@untappd says: 4.14/5
Today’s Windowsill brew was so good, it vanished almost immediately!
Vanished Valley Brewing Company opened its taps in Ludlow, MA in 2017, and the tiny brewery slowly been getting a very big reputation. The name comes from an interesting story—four towns that disappeared from the face of the earth in the 1930s. Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott, Massachusetts were disincorporated and flooded in 1938 in order to create the Quabbin Reservoir, the largest inland body of water in the state. Along with the Wachusett Resevoir, it’s the primary supply for Boston. Sad those towns had to go, but water is important, and so is the great beer Vanished Valley brews.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find out much about the Watershed IPA. I don’t know what hops are in it, or the malts, but I can say this: it’s very hazy, very hoppy and extremely good. Bright and hop-forward citrus (like tangerine and grapefruit) flavors and aromas, low bitterness and super pleasant. It’s also dry-hopped, which is always a great addition to an IPA. The Watershed is definitely worthy of the high rating from untappd!
Also, check out Instagram some photos from my visit to Vanished Valley!
Hops: Galaxy, Mosaic, Simcoe, Centennial
@untappd says: 4.05/5
We’re getting out of this world on the Windowsill today, thanks to my good friend @beer_shark!
Let’s give a shoutout to the head brewer, and part owner, at Cellarmaker Brewing Company, Tim Sciascia. Sciascia graduating from, of all places, the New England Music Conservatory with a major in classical saxophone. All the while, he was developing his love for home brewing, and quickly got a job giving tours at Sam Adams. He soon moved out West, spending five years working his way up the ranks (and brew tanks) at Larkspur, CA’s Marin Brewing Company. Today, he’s responsible for some of the most buzzed about craft beer in the country.
The Alien Lifeform is an IPA brewed with tons of Galaxy hops, and a “cosmic dusting” of Simcoe, Mosaic and Centennial. It’s very hop forward, has a lovely tropical aroma and really does taste good enough to be made by Aliens. Anybody out there remember ALF? If you read the official description for this brew, you’ll know that the folks at Cellarmaker do. “This exploration in flavor reminds us of a day trip to Melmac. A different world with a green sky, blue grass and a purple sun.” If you know your ALF, and you have the Alien Lifeform in your fridge, you’re already running to make sure your cat is OK. Really awesome beer!
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Hops: Citra and Simcoe cryo hops
Availability: Rotating (with different recipes)
@untappd says: 4.26/5
Is someone performing the Wuxi Finger Hold on the Windowsill today?
This past weekend, I fulfilled one of the dreams I’ve had ever since I got into the craft beer game: I visited The Alchemist. I got to Stowe, Vermont around 5:30 or so, and the lads and I immediately popped over to The Alchemist’s beautiful, state-of-the-art taproom—it opened officially in June of 2016—for a visit before closing. I was bowled over by the beauty of the building, the decorated tanks and artwork inside, and just how pristinely clean everything was. We quickly hustled over to the tasting bar, where they were pouring two-ounce samples of Heady Topper, Focal Banger and Holy Cow… for free! After we drank our samples, we all bought as much beer as we could carry and headed off to dinner. It was a brief visit, but at least I can say I’ve been. Bucket List Brewery visit…achieved!
Among the many cans of beer I purchased at Alchemist, was the Skadoosh. I did not know this before I drank it, but it turns out the Skadoosh is a rotating series of IPAs that Alchemist makes with different recipes every time. There have been 23 varieties up to this point, and I got variety 23—fresh from the canning line! This variety is interesting, in that it’s the first variety of Skadoosh to be 100% chyo-hopped. That means that only the concentrated lupulin of whole-leaf hops is used. You get all the intense hop flavor and aroma, without all the other stuff. The Skadoosh 23 uses Simcoe and Citra cryo hops. I really loved it. It’s super up front with the hops, but still very citrusy and tasty. Get down to Stowe and give it a try!
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Hops: Chinook, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy
@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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Hops: Azacca, Centennial, El Dorado
@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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@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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Hops: Citra, Azacca, Centennial
@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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Hops: Simcoe, CTZ, Mosaic
@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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Hops: Citra, Mosaic
Malts: Pilsner, Unmalted Wheat
Special Ingredients: Beets
@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!
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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Hops: Citra, Simcoe, Eukanot
Availability: Limited (Tap room only)
@untappd says: 3.42/5
You know we love to do our research on the Windowsill!
Let’s talk about Lock City Brewing Company’s Research series! Like any good brewery, the Stamford, CT beer maker is always tinkering with its recipes and creating new brews. These “Research” pilot batches are named after the street on which Lock City makes its home. I spoke with someone at the brewery over IG—you know Beers on Windowsills isn’t afraid to slip into the DMs to get that info—and they told me that they do these batches every once in a while, but have been ramping them up of late in order to add new brews to their portfolio. In order to make these, nothing is safe from being tinkered with. Sometimes add the hops at different times, or reuse the hops during the dry hopping process. Other times, they do a little yeast blending to get some stronger fermentation. Whatever they’re doing, I love the experimentation!
The Research Drive #4 is, as you may have figured out, the fourth version of this research concept. It’s an IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe and Eukanot hops. I’ve grown quite familiar with the first two varieties on my craft beer journey, but the Eukanot is fairly new for me. The aroma profile for this hop is citrus, tropical, fruity and herbal. I thought it was a fine addition to a pretty solid IPA. Here’s hoping this one becomes a regular brew!
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