Draft Notes

One beer at a time…

Archive for the category “New York”

Sixpoint Brewery – The Crisp

The Super Bowl is upon us, so I have decided to take a look at a sessionable beer perfect for the game day celebrations. The beer of the hour is The Crisp; a Pilsner by Sixpoint Brewery. Sixpoint is a craft brewer from Brooklyn, New York who prides themselves on stepping outside the box on traditional styles.Sixpoint Can

The brewery website offers an interesting narrative on the name Sixpoint. Sixpoint has been synonymous with brewing since the 1300’s when it was often seen on barrels of beer and eventually became the official insignia of the European Brewers Guild in the 1500s. Folk law says that the six points of a star represent the six critical elements of the brewing craft: grain, water, hops, yeast, malt, and the brewer.

The Crisp is brewed with Noble hops and weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 42 IBUs. I do not see any detail on whether this is a Bohemian (generally Saaz hops) or German (generally Hallertau hops). Beer Advocate classifies it as German, where Rate beer lists as Bohemian.  Based on the breweries tendencies, maybe it is a combo.Sixpoint Glass

I am consuming a 16oz can poured into a pilsner glass. The beer pours a straw color with a think Ivory head which is in no hurry to dissipate.

Aromas are floral, bready, banana, and citrus. All fairly light as the head seals them in.

Tastes I detect are herbal hops, biscuits, and caramel. There is definitely a bitter aspect to this beer which leads into the crisp, dry, and clean finish.

Mouth feel is light with plenty of carbonation, although the carbonation is not overwhelming. Slightly syrupy for a second, then dries right out.

Overall, despite the out of the box angle taken on many of their beers, this pilsner is pretty true to the style.  My palate is not experienced enough to take on the Bohemia verse German question, but it is experienced enough to say this is a nice beer with generally good malt to hop balance. Maybe a little hoppier than most pilsners, but I prefer hopped up beers so it works well for me. I will rate The Crisp 4 Mugs out of 5 on the Draft Notes scale. It is all I would like in a sessionable pilsner to go along with an extended drinking session during Super Bowl Sunday or and other sporting event.

Learn more about Sixpoint Brewery here: http://sixpoint.com/ and more detail about the significance of the name Sixpoint here: http://sixpoint.com/about/logo. Cheers!


Southern Tier Brewing Company 2XIPA

2XIPA labelIt has been a relaxing break for Christmas and New Year’s, but time to get back to work. To start off 2013 I have decided to take a look at Southern Tier’s 2XIPA, as nothing gets a year started better than an Imperial India Pale Ale.

Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York was founded in 2002 by Phineas DeMink and Allen “Skip” Yahn. This brewery distributes about 50,000 barrels annually covering most of the United States and about 7 other countries.

Southern Tier has a fairly standard year round line up including a pale ale, IPA, wheat, and a porter. They also have quite a few seasonal releases such as Old Man Winter Ale and a Crème Brulee Stout (try a taster before ordering this – very sweet, great for dessert though!); however, I think they are most known for their annual release of “Pumking”, an Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

The 2XIPA I will be reviewing has an ABV of 8.2%, but I can’t find an IBU rating. It most likely would fall between 70 and 100 IBUs for this style. The brewery uses 4 types of hops, 3 malts, and ale yeast to brew up this beer. I have placed this beer on the counter for about 10 minutes to give it time to warm and will taste this beer in my usual tulip glass (conveniently the glass recommended by the brewery).

Appearance is a deep gold with small amount of white head which recedes very quickly.

Aromas I detect are piney hops, vanilla, and citrus notes. Not as big in the aroma department as most imperial IPAs I have had.

When I taste the beer, huge hops jump out immediately which is a surprise based on the aromas. I thought it may be lighter, but it is delivering that imperial punch one would expect. I pick up some earthy flavors and definitely the malts in the distant background. A very bitter finish stuns the tongue.

2XIPA glass n bottleMouth feel is light to medium density, minimal carbonation, and it is quite crisp which about dries out my mouth within seconds.

Overall this is a solid Imperial IPA with all the features one would expect. 2XIPA does not stand out in any major area, but it is definitely not lacking anything I look for in this style. I would definitely drink this beer again, but probably would opt for others if I had a choice. I will have to give this beer 3 mugs out of 5 on the Draft Notes Scale. Try Oskar Blues Deviant Dale or Dogfish Head 90 Minute before you choose this one.

To learn more about Southern Tier, check out their website here: http://www.stbcbeer.com/ and more specifically their beer list is here: http://www.stbcbeer.com/our-beers/. For my international readers, here are all the regions distributed to outside the US: Australia, Denmark, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom. Cheers to 2013!

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