I feel like a total jerk. All this time writing about beer and I’ve apparently never once mentioned Sixpoint Brewing out of Brooklyn, NY! If you haven’t tried them out, stop reading this column and do so now. I’ll wait.
You’re back? Good. We have much to discuss. The story begins familiarly; college classmates with a shared love of good beer get together later in life, one has the money and the other is the brewer. Started in 2004 in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood by Andrew Bronstein and Shane Welch, Sixpoint had a different thought process in mind when it came to making beer.
Beginning with their company symbol, one can discern a deep appreciation for history in their blood. The Brewer’s Star – their logo – shares a world-wide understanding of balance among all things. The Judaic Star of David represents peace among opposing forces. Throughout the history of alchemy, the hexagram has been the representative of the four symbols for earth, fire, wind and water. All four working together were considered the “Great Work.” Once again we find the ideals of harmony and peace.
Given the centuries of European Jews’ unfair persecution for usury, I find it surprising that the Star of David would show up in Northeastern Bavaria as a symbol for the region’s brewers. While there were large populations of families practicing Judaism in nearby Czechoslovakia, very few brewed beer. Perhaps it was a return to the alchemical union; in this case the elements of fire, water and air plus beer’s essential ingredients of malt, hops and water.
One can also consider the six points of the compass, as in all places and all possibilities. This certainly applies to Sixpoint as a brewery; their approach to beer embodies the notions of journey, pioneering and exploration without borders.
Instead of trotting out the same seasonal offerings each year, they prefer to put out experimental styles when they like as it feels right. This “Cycliquid” series keeps delving deep into new hop varietals, blending of styles, coaxing of deeper flavors and extraction of the ingredients’ components.
Case in point is their most recent Cycliquid; C.R.E.A.M. Stylistically-speaking cream ale is usually a very boring beer barely a step up from American macro lager, even among the best out there. Not this one. I can’t tell if it’s the malt base or the addition of coffee that’s making this so silky and smooth! Translucent gold fills the glass while bold scents of fresh-roast coffee and vanilla bean come off the moderate head cap. Without being overloaded with coffee, it definitely steers the rig while buttered biscuit rides shotgun with hazelnut and vanilla hanging out in the back seat. The carbonation balances out the slick texture just right and drinks easy.
Equal parts historical and innovative, Sixpoint’s star is shining bright!