This is the first of what I hope will be a weekly segment dedicated to a specific beer or brewery that I have come in contact with. Ideally, it'll be one you've never tried and will give you something new to seek out over the weekend. I'd like to entertain while educating, but I'll settle for batting .500.
I wasn't always a beer guy. My first experiences with barley soda came in the forms of Natty Light and Coors Extra Gold, so can you really blame me? No, Captain Morgan was my poison of choice for quite some time. I think much of my affinity for Jeff Smarj's muse came from the fact that I enjoyed mixing rum & cokes strong enough to neutralize a horse in an oversized martini glass and then walking around trying to be impressive.
I cringe when I think about it now, but rest assured that it was really cool a decade and a half ago. Well, it was in my mind anyway. But with little scratch and an undeveloped palate, my idea of a good beer was Budweiser. Listen, I was one of the co-creators of the St. Ides combo, in which you'd drink a 40 of High Gravity (just be sure to put it on a coaster, 'cause moms don't play dat sh!t) and then switch to a fruit-flavored 22oz bomber of Special Brew.
The generation before mine had Lando Calrissian claiming that Colt 45 worked every time, but we had Ice Cube bragging about how St. Ides would get your girl in the mood quicker and get your jimmy thicker. Seriously, he did:
How can you not drink something with such aphrodisiacal and restorative powers? And this was immediately-post-NWA Ice Cube, not star-of-family-movies-and-urban-comedies Ice Cube. Of course, Cube has gone from slangin' St. Ides to hawking the Silver Bullet. If you're interested in more awesome examples of big-time hip-hop stars pushing the Crooked I, just go to YouTube and search "St. Ides Commercial." Goodbye, afternoon.
We drank that stuff because it was cheap though, not because we actually liked it. As I got older, my desire for volume-based drinking basically led to the cheapest available option, which pretty much meant Bud Light or Miller Lite; despite my appreciation for O'shea Jackson's music, I always thought Coors Light tasted like dirty water.
But I eventually grew up and my taste for good beer, different beer began to evolve. I don't think I'm a snob per se, as I'll still go slumming now and again, but I'd rather drink something that I can really enjoy, rather than a brew that has to be chilled to freezing in order to mask what little taste it had in the first place.
Without going into painstaking detail, I eventually got into homebrewing and I continue to seek out new and different beers, though I skew heavily toward IPAs, APAs, and generally hoppy ales. So you can imagine my delight when I got word of a new Double IPA that boasted 11% ABV, 111 IBUs, and 11 SRM.
While I first thought it might have just been clever marketing, the balance of this particular brew was said to be so perfect that it didn't taste boozy or overly malty. The beer was called Hi-Res and it's produced by Sixpoint Brewery New York, specifically the home of the Dodgers, Brooklyn squad.
After searching for it at local liquor stores, I was finally able to get my hands on some, and it did not disappoint. The initial taste did give a hint of the high alcohol content, but it was quickly evened out by the hops and the nice malt backbone. This was a beer that could be dangerous for the unaware; if you didn't know better, you'd probably be in too deep before realizing that you'd done.
I kept hearing good things about other Sixpoint products, so I had to scoop up a couple when I happened upon single-serves at a liquor store: Resin (Hi-Res' little bro) and Global Warmer. The latter of these started off great, with a nice hop aroma and great flavor.
Things took a turn for the worse, however, when I picked some hop residue from my lips and tongue and then examined the glass in the light:
Having a little sediment is one thing, but solid hop floaties aren't really desirable. So I shot the picture off to Sixpoint, lamenting that my previous great experience had been somewhat tainted by this subsequent one. Shortly thereafter, I received a direct email from Shane Welch, the brewery's president, who said, among other things:
Each customer's opinion and experience with our products is as important as the other, whether you are just the "average consumer" or reviewing the beer for the NY Times or the head buyer at the Blind Tiger. I will settle for nothing less than mindblowing customer experiences every time.
And not long after that, my doorstep was graced with a collection of different Sixpoint beers (Sweet Action, Righteous Ale, and Resin) and t-shirt. I don't say this to advocate hitting them up in the same manner just to get free booze, but to illustrate their excellent customer service.
The pride Sixpoint takes in their product is evident in everything from their packaging to their website and mobile app to their social media presence. I laid out my proclivities earlier, so I can't say that I was a huge fan of SA, which is a pale/wheat/cream ale, or RA, which uses rye for an earthly flavor.
But Resin and Hi-Res are just off-the-charts good. And I'd gladly try any other products from this brewery, as they've earned my loyalty by addressing my concerns and helping me to experience some beers that I might not have tried on my own. Check below for a little more information about Sixpoint and their beers.
Hi-Res, Resin, Global Warmer (seasonal)
Where to find:
Sixpoint distributes all over, but I'd recommend checking their Beer Finder for info on specific locations near you.
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Filed under: Craft Beer