18 October 2016
The Revolutionary War spared Connecticut, mostly. There were no major battles fought here and, compared to its surrounding states, limited blood spilled. Instead, Connecticut became known as “The Provision State,” as it outfitted the Continental Army with food, clothing, ammunition, and other supplies.
But in 1781, British forces took notice of Connecticut. General Benedict Arnold, a Norwich native-turned-traitor, had recently finished a raid on the Virginia coastline. New orders sent him to ransack the coast of his home state. Aided by inside information from relatives in the area, General Arnold led his men to destroy large swaths of Groton, New London, Danbury, and Fairfield, among other towns.
Though both armies acknowledged that General Arnold did not intend to inflict such extraordinary damage in New London (an inadvertent powder explosion and sudden wind gusts caused fires to burn out of control), such conclusions did little to help the “Sufferers” who found their homes, churches, wharfs, and communities in ashes.
In 1792, the Connecticut legislature set aside 500,000 acres of land in present-day Ohio for those affected by the British rampage. This land became known as the “Firelands.”
Firelands, our newest addition to the Shoreline Series, honors the brave Connecticut families whose lives were shattered by the British invasion of 1781.
Firelands is a smoked cherry porter. Deep brown with a hint of red, this beer smells of ripe cherries and autumn afternoons. Tart cherries and a hint of smoke become immediately apparent upon the first sip, but this delightful brew gives way to cocoa powder on the back end. It’s a complex beer reminiscent of chocolate-coated cherry cobbler.
With the holiday season coming up quickly, we think we’ve crafted a perfect beer to pair with your feasts. The smokey notes of the beer work well with smoked turkey and stuffing, the cherries will enhance your honey ham or cranberry sauce, and the chocolate character suggests that Firelands could be a dessert beer. We suggest trying it as a marinade.
However you see fit to imbibe this beer, do so with a thought to the “Sufferers” and our brothers and sisters who fought for our country in the Revolutionary War and every war since. Cheers to giving thanks this holiday season.
Hops: East Kent Goldings, Perle
Malts: Maris Otter, Munich, Chocolate Wheat, Crystal, Flaked Oats, Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Blackprinz