New Belgium Brewing Company: Voodoo Ranger IPA

New Belgium Brewing Company: Voodoo Ranger IPA

Hops: Nugget, Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Mosaic, Amarillo

Grain Bill: Pale, Black

Yeast: Ale

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: 50

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.69/5

Another one’s on the sill for Women’s History Month!

In 1991, CEO Kim Jordan and her then-husband Jeff Lebesch started making beer in their basement. Although the marriage didn’t work out, New Belgium Brewing Company certainly has. The really cool thing about NBBC is that it is 100% employee-owned. In 1992, Jordan and Lebesch hired Brian Callahan and gave him a 10% slice of “sweat equity.” In 1995, Jordan started giving all employees stock options, and by 2000, 32% of the company was owned by it’s workers. At the company’s annual retreat in January of 2013, she surprised her 457 coworkers with the news that they now owned the entire company.

That, as well as its commitment to prioritizing social and environmental goals, make New Belgium one of the best companies in the country. All kudos go to Jordan, a truly inspiring woman in not just the craft brewery world, but the entire business world too.

I should probably talk about the Voodoo Ranger IPA too, huh? Mosaic and Amarillo hops give this golden IPA the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. It’s super refreshing and, at 7% ABV, it packs a solid wallop too. Plus, look at the Voodoo Ranger skeleton! Kickass!

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Spoetzl Brewery: Shiner Holiday Cheer

Spoetzl Brewery: Shiner Holiday Cheer

ABV: 5.4%

IBU: 22

Availability: Christmas Seasonal

@untappd says: 3.59/5

It’s still very cold on in the Northeast, so, I decided to deck my window sill with some leftover bows of holiday happiness today.

Spoetzl Brewery is the oldest independent brewery in Texas. Originally named “The Shiner Brewing Association,” it was founded in 1909 by German and Czech immigrants living in the tiny town of Shiner, Texas. In 1914, with their beer gaining popularity and demand skyrocketting, the owners began searching for an experienced brewmaster to take over daily operations. They found one in Bavarian-born Kosmos Spoetzl, to whom they offered partial ownership as an insentive to take the job. Spoetzl had learned the trade of brewing in Germany, but also spent nearly a decade making beer in Egypt and some time in Canada as well. A year later, Spoetzl bought the business outright. He changed the name of the location to Spoetzl Brewery, but honored the town by keeping the name of the beer the same: Shiner.

The Holiday Cheer, Shiner’s winter seasonal offering, makes you feel like it’s Christmas morning and Mom and Dad finally got you that Nintendo you’ve been begging for. Peaches, pecans and caramelized malts give it a rich body, and a sweet taste that would make the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes.

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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery: Beer To Drink Music To (2017)

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery: Beer to Drink Music to

ABV: 6.8%

IBU: 30

Availability: Limited (once)

@untappd says: 3.68/5

Sometimes I just have to put a beer on my window sill, put some music on and chill.

For the last three years, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has been the official sponsor of Record Store Day, and they’ve made Beer To Drink Music To ’17 Tropical Blonde the official beer of the vinyl-inspired holiday. So what’s Record Store Day? According to their official website, it was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate the unique culture surrounding independent record stores all over the world. It’s been going strong since 2008, and Dogfish Head is proud to be a part of it.

The Delaware-based brewery chose a very chill beer to represent a pretty chill industry, and I’m proud to have Beer To Drink Music To ’17 on my windowsill. When I think of chill, I think of the tropics, and it doesn’t get much more tropical than kiwi juice and hibiscus flowers. It’s refreshing, delicious and, at 6.8% ABV, it will chill you out fast.

Guinness: Guinness Draught

Guinness: Guinness Draught

ABV: 4.2%

IBU: 45

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.8/5

As if there were ever a doubt… It’s St. Patrick’s Day on the window sill!

Want to pour the perfect pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day? Follow these steps:

Step 1: Use an official Guinness glass with the harp on it (forgive me St. Patrick, for I have sinned on the sill today).

Step 2: Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle and pull the tap forward.

Step 3: Gradually turn the glass upright and fill it to the harp logo.

Step 4: Leave it alone and wait for the cascading nitrogen bubbles to settle. This might take a few minutes, so please be patient, no matter how badly you want to take a sip.

Step 5: Go back to the tap, glass upright, and top it off.

Step 6: Take a sip and let the rich, creamy, velvety goodness fill your soul. Now you’re drinking Guinness like the Irish! Happy St. Paddy’s Day, lads and lasses.

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Atwater Brewery: Vanilla Java Porter

Atwater Brewery: Vanilla Java Porter

ABV: 5.0%

IBU: 13

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.83/5

We’ve had a few stouts on the window sill, but not yet their great granddaddy, the porter. It’s time to remedy that.

The porter is among the oldest styles of beer in the world, having been invented somewhere in the 1700s. It became very popular with the transportation workers of Central London during the industrial revolution, which is where it got its catchy name. The original recipe called for three different styles: an aged or sour old ale, a brown or pale new ale and a milder ale. As I alluded to earlier, the porter is the direct ancestor to the stout, which was typically made by making porters that were stronger and more robust than the typical recipe called for. In fact, the original heavier porters were often called “Stout Porters.”

For me, the Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Brewery was a bit of a miss. The vanilla and coffee aromas really came through when I poured it into the glass, but the flavor didn’t really back that up enough for me. I’m used to the more intense flavor of a stout, so this was a bit watered down for me.

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