New Belgium Brewing Company: Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

New Belgium Brewing Company: Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

Hops: Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Nugget

Grain Bill: Pale, Wheat, C-80, Oats

Yeast: American Hefeweizen

ABV: 7.5%

IBU: 50

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.78/5

Who is the Voodoo Ranger? Consider him a brand extension for Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company. In December(ish) of 2016, New Belgium retired some year-round brews, including its Ranger IPA, and debuted a new IPA, the Voodoo Ranger. The now famous skeleton with the ranger hat became the de facto mascot for this brand swap, and he’s graced the bottles and cans of several incarnations of the Voodoo Ranger brew in the last 18 months or so. Check his wacky adventures out on Instagram, @voodooranger. Also, check out Frost Motion, the design company that created him!

The Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA is the latest major incarnation (not counting special releases) of the Voodoo series. True to its name, it’s an unfiltered IPA brewed with Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Nugget hops. All those hops, and the hefeweizen yeast strain, combine for a very citrusy and tropical delight that I definitely wouldn’t kick out of bed in the morning. Very enjoyable brew from a brewery that remains one of my favorites. I definitely recommend trying the Juicy Haze IPA, and the rest of the other Voodoo Ranger line.

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Kent Falls Brewing Company: Super Sparkle

Kent Falls Brewing Company: Super Sparkle

Hops: Simcoe, Mosaic, Centennial

ABV: 6.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.04/5

Don’t go blind, cuz the Windowsill is sparkling right now!

Kent Falls Brewing Company has the distinct honor of being the very first farm brewery in Connecticut. It sits firmly on Camps Road Farm, a 50-acre property in Kent, CT that focuses on pasture-raised poultry and pork, beer and cider. An acre of the farm is dedicated to hops for the brewery, and 1.5 acres are dedicated to cider apples for Neversink Spirits. The farm itself has been in agricultural operation for 250 years.

The Super Sparkle is gemstones, rainbows and Care Bear Stares™ all brewed up and poured into a 16-oz can. It’s an IPA brewed with Simcoe, Centennial and Mosaic hops. All those hops give it a nice blend of fruit, citrus and pine flavors that I really enjoyed. Hopefully, this beer helps them figure out that Unicorn problem they seem to have. They can be awfully demanding.

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Half Full Brewery: Rose (Without Rhyme or Reason Release #6)

Half Full Brewery: Rose (Without Rhyme or Reason Release #6)

Grain Bill: Malted Wheat, Barley

ABV: 4.7%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Canned once

@untappd says: 3.93/5

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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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Pale Ale

Hops: Cascade

Grain: Two-row Pale, Caramel

Yeast: Ale Yeast

ABV: 5.6%

IBU: 38

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.65/5

We have a California classic on the Windowsill today!

What’s left to be said about a classic pale ale like this one from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.? Well, let’s talk about Pale Ale for Trails. Starting this Sunday (Earth Day), and running through April 28, all of Sierra Nevada’s taprooms—Chico, Mills River and Berkeley—will be donating a portion of proceeds from every single Pale Ale served to the National Trails System. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, which was created to promote public access and preservation of historic outdoor areas, like the Appalachian Trail. So, as we head to the kickoff weekend for this charitable endeavor, go have yourself a Pale Ale!

You can’t really go wrong with the Pale Ale. It’s hopped exclusively with Cascade hops, which makes for a brew with some unique piney and grapefruity aromas. Overall, I thought it was solid. Not spectacular, but few classics ever are. It’s just a good, solid brew: smooth and drinkable, but also refreshing and complex. It took me way too long to get this one on the Windowsill, but I’m glad I finally did.

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SingleCut Beersmiths: Tomorrow Who’s Gonna Fuss?

SingleCut Beersmiths: Tomorrow Who's Gonna Fuss

ABV: 10.0%

IBU: 155

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.32/5

We have another kickass New York beer on the Windowsill today!

SingleCut Beersmiths is at it again with the rock references! “Tomorrow Who’s Gonna Fuss?” is a lyric from the song “Androgynous” by the Replacements. The song says: “Here comes Dick, he’s wearing a skirt / Here comes Jane, you know she’s sporting a chain / Same hair, revolution / Same build, evolution / Tomorrow who’s gonna fuss?” The song goes on to say that Jane and Dick love each other, and the message behind it is… In the grand scheme of things, who gives a crap what they look like, their gender or who they love? This is a message that I fully support. Love whoever you want, as long as you love my Windowsill! Logo note: To the best of my understanding, the Replacements wore a lot of plaid. The reason behind rainbow coloring should be clear.

I’ve been on a bit of a triple IPA kick of late, and I think I’ve found the absolute cream of the crop with the “Tomorrow Who’s Gonna Fuss?.” SingleCut doesn’t say what the hop blend is for this beer, and I don’t want to guess and reveal my novice status in the craft beer game, but just know that this is triple dry-hopped to go along with being a triple IPA. Triple! All that brewing, and hopping contribute to not just the hefty 10.0% ABV, but also to the highest IBU total I’ve ever had in a beer, 155. Despite all that bitterness and alcohol, it’s incredibly smooth and easy-drinking. No booziness at all! Goodness, gracious this was great. Tomorrow, I will still definitely make a fuss about it!

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Thomas Hooker Brewery: Belma IPA

Thomas Hooker Brewery: Belma IPA

Hops: Belma

ABV: 5.3%

IBU: 38

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.6/5

We have a very unique beer on the Windowsill today!

Let’s talk about the Belma hop variety. It’s only grown in one place in the entire United States: Puterbaugh Farms in Mabton, Washington. It took a few years to develop, and was introduced by Hops Direct LLC and the farm in the fall of 2012. It’s named after Belma, Washington, a community that was established in 1894, but disbanded in 1909, when the post office moved to Mabton. Yep, that happened back in the day. If your post office moved, your whole town went away. Anyway, here’s hoping this hop never goes away!

The Belma IPA is a single-hopped IPA from Bloomfield, CT’s Thomas Hooker Brewery that uses only the Belma hop. This beer’s most enduring characteristic is its unique aromas of strawberry and pineapple. This made for a very fruity and delicious IPA. It’s smooth and very drinkable, and the low ABV makes it pretty crushable as well. I wouldn’t mind lining up a few of these on a nice summer afternoon, that’s for sure!

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Evil Twin Brewing and Omnipollo: Half & Half Lemonade Iced Tea IPA

Omnipollo and Evil Twin: Half & Half Lemonade Iced Tea IPA

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 3.55/5

There’s no half steppin’ on the Windowsill today, just a little Half & Half!  

Omnipollo and Evil Twin Brewing are two of my favorite gypsy breweries, so imagine my excitement when I heard that the two have collaborated on an entire series of Lemonade-based brews. Thus far, in the series, the tag team has released Coffeenade, Rainbownade, Pink Lemonade, Old Fashioned Lemonade and today’s Windowsill brew, the Half & Half Lemonade Iced Tea IPA. I love the collaborative spirit of these two breweries, and am happy that they can make such experimental brews together.

That being said, I didn’t love the Half & Half. First of all, it was very heavy on the lemonade flavor. The sweetness from the iced tea was the next thing I noticed, and that wasn’t bad. In all, this was a very good lemonade iced tea mix. However, I didn’t like the way it worked as an IPA. I look forward to tasting the other collaborations someday, but this one missed for me. Too lemony, too sweet. Here’s hoping for better luck with the next one. I dig the label, though!

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Armada Brewing: Bikini Island

Armada Brewing: Bikini Island

Hops: Mosaic

ABV: 10.0%

IBU: 100+

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.24/5

Is it summer yet? Cuz I’m getting my bikini on on the Windowsill today!

Connecticut’s gypsy brewery, Armada Brewing, makes its solo debut on the Windowsill Remember the Candy Castle collaboration with BAD SONS Beer Company?). Bikini Island is named after a real life place, the northeastern most island on the Bikini Atoll, which is a ring-shaped coral reef in the Pacific Ocean. The fun fact about this area? From 1946-1958, the United States tested 23 nuclear explosions all around it. The reef’s natives, who was promised they’d be able to return home in no time when they agreed to give up their home, are still out of luck. They ended up shuffled around to two other Atolls, and the area is unlivable to this day. Good job, U.S. Government!

Now that you know the history behind the name, let’s talk about how incredibly delicious this beer is. The Bikini Island is a triple IPA hopped only with one of my favorite hop varieties, Mosaic. This beer has three things I really like. It’s hopped to the gills with a high IBU, it’s bright and tropical and, at 10% ABV, it really packs a punch. It was really a great brew, and once I had it, I was pretty much set for the night. Can’t wait to try more from Armada Brewing!

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Nod Hill Brewery: Super Mantis

Nod Hill Brewery: Super Mantis

Hops: Citra, Galaxy

Grains: Pale, Munich, Flaked Oats

Yeast: Nod Hill’s House Ale yeast

ABV: 8.7%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.86/5

Oh no! The Windowsill is under attack from a super delicious beer monster!

Nod Hill Brewery is named after the hill that rises behind their Ridgefield, CT building. The father-son team of Robert and Dave Kaye opened the 10-barrel brewery just before Halloween last year. Although the pair were avid home brewers before Nod Hill, they hired head brewer Kyle Acenowr to help them with the increased volume and precision to make beer for the masses. Like the campfire depicted in their logo, Nod Hill Brewery is a welcoming gathering place for friends to meet, relax, and enjoy fresh beer. Sounds pretty good!

The Super Mantis is a double IPA brewed with Pale and Munich malts and flaked oats, hopped with Citra and Galaxy hops and also fermented with Nod Hill’s house ale yeast. At 8.7% ABV, it definitely packs a punch, but that’s what you’d expect from a DIPA. In case you’re wondering, the beautiful labels on both cans are designed by Atlanta-based artist @briansteely, who also designed Nod Hill’s logo. Check out his Instagram page for more of his art!

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SingleCut Beersmiths: Conform or Be Cast Out

SingleCut Beersmiths: Conform or Be Cast Out

ABV: 7.2%

IBU: 70

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 4.16/5

Don’t worry, we won’t cast you out of the Windowsill today, whether you conform or not!

In 1982, Rush released their ninth studio album, Signals. The first track on that album, Subdivisions, says this: “Subdivisions / In the high school halls / In the shopping malls / Conform or be cast out.” Whether you agree with that social commentary or not, that lyric inspired the name of today’s beer from SingleCut Beersmiths. If you’re wondering about the label, you Rush fans should recognize “that Darn Dragon!” The Dragon originally appeared in the live concert tour Rush in Rio, before the band played “One Little Victory,” and eventually returned during their R30 tour. The writing uses simplified Chinese characters generally only used in China (thanks @mindic1782 for the translation) to say the name of the beer. Conform or be Cast Out!

OK, enough about Rush, let’s talk about the beer. This one was really special, and really tasty! It’s an IPA brewed with pink peppercorns—actually a berry related to cashews and not pepper—and Szechuan peppercorns, which is a commonly used spice in Chinese cuisine (is the label situation becoming clearer?). The result is really astounding. The pepper hit my nose immediately when i poured it into the glass, and the tropical flavors combined really well with the late hint of heat from the Szechuan. Really a work of art!

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