Are you working today? I’m not, so I’m celebrating with a Trillium classic on the Windowsill!
Today is a day to celebrate the Presidents of the United States. No, not the band who sang “Lump;” the men—and, hopefully some day very soon, women—who run what I feel is one of the greatest countries in the world. I’m not going to get too deep into my politics for those of you who are just here for the beer, but let’s just say that I don’t think our current president is altogether worthy of a holiday. That doesn’t stop me from celebrating the holiday, though. Lots of good history behind the office, and hopefully a bright future!
For my Presidents Day post, I decided to go with a classic from one of the best breweries in the world—the Double Dry-Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale from Trillium Brewing Company. Both the original Fort Point and the DDH version were first brewed in 2013, and Trillium considers it to be their signature American pale ale. It’s named after their original location, the Fort Point section of Boston. It’s their “standard daily drinker.”
The hop bill is made up of Citra and Columbus hops, and the DDH version is double dry-hopped with copious amounts of extra Citra. All those extra Citra hops make for an even juicier, even more lovely pale ale. Lots of tropical fruit on the nose and tongue. This is one of the beers on which Trillium built its foundation, so it’s worthy of celebration. Pale ale perfection in a can!
How are you celebrating Presidents Day? Answer in the comments below.
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A quality brew has run aground on my Windowsill today!
If you know a little something about lighthouses, you know that New England is full of really beautiful ones. Trillium Brewing Company, always ones to puff their NE chests out and exhibit pride for this area of the country, have been honoring some of the best lighthouses in New England with a very cool series of beers named, appropriately enough, the Lighthouse Series. Thus far, there have been five of these releases: the Nauset Lighthouse, Butler Flats Lighthouse, Gay Head Lighthouse, Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse and today’s beer, the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. The series isn’t just designed to showcase a particular New England lighthouse, though. They also each let a specific hop do all the work.
On Saturday, when I visited Trillium’s Canton location, they had the Cape Elizabeth on tap. It’s a Juicy, Hazy IPA brewed with Citra hops. It’s actually an iteration on the Marblehead Lighthouse, which was retired, tweaked and renamed because the brewery was made aware of another beer with the same name. I can’t say enough about how good this one was. Really awesome work on these NEIPAs from Trillium. Perfect for a foggy night. Or any night, really. Or the day.
The namesake lighthouse for this delicious beer is located in Casco Bay, Maine. It was built in 1874, and is nearly 70 feet high. Might be one I have to visit one day!
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I’m An Alligator—formerly known as Cold Fire—is the “bigger brother” of another SingleCut IPA that has previously graced my sill, the Weird & Gilly. It’s a double dry-hopped DIPA inspired by Moonage Daydreams, a song Bowie originally recorded in 1971 with a band Arnold Corns, and subsequently re-released as the third track on Side one of Ziggy. I’m not sure what the hop recipe is for this one—SingleCut usually keeps that close to the chest—but, as the can says, it’s mega dry-hopped because “the Spiders demanded it.” Never disappoint the Spiders, I always say.
Like everything else SingleCut does, I’m An Alligator is phenomenal. Smooth, juicy and a little dank… Definitely one to chomp down on ASAP.
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Special Notes: Part of Sixpoint’s Infinite Loop Series of experimental double IPAs.
Hops: Cashmere, Idaho 7, Sabro
@untappd says: 3.85/5
We’re dabbling in some cool hops on the WIndowsill today!
If you follow my sill, you know I have a soft spot in my heart for Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery. I love their logo, and the unique slim cans they put all their beers in. Unfortunately, I have really only had their year-round brews… until now. Check out the Dabble, an experimental New England-style Double IPA!
This is a very special beer from Sixpoint. It’s the second release in their “Infinite Loop” Series of innovative DIPAs. Max Nevins, VP of Marketing at Sixpoint told Brewbound.com about the series:
“We created the Infinite Loop series to bring our small batch innovation to the entire Sixpoint network, while also ensuring we have a great tasting, innovative IPA available year-round. The Meltdown liquid just blew people away—it went so quick we were out of stock two months before we expected. We’re definitely going to go bigger for Dabble.”
I missed out on the Meltdown, but the Dabble features a great and unique hop lineup: Cashmere, Idaho 7 and a new breed of Sabro hops to which, according to Brewbound, The Hop Breeding Company granted Sixpoint early access. It was super juicy, with a lot of big hoppy flavor and aroma. Really bright and tasty!
On Sixpoint’s own blog, Brewing Manager Heather McReynolds said: “I just wanted to make the juiciest IPA we could with the best, freshest ingredients available to us. Something for the New York hop heads who love dat juice.”
I think Sixpoint did a pretty solid job!
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There’s an epic battle on the Windowsill today. Who will win?
If you know anything about me, you know that I love collaboration beers with a passion. Can you imagine my absolute joy when I saw that one of my new favorite breweries, Beer’d Brewing Company, had decided to collaborate with one of my other favorite breweries, Pipeworks Brewing Company? That’s what we have on the Windowsill today… the Dogs Vs. Shinobi, a New England-style IPA with guava puree added that essentially mashes together the two breweries’ most iconic brews—the Dogs & Boats from Beer’d and the Ninja vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks.
I spoke to Beer’d’s Aaren Simoncini about this collaboration. Here’s what he had to say:
How did the partnership with Pipeworks come about?
Mike from Pipeworks has family in CT and had planned a trip back home to visit them. As luck would have it, Sarene Craft Beer Distributors, our Western CT distributor, also carries Pipeworks here in CT and thought it would be a great idea to put us in touch. We started the conversation and it was pretty obvious early on that our brewing styles were similar. We discussed some of our favorite ingredients and techniques and Dogs Vs. Shinobi was born!
How did you incorporate the two brands to make this one beer?
The final product is certainly a mashup of the two brands (there’s an IP issue preventing us from calling it Dogs Vs. Ninja). We talked about the beer we like to drink, and how we wanted those brands in a bit more of a sessionable ABV range. We also wanted a fruity punch to be included in the final product, and we both immediately gravitated to the Guava, as it plays so well with the Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic.
Who did the label for this can?
Dan Hamilton created the imagery for the can label. We started working with Dan a few years ago and love the fact that we can pitch him a cool name or concept and set him loose. We wanted to incorporate both brands without loosing our style and this is where we landed!
Anything else cool about this collaboration?
We love collaborations because they get us outside of our wheelhouse. They’re a great opportunity to learn a new technique or incorporate unfamiliar ingredients in someone else’s workshop. With all that said, it’s time for us to get outside of our wheelhouse, wink, wink, so keep your eyes out for the next step.
As for the Dogs Vs. Shinobi itself? I think you already know… It was awesome. Great mix of hops, and the guava made everyone so nice and fruity. Great collaboration!
Thanks to Aaren! I can’t wait to visit Beer’d myself in a couple of weeks!
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Sometimes, you just need a cool brewery on the Windowsill!
I love when a brewery is good to its followers and fans. Back Channel Brewing Collective is one of the coolest breweries I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with on social media. It all started a week or two ago when, while perusing my Instagram feed, I ran into a post that featured a super delicious looking IPA… in a bowl. A bowl? Yeah. Straight up. Like a soup bowl.
I commented on the post, asking if the brewery distributed to CT, because the beer looked good and the bowl was kickass. I almost immediately got a DM from the company—actually by Josh Leddy, one of the owners and brewers—saying that they didn’t distribute to my area, but they wanted to send me something to try. How cool is that?
About a week later, the beer mail came. Not only did Josh and Back Channel send me a 24.5 oz crowler of their brand new Gonzo IPA—they only sell beer out of their taproom, and Minnesota state law says they can only sell in 750 ml or 64oz containers—I also got… THE BEER BOWL!
Before we get into the bowl, let’s chat a bit about the brewery itself. Back Channel was founded in 2016 by Josh Leddy, Melissa Leddy (yep, they’re married), Mark Makarem, Matt Olson and Joe Meehan. Their brewery, which sits on a back channel of Lake Minnetonka, opened its taps in 2017. Not only did the location inspire the name, but Josh Leddy told me the other meaning of the name. “Backchanneling is a secondary, or secretive, way to pass information around,” said Josh. “So all of our beer names are descriptions of famous Minnesotans, or people with significant ties to Minnesota.” Their beer names act as hints to the identity of the inspirations for the beer itself.
OK. So why, exactly, does Back Channel Brewing have beer bowls? Josh actually sent me some marketing copy about this. It seems the gang was on a beer trip in Asheville, NC, and they plum ran out of clean beer glasses. They had to use bowls. In doing so, they realized how having such a wide opening for your beer made the aromatics of their IPAs pop like never before. Also, the care it took to take that sip—two hands, nice and slow—also added to the experience of tasting the beer. Hence, the official beer bowl was born.
I suppose I should talk about the beer, right? The Gonzo is an IPA brewed with Motueka and Strata hops. Josh told me that the batch completely sold out in five days, making it the fastest beer ever to sell out through their taproom. Why is it called Gonzo? Well, the brewery never really reveals who has inspired the name of a particular beer, but I did get one hint: someone from Minnesota was very involved with Jim Henson’s Muppets. My guess? Jerry Juhl—head writer for the Muppets Show. and native of St. Paul. Whether I’m right or wrong, the Gonzo was pretty awesome. Think Julius from Tree House Brewing Company… in a bowl.
My final evaluation of this experience? Back Channel is awesome. The Gonzo is amazing. The bowl? Although it’s a kickass souvenir, and it totally does everything Back Channel says it does with the aromatics, I’m probably more likely to use it for soup over beer in the future. I just can’t commit both of my hands for drinking every beer I ever taste for the rest of my life, lol.
Still, though, I have to give it up to Josh and the rest of the Back Channel crew. Their beer is legit, and I hope I get to try them again some day.
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Digging into the archives for another Friday local brewery shout out!
My good friend @beernarrator posted a can of Powder Dreams from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company a few days ago, and it reminded me of just how strong the Captain’s can game has been of late. That, in turn, inspired me to dig through my photo archives for today’s Windowsill brew: The Tears of Green.
Tears of Green is one of those fun, rotating series from the Elmsford, New York-based brewery. Thus far, they’ve released several versions of it, with the most recent being dry-hopped with Vic Secret and Citra hops. Today, however, we have the first version to be canned—the Motueka and Citra version. The beer was very solid, with bold tropical flavors and not a ton of bitterness. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking to try some of Captain Lawrence’s new-ish and best-ish (in my opinion) IPAs.
I also wanted to give a quick shout out to the brewery itself, which sold its first keg in 2006, and is still going strong 13 years later. I haven’t been there just yet, but I’ve always been an admirer. Cheers to the Captain, and cheers to Tears of Green!
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We’ll keep it brief for you Friday Instagrammers, but I wanted to give a quick shout out to BAD SONS Beer Co. with this photo that somehow got lost in my archives. Their top notch taproom is located in Derby, CT, and has only been around since the summer of 2017. Despite its short time in business, the brewery has always impressed me with the quality of the brews it puts out. If you’re looking for solid beer in CT, you can’t go wrong with BAD SONS!
Unfortunately, I don’t have too much information about the Big Whoop. It’s a pretty hefty double IPA that, at 9.0% ABV, packs quite a punch. That being said, it’s still very juicy and smooth, which makes it a little dangerous. I didn’t know it was so potent until I stood up after I drank it!
I’ll actually be in the taproom with my good buddy, Brian and our wives this Saturday… Maybe I’ll see you there? Maybe I’ll have a Big Whoop?
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Ever since I first heard about Beer’d Brewing Company, I’ve been itching to get them on my sill. I liked everything I read about them, from the quality of their beer to the kickass logo and can designs. When I found out that the Stonington, CT-based brewery had expanded its distribution, and was now showing up on the shelves of one of my local liquor stores, I got my wallet and jumped in my car.
Before I get to the You Like ‘A Da Juice, let me tell you a bit about the brewery. Beer’d opened its taps in 2012, making it a relative old bearded man in the Connecticut craft game. The brewery was opened by beer-loving power couple Aaren and Precious Simoncini, and still uses a humble 7BBL system to make their delicious drinks. I love their philosophy on beer, too. Their site says:
“Our aim is to reincarnate the days gone by when beer was produced by someone on your block rather than a multinational corporation. We are obviously not concerned with economies of scale and we think that shows in the quality of our offerings!”
That sounds pretty awesome to me. That’s why I’m hoping to visit next month!
OK. Now for the brew, which is why we’re all here! The You Like ‘A Da Juice is a double dry-hopped IPA that started as an experimental batch—Episode 8 in Beer’d’s Next Episode Series. People Like ‘A-ed it so much, that now it’s a permanent part of the lineup. I certainly Like ‘A da hop bill. It’s made up of Eukanot, Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra—both in pellet and lupulin powder form during the double dry hopping. I Like ‘A Dis Juicy Beer!
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My Milkshake has brought you all to the Windowsill today! Damn right!
So what’s a Milkshake IPA, anyway? According to Denver Westword, it’s an IPA made with milk sugar and lactose, which gives it a creamy, milkshake-like mouthfeel and appearance. The style also typically includes “the kinds of sweet treats you would find in a Milkshake: strawberries, peaches, chocolate, vanilla, mangoes and the like.” Most milkshakes are also spinoffs on New England-style IPAs, because they’re inherently tropical and low on bitterness. The exact inventor of the style is hard to nail down, but Westword says that Milkshake IPA, a 2015 collaboration between Tired Hands Brewing Company and Omnipollo, is often credited as the first.
Cut to four years later, and milkshakes have been popping up all over the place, and in great abundance. The one on my Windowsill comes from Massachusetts’ Clown Shoes. They bill it as a Tropical Fruit Smoothie IPA, but a milkshake by any other name, is still a milkshake. This one is made with guava, mango and pineapple puree. Solid fruity flavors and good mouthfeel to boot. I enjoyed it very much!
In case you’re wondering about that badass label art, it’s designed by Michael Axt and depicts the following, according to Clown Shoes: “The Grim Reaper has grown weary of being Death. Here we find him festive, semi-retired, and at the beginning of a craft beer journey.” We’ve all been there, Grimmy. Welcome to the craft beer community!
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