Two Local Breweries Release New Beers, You Win: The Rise of Half Full and Charter Oak

26 Nov

IPA…India Pale Ale.  A style of beer loved by many for its bite and its pine-iness.  Have you ever wondered why it’s called India Pale Ale, though?  Turns out life wasn’t so easy hundreds of years ago when sailors had to brave the wild seas.  If you weren’t killed by pirates, Jack Sparrow, mermaids, a krakken, or enormous waves, you might die of scurvy, malnutrition, or of thirst.  While you can’t really help being seduced by mermaids or wriggling free of the grasp of the krakken, you can control things like water intake.  It turns out, people discovered that when you pump up the hop content of beer, it stays fresh much longer.  Now, who wouldn’t love to drink IPAs more than plain ol’ boring water?

We speak of IPAs because Half Full Brewery, located on Homestead Avenue in Stamford, has released their own version.  According to Jordan Giles, Chief Beer Organizer, it is “a medium-bodied, earthy, spicy and piney beer with moderate bitterness that will be on tap year round. Half Full’s recipe uses Northwestern American hops and packs a 7.0% alcohol content that is balanced nicely by a dry rye finish.”  To create this great recipe, they had to spend hours upon hours in their tasting room, going through pale ales, ryes, and different kinds of IPAs.  You know, we don’t feel that sorry for them.  That’s some kind of research that most would die for. :)

Their beer can be found at an ever-expanding array of local restaurants and pubs (check locations on their site) and are also available for growler fillings from 4:30-6:30 on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Check out this beer resume:

  • Bright Ale-Available year round
  • Pumpkin-Seasonal
  • India Pale Ale-Available year round
  • Chocolate Coffee Brown-Seasonal
  • Dry Stout-Release date mid-December
  • Double IPA-Release date mid-February
  • Scotch Ale-Seasonal, release date mid-March

Although we don’t have any fascinating stories to share about American West Coast Pale Ales, we’ll still drink them like they’re going out of style.  Case in point, the new Royal Charter Pale Ale from New Canaan based Charter Oak Brewing Company.  According to brewer and owner P. Scott Vallely, “Charter Oak’s Royal Charter Pale Ale beer (named after the Connecticut charter hidden in the Charter Oak Tree) is the little brother to our IPA, but still brewed with plenty of flavor and hops. This top fermented ale will be solidly an American Pale Ale style; not too sweet and not too bitter, but complex enough to not disappoint you. From your first sip and scent of a citrus and floral aroma, a solid backbone of the Cascade Hop can be detected. We hope you will enjoy this well-balanced, medium bodied, and deep golden appearance in our Pale Ale. We can assure you it is not intensely hopped up, but only a subtle bitterness and dry finish. This is a beer you can drink all night long!”

Beer Stats:
5.5% ABV; 45 IBU; 13 SRM
Best if served at 46 – 5
Right now Vallely brews in MA, but we talked to him (and drank plenty of his beer) at Nature on Tap and he said that he was looking for a nice spot that was more local…possibly even New Canaan.  We need to make that happen, people.

Check out some of the beer that you can find in stores (8 total by 2013):

  • 1687 Brown Ale
  • Charter Oak Pale Ale
  • Charter Oak ESB
  • Charter Oak IPA
  • Royal Charter Pale Ale

Have you had beer from either brewery?

What do you think?

Which beer is your favorite?

10 Responses to “Two Local Breweries Release New Beers, You Win: The Rise of Half Full and Charter Oak”

  1. ch358 November 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve had many of pints of half full and have enjoyed them all. Looking forward to trying Charter Oak



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