers Artisan Brewing back in 1996, and they’ve been making creative brews ever since. Aside from the beer, the best part of their brewery is their commitment to “craft with a conscience.” They use green, renewable energy at all of their restaurants and tap houses, and all of their packaging is made from recycled—and recyclable—materials. They also have a rooftop garden where they grow a lot of the ingredients used in their recipes, and whatever they can’t grow, they source locally. Love that Colorado craft life!
The In the Flesh Pomegranate is part of Jason And Jim’s American Sour series. They strive to provide “drinkable fruit sours that offer the perfect balance between sweet and tar.” If you can think of a fruit, Two Brothers has turned it into an In The Flesh release, or they’re going to eventually. The Pomegranate is made with real pomegranate, and I found it achieved the goals the series set forth. A little sweet, a little tart and very refreshing!
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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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!
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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