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%

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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Thomas Hooker Brewery: Belma IPA

Thomas Hooker Brewing Company: 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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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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Black Hog Brewing Company: Granola Brown Ale

Black Hog Brewing Company: Granola Brown Ale

Grains: 2-Row Pale, British Pale, Crystal 150, Brown Malt, Chocolate Malt, Flaked Oats, Malted Oats, Munich Malt, Special B

Hops: Chinook, East Kent Golding, Nugget

ABV: 5.7%

IBU: 18

Availability: Year-round

@untappd says: 3.71/5

Happy National Beer Day from my Windowsill to yours!

Last year, we covered what National Beer Day is all about. It’s the anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially ending Prohibition back in 1933. Unfortunately, it took 76 years for someone to actually create this unofficial holiday. In 2009, friends Justin Smith and Mike Conolly decided to honor the anniversary of the end of Prohibition by starting a National Beer Day Facebook page. It caught on like crazy, and is now recognized by many people around the world. How are you celebrating National Beer Day?

On the Windowsill, we’re starting it off with another local Connecticut brew, Black Hog Brewing Company’s Granola Brown Ale. It’s an award-winning brown ale brewed with a “granola” mix of oatmeal, grains, hops and roasted malts. Now, I’m not a big brown ale fella, but when a beer takes home the Gold Award at the 2016 World Beer Olympics, it gets my attention. Plus, who doesn’t like granola?

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Half Full Brewery: Emil (Without Rhyme or Reason Release #5)

Half Full Brewery: Emil (Without Rhyme or Reason Release #5)

Hops: Motueka (dry-hop), Simcoe (dry-hop), Citra lupulin powder

Grains: Canadian 2-Row, Wheat (raw and malted), Flaked Oats

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Limited (in-house only)

@untappd says: 3.98/5

“I found a reason for me / to change who I used to be / A reason for all that I do / and the reason is Half Full on my Windowsill!” – Hoobastank… sort of.

Let’s talk about Emil Christian Hansen! Why? Because he’s the inspiration behind the name of today’s beer, Half Full Brewery’s Emil. Hansen, a Danish mycologist and fermentation physiologist (that title has quite the mouthfeel, eh?), is best known as the first person to isolate a pure cell of yeast, which he did while working for Carlsberg in 1883. The yeast he created from this cell is the yeast from which all yeasts used in lager beers are derived. It was reading about Hansen that originally inspired McLain, Half Full’s head brewer, to enter the winemaking business and, ultimately, bring us this beer.

The Emil is, as you can see, the fifth can release in Half Full’s Without Rhyme or Reason series. It’s a double dry-hopped IPA brewed with Canadian 2-Row, wheat (raw and malted), flaked oats and a touch of lactose sugar. It’s then double dry-hopped with Simcoe and Motueka hops. The finishing touch is Citra lupulin powder. The end result is a hazy, citrusy and delicious IPA that I really loved having on the Windowsill.

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Thomas Hooker Brewery: Super Duper Double Citra

Thomas Hooker Brewing Company: Super Duper Double Citra

Hops: Citra

ABV: 8.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Limited

@untappd says: 4.21/5

Are those rubber chickens in your hula hoop pants, or are you just happy to see today’s Windowsill beer?

In case you haven’t noticed, the label on this beer from Bloomfield, Connecticut’s Thomas Hooker Brewery is inspired by one of my favorite childhood gameshows—Double Dare. You remember the show, right? Host Marc Summers would ask one of the teams a question. They could dare the other team to answer it. The other team could double dare them back. The final option? Physical challenge, y’all!

Today’s physical challenge was drinking this incredibly delicious brew. You don’t have to dig through a nose full of slime to figure out where this beer gets its name. It’s a double IPA brewed exclusively with Citra hops. Despite the heavy ABV, it’s a silky smooth brew that goes down nice and easy. Let it warm up a bit to get those tropical flavors of grapefruit, melon, passion fruit and lychee from the Citra hops. Super tropical, super delicious, not overly bitter. So good, you’ll want to sit in a giant bowl of spaghetti and catch oversized, sauced up meatballs with my teeth just to drink a Super Duper Double Citra!

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Half Full Brewery: Albert (Without Rhyme or Reason Release #5.5)

Half Full Brewery: Albert (Without Rhyme or Reason Release #5.5)

Hops: Simcoe (dry-hop)

Grains: Canadian 2-Row, Wheat (raw and malted), Flaked Oats

Yeast: Hefeweizen

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Extremely limited

@untappd says: Not enough ratings as of press time

Feel the reason! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s Windowsill time!

Half Full Brewery is back on the Windowsill! Today, let’s talk about “Together We Can,” the brewery’s “Volunteer—Drink Beer” initiative. Once a month, they organize volunteer days where anybody can come together to volunteer at a local community organization. Afterwards, they take it back to the brewery to celebrate. Every beer that sells that day results in a $1 donation to the organization, and a portion of all sales for the whole month get donated as well. If you’re looking to support a business that gives back, Half Full’s a good place to start.

Now, the beer! If you’ve followed my Instagram, you’re familiar with the Without Rhyme or Reason series Half Full has been releasing over the last 5 months or so. The series is known for the special can releases, but the brewery also releases even more exclusive WROR beers that don’t even make it to cans. The Albert—named after Albert Einstein—is one of those. That’s why it’s the “5.5,” and not the 6. I wish they had canned this beer, because it was amazing. It’s a hazy and full-bodied IPA brewed with hefeweizen yeast and double dry-hopped with Simcoe. The Albert has some great notes of peach and banana, goes down super smooth and tastes great!

Make sure you follow us on Instagram, and give Half Full a follow, too!