Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sixpoint Brewery - Sweet Action

For the Seventh Beer of Christmas, we take on another brew that puts a new twist on an old classic.

Sixpoint Brewery
Sweet Action
The cream ale (which has no cream or dairy in it ... the lactose intolerant can now rejoice) is a lagered ale. Yes, it's fermented as an ale (usually quick and at warmer temperatures) but it undergoes a long period of lagering (colder fermentation and aging.) Some cream ales even add a little lager yeast to give the transition greater effect. This results in a brew that has the sweeter, fruiter taste of an ale but with a cleaner, smoother flavor of an ale. Most cream ales are very light in color (think pale gold) and low on the bitterness scale. This is where Sixpoint makes their mark. The color is closer to an amber and the bitterness is nearly double what is normal for the style.

The slightly cloudy drink pours out a bright, new-penny copper color and with a thin cap of large, white bubbles. The lacing is minimal and the head quickly evaporates to a random scattering of small bubbles.

A sharp floral hop scent flows freely from the glass. There's a bit of sweetness underneath the hops. It's not quite IPA-like, but if you dislike IPAs, the aroma alone might make this one might be too close for your comfort.

Then, of course, there's the hop-forward taste that might send the IPA haters and even just dislikers running. The IBUs (International Bittering Units) for this beer come in at 34. While not quite up to the 60 of an traditional IPA, the hops definitely stand out in this light to medium bodied beer. If you like IPAs or even tolerate them, this is mild but a highly enjoyable drink with a clean finish. It starts out crisp with sharp carbonation but finishes quite smoothly.

The Beer Guru at my local store (and I dub him thus with all respect because this guy KNOWS beer) said this is a fantastic drink. He was not wrong. I have enjoyed every beer so far this year and am not sure I could call this my favorite. But it's damn close. Open one of these tonight and celebrate the New Year with great beer!

Brewer: Sixpoint Brewery
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Style: Cream Ale
Alcohol Content: 5.20% ABV
Interesting Note: While this whole Christmas is dedicated to the can, let's take another look at Sixpoint's slim can. The 12 ounce offering comes in a can nearly as tall as the two 16 ouncers we've already seen this year (Scruffy's Smoked Alt and Old Chub NITRO.) That means it's in a slim can similar to those that Red Bull comes in. One of the reasons for this is that their six packs take up less horizontal shelf space in New York where shelf space is far more limited than in places like Lubbock. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that the beer stands apart from it's different look.

Speaking of looking, turn the can around and find the bar code. I thought this was very cool ... the Statue of Liberty and some skyscrapers. The image below is from Sixpoint's website because the photos of my can didn't come out very well.

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