Trillium Brewing Company makes some pretty badass beers on their own, so I like to think they choose their collaboration partners extremely carefully. That’s why when I saw today’s brew on the available list at Trillium Canton, I knew I had to have it.
The Brimming Bin is a collaboration between Trillium and New Jersey’s Carton Brewing Company. Carton was started in 2011 by cousins Augie and Chris Carton, and is located in the Jersey Shore. They’ve been fist pumping out the good beers since then, and are known for their signature orange and white cans.
The Brimming Bin is a very interesting beer. It’s an American Wild Ale aged on both Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc grapes. It’s slightly sour, and very fizzy. Because of the grapes, I got a pretty nice white wine type flavor and dryness from it. Really pretty color, and a pretty hefty ABV for a Wild Ale! It’s brimming with flavor, crisp and refreshing too.
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As part of my haul—which you saw most of in yesterday’s post—I picked up three bottles of their Blueberry Soak for my wife. I got home at 10 p.m. or so, and my wife immediately popped this bottle. I grabbed a glass, poured it for her and took the photo.
The way this beer is made is truly a work of art. I’ll let Trillium’s own words tell the tale… “We ferment the base beer with 60% wheat in large oak foeders for several months. Fermentation duties are shared gracefully between our house lactobacillus strain and our Native New England mixed culture. Loosely inspired by the cold-maceration process used in winemaking, we referment fruit in the base beer after primary foeder fermentation to ‘soak’ for a deep extraction of unique colors, aromatics, and flavors.”
Everybody got that? What does it all mean? It’s a bit above my paygrade, but the blueberry flavor was really nice in this ale. It’s light, refreshing, crisp and a little tart. And look at that color!
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We hereby pause Stout Season to bring you a Sour from the archives!
Have you ever been to Brattleboro Vermont’s Hermit Thrush Brewery? I have… sort of! Back in June, I took a trip to Vermont for my good friend @galleycookinbeersnob’s bachelor party. On my way there, and on my way back, I made it a point to stop by as many breweries as possible. Every time I had to pee, I would search for a brewery near me and make a pit stop.
It was on Sunday afternoon, as I was heading back, that I realized I had to go, and found out I was near Hermit Thrush Brewery. I pulled off the highway, followed my Waze App and reached the destination, but there was no parking anywhere that I could find. I went around the block once, and still didn’t see a good place to park, so I hopped back onto the highway and continued my trip. But Hermit Thrush, which is named after the official bird of Vermont and opened back in 2014, looked really cool from the street!
Now, let’s talk about this Gin Barrel Saison, which I actually picked up a one of my local CT liquor stores. Like everything else Hermit Thrush makes, it’s a responsibly-brewed American sour. For this one, they took a saison and fermented and matured it in gin barrels from a rotating list of local distilleries. Sadly, I’m not sure which distillery’s barrels were used to house this batch of the Gin Barrel Saison. Either way, the resulting beer is nice and crisp, with a lot of that gin goodness on the nose and tongue, and a nice, refreshing sweet-tart finish. It’s interesting, for sure!
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You guys liked the DDH Stillings Street so much, that I dug up another Trillium Brewing Company brew from my lost photos archive for you: The Permutation Series: Number Fourteen!
Have you heard of Trillium’s Permutation Series? Well, any good brewery worth its salt makes sure to do a lot of experimentation. You mess with recipes, ingredients, boil times and styles. If something sticks, or turns out really well, you give it to the people. Trillium describes their Permutation series like this: “Permutation is our experimental series of small batch offerings, showcasing the unique visions and innovative concepts developed by our brewing and cellar crew.” Thus far, there have been over 70 of these limited brews.
The Fourteen is an American Wild Ale brewed with apple juice from Lookout Farm in Natick, MA. It’s brewed with several types of malts and grains—Valley Wheat, Valley Triticale, Maine Grains Flaked Triticale, and Maine Grains Flaked Rye—and US Goldings hops. Flavors of apple and white wine really shine through on this funky, sour, wild brew. A solid experiment, for sure!
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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!
There’s nothing cooler than today’s Windowsill beer!
How do you make a kettle sour? No, this isn’t an old timey joke, and there’s no corny punchline, this is a quick how to lesson! According to the Home Brewers Association, you can make a kettle sour in five easy steps. •1. Mash, lauter and sparge as you would for any beer. •2. Conduct a brief, 10-15 minute boil for sanitation, and then cool the wort to 100 degrees Farenheit. •3. Pitch a culture of pure lactobacillus into the kettle and cover. Allow the lacto to sour the wort over the next couple of days, using a heater to maintain the temperature. •4. When the wort has reached the desired level of sourness, return the kettle to the heat and boil for 60 to 90 minutes, adding hops to your heart’s content. •5. After the boil, chill and ferment with standard brewer’s yeast.
That’s it! Now go out and try it!
Today’s Windowsill brew is a kettle sour from Monterey, CA’s Alvarado Street Brewery, which came to me courtesy of my good buddy, @beer_shark. It’s called a Kettle Cooler, and is a rotating release from the brewery. It’s inspired by Cactus Cooler soda, with added heaps of mandarin orange, pineapple puree and vanilla beans to Alvarado’s regular kettle sour ale. I’ve never had Cactus Cooler, but if it’s as tart, fruity and refreshing as the Kettle Cooler, I’m all in for one!
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This past weekend, I took a trip to Vermont for the bachelor party of my good pal @drinkcraftscookwithcast. When my beer pal, @zacporter, found out I was going to Burlington, he told me I had to hit up Foam Brewers because it was one of the best breweries in the state. He wasn’t lying. Check out a few photos from my trip!
The Vermont craft scene is one of the oldest in the country. While Foam Brewers has only been around since 2016, the people behind it—Todd Haire, Robert Grim, Sam Keane, Jon Farmer, and Dani Casey—are some of the best brewery professionals in the state’s recent history. They have experience at places like Magic Hat, Switchback, and several others around the North East. We’re talking decades of experience. The group focuses its brew strategy on small batches, which means they’re always experimenting with great recipes.
We didn’t have much time to spend at the brewery, so I went bold with my order. Foam is known for its incredible New England IPAs, but I went with a little brew named Dance Yrself Clean. It’s a fruited sour brewed with lactose, but there’s much more to it. It’s then conditioned on pineapple, coconut and lime zest. Foam describes it as a mix between a mojito and a piña colada, and I gotta say that’s pretty accurate. The sour base was tasty, but the fruit, coconut and lactose added some really good sweetness to balance it out. Really delicious, and super interesting. Next time I go, I’ll make sure to grab some food, and try out some of their really good IPAs… and maybe have another Dance Yrself Clean!
Things are looking a little more rosey on the Windowsill today!
Does your brewery have a podcast? Well, Half Full Brewery does! It’s called The Half Full Story, and it’s an 8-part miniseries that tells the tale of how founder Conor Horrigan went from the corporate world, to a quarter-life crisis, to business school to Half Full. Grab yourself a cold one—from Half Full, of course—and give a listen. It’s available on iTunes!
Now, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of sours. Like any other style, I think they have their time and place, but it’s not the first style I turn to in my hour of need. That being said, if you like sours, I think you’ll like the Rose. It’s brewed with malted wheat and barley, kettle soured over several days and finished off with dried and crushed hibiscus flowers after the boil. The Rose is floral, very drinkable and slightly tart. Not bad at all!
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Let’s get GREEN for St. Patrick’s Day on the Windowsill today! HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
Why do we celebrate St. Patrick? No, he wasn’t a drunken Irishman. He was a legitimate saint! He actually wasn’t even Irish. St. Paddy was born in Britain to wealthy parents somewhere around the end of the 4th century. At 16, he was captured by Irish Pirates, who took him to Ireland by force. During his six years in captivity, he became a devout Christian. He left Ireland, came back, spread the gospel and may or may not have (probably not) have driven all the snakes off the island. He died on March 17, 461, and that’s why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today… with lots and lots of alcohol!
We’re celebrating today with a really special beer from New York’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. It’s their Barrel Select Green, a dry-hopped sour ale aged in Italian Oak Tanks. It’s part of their barrel select series (Green, Gold, Black and Red). The Green is the only dry-hopped variety—the process is executed with El Dorado and Super Galena hops—and that extra hoppyness goes a long way to making this a very flavorful beer. It’s crisp, light, super carbonated, sour and “assertive.” A solid wild ale from a great Brewery.
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