What better place for a beer made from hops named after the Haitian Loa (spirit) of agriculture than right here on my window sill?
Last time, I answered one of the key “why” questions pertaining to this Beers On Window Sills obsession of mine. Why craft beer? That leaves one big question unanswered. Beer looks great posed just about anywhere, so why am I obsessed with window sills?
Look. I think most beers look perfectly delicious on a table, or on a bar. I can’t argue with that. In fact, the first beer I ever posted on my personal Instagram was on a table.
But, anybody can put a beer on a table and take a picture of it. I needed a hook. Something uniquely my own. Something catchy. Something marketable. But what? To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d ever find the right place to put my beers.
I tried just about everything on my search for perfection. There was the green pillow, but that was too soft. The red background? Too bright. Then there was the cutting board, but that just made no sense. Was I going to cut into my beer? No. How about a railing? So close! But no.
None of that was working, so I tried the split-screen method, and that went OK for a while, but it seemed like neither photo was getting the proper attention, so I stopped that. I tried displaying them in bulk, and that was an unmitigated disaster. I tried with friends. I tried outside on the grill. I tried with food. I tried with a lemon in it. Maybe the green sheet would be better than a green pillow? No! No bedding seemed to work at all.
What if I just held the beer? Well, I tried my left hand, and I tried my right hand, and, not that I don’t have beautiful hands, but neither of those felt particularly compelling or original to me either.
Finally, I found my inspiration; My muse, if you will. And it all kind of happened by accident. Because my kitchen is currently under construction, I found myself without a nice, flat surface with a compelling background to pose my beer. What I did have was a window sill. It had the nice, flat surface. It had the compelling background of the mesh screen and whatever happened to be outside at the time. It was convenient. It was perfect.
I started posing all of my beers on that sill, and when I went to friends’ houses, I posed my beers on their sills. At one point, a friend of mine commented on one of my posts. He said three simple words, “Brews by window.”
The spark went off in my head. That was my hook! I altered the name a bit to make it my own, and Beers on Window Sills was born.
That brings us to today’s featured beer, The Azacca IPA from Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you’re wondering why Founders named their beer Azacca, it’s because the ale is brewed using Azacca hops. The hops, which are known for the hints of citrus, mango, pears, apples and pine needles, give the Azacca IPA its wonderful, tropical flavor.
If you dig a little deeper, you start to see why I felt good about putting this one on my sill. The Azacca hops are named in honor of Azaka Mede, the Loa of the Harvest in Hatian “Vodou” mythology. After the Haitian Revolution in the late 18th century, which ended Haitian slavery and (eventually) French control of the colony, former slaves were now free to own land. Basically, Azaka evolved because the new land owners looked to their mythology and religion to protect their crops.
When a beer is made from hops named after a deity responsible for the success of all crops, you know it’s kind of a big deal. If a beer is a big deal, I absolutely have to have it. The pour in the photo might not be worthy of the Azaka Mede, but this IPA certainly is. It is an absolute honor to have it on my window sill.