Thomas Hooker Brewery: Watermelon Ale

Thomas Hooker Brewery: Watermelon Ale

Hops: Saaz, Cascade

Malts: Canadian 2-Row, Carapilis, Wheat Malt

ABV: 4.8%

IBU: 11

Availability: Seasonal from April to August

@untappd says: 3.16/5

Every couple of months, you know I have to have a Hooker on the Windowsill!

You ever wonder where watermelons come from? I did, so I looked it up. Turns out the big green fruit originated in sub-Saharan Africa, and we’ve been enjoying it thousands of years. Evidence of the cultivation of watermelons in the Nile Valley exists from at least 4,000 years ago. From there, it spread to India and China in the 7th and 10th centuries respectively, and was being grown in Europe around the same time. Colonization soon took the fruit all over the world, and European colonists and their slaves eventually brought it to the New World, aka the Americas (North and South). In 1939, Japanese scientists figured out a way to grow seedless watermelons, which I can’t really get behind, but 85% of watermelons sold in America are seedless today…so I guess I have to. Now you know about watermelons!

Why did I just go through all that? First of all, I’m running out of cool stuff to say about Thomas Hooker Brewing Company. Secondly, because today’s featured brew is the Bloomfield, CT brewery’s Watermelon Ale. It’s a light, crisp ale made with a hint of watermelon essence. Was this the greatest watermelon beer I’ve ever tasted? No. But it’s light and refreshing on a hot day, that’s for sure. I might turn to a different watermelon brew next time, but that won’t stop me from enjoying the six pack I bought of this one.

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Lock City Brewing Company: Figure Four +1

Lock City Brewing Company: Figure Four +1

Hops: Chinook, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy

ABV: 7.2%


Availability: Rotating

@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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BAD SONS Beer Company: Bourbon Barrel Aged Roper

BAD SONS Beer Co.: Bourbon Barrel Aged Roper

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: 33

Availability: Limited

@untappd says: 3.73/5

Come and knock on our door…

There’s not a whole lot left for me to say about Derby, CT’s BAD SONS Beer Company. I’ve been to the tap room a few times, so instead of going on about how cool it is there, and how great their beer is, I’ve decided to include never-before-seen photos from my trip last year in this post. Enjoy in the embedded Instagram post below!

If you’re a child of the 80s and 90s, then you know exactly who the hop-headed, robed gentleman on the bottle is. Mr. Roper, the original landlord on the hit sitcom “Three’s Company,” played by the legendary Normal Fell. Mr. Roper was always there playing straight man landlord to the hijinx of Jack, Janet and Chrissy (later Cindy, and then Terri). Although Mrs. Roper was never satisfied with him on the series, I was super satisfied by this brew. The Roper is a Scotch Ale, also known as a Wee Heavy, aged in bourbon barrels for 4 months. I picked up two bottles several months ago, but just decided to have a crack at one this weekend. Really good Scotch Ale, with the added bourbon kick. I certainly wouldn’t evict this beer from my fridge!

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Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company: Happy Treez

Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company: Happy Treez

ABV: 6.2%


Availability: Year-round

@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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Kent Falls Brewing Company: Awkward Hug

Kent Falls Brewing Company: Awkward Hug

Hops: Citra, Azacca, Centennial

ABV: 7.0%


Availability: Rotating

@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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Lock City Brewing Company: Research Drive #4

Lock City Brewing Co.: Research Drive #4

Hops: Citra, Simcoe, Eukanot

ABV: 5.7%


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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Firefly Hollow Brewing: Cone Flakes IIPA

Firefly Hollow Brewing: Cone Flakes IIPA

Kettle Hops: Zeus, Galaxy, Mosaic, Palisade, Nugget, Citra

Dry Hops: Mosaic, Galaxy, Amarillo

Grain Bill: UK Pale Malt, Gr Vienna, Special Roast

ABV: 7.7%

IBU: 85

Availability: Rotating

@untappd says: 3.95/5

Today’s Windowsill beer might be a part of a very balanced breakfast!

The Connecticut beer scene is growing so fast, it’s getting hard to keep track, but I didn’t want to miss out on Bristol’s Firefly Hollow Brewing. I love a good origin story, and Firefly Hollow definitely has one. Co-founders Bill Collins and Rich Loomis originally partnered up on a different endeavor, when they purchased Brew & Wine Hobby, a homebrew shop in East Hartford, CT. They soon decided owning a brew shop wasn’t enough; they wanted to own a brewery! In 2012, they started a Kickstarter, and in October of 2013, Firefly Hollow Brewing was born. Dana Bourque, who had been their first employee at the hobby shop, became head of brewing operations. Today, Dana runs the entire CT Craft Brewers Guild, too.

According to Firefly Hollow, they named this beer Cone Flakes because it’s so damn hoppy, you might as well pour yourself a bowl of hops, added beer and grabbed a spoon. I know they’re being funny, but it’s not that far from the truth. Six varieties of hops—Zeus, Galaxy, Mosaic, Palisade, Nugget and Citra—are added in the kettle, and it’s also dry-hopped with Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo. Hops on hops on hops! The Cone Flakes was really good! You’ll definitely want to taste this one again… for the first time!

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Kent Falls Brewing Company: Super Sparkle

Kent Falls Brewing Company: Super Sparkle

Hops: Simcoe, Mosaic, Centennial

ABV: 6.0%


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%


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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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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