On the Shelf – Sixpoint Brewery Righteous Ale

By The Gentleman

 

It has been a rather long engagement but my first experience of Sixpoint Brewery is at an end. The last beer is the Righteous Ale, an unusual brew using rye malt, which Sixpoint says will “provide a signature and distinct earthy character”. I say it is unusual because I can’t quite remember having another beer made specifically with rye malt so as far I know this is a first for me, which I am definitely okay with. The Righteous Ale is another of Sixpoint’s core beers and is available all year-round for your drinking pleasure.

Righteous Ale

By now you know all about my love of Sixpoint Brewery’s design aesthetic for their impressive beer cans. I’m not going to repeat myself too much because that would just be boring and dull. What I will say is I really appreciate the way the colouring on the Righteous Ale can subtly reflects the colour of the beer in the glass. When you pour out the Righteous Ale it has quite a dark brown colour but when the light hits it the beer has this deep red tinge to it which is very similar to the deep red of the can. Little touches like that just make me all giddy inside. I do have to say I like the way the design emphasises the word Righteous. All Sixpoint’s core beers, bar The Crisp, are ales so it really isn’t necessary to emphasise that it is an ale in the name. Instead Righteous really stands out, even more so with Ale in smaller font next to it. The beer features another of Sixpoint’s logos, this time it is  a strong fist. It definitely fits with the Righteous label, helping to invoke a sense of righteous fury, which I’m not quite sure that’s what they were going for with their talk of monks but that’s all I can think of when I look at it. I still think the Bengali Tiger has the best logo, but the Righteous Ale is probably my second favourite.

Righteous Ale

As I said earlier when you pour out the Righteous ale it has quite a prominent brown colour with a slight tinge of deep red when the light catches it. I didn’t get much head when I poured it, although that could be down to my pouring skills and lack of appropriate beer glasses (too little money, too many things to buy). The beer had quite a strong smell, I thought I got hints of dark chocolate  as well as the usual strong whiff of malt and hops. The Righteous Ale is another relatively strong beer with a 6.3% ABV  and the taste is quite bitter due to its 57 IBU but nowhere near as bitter as the Global Warmer. Now that was a bitter beer. The beer has a pleasant bitterness that isn’t too overpowering. For me the dominant flavour was a deep caramel and then a mix of citrus, I can’t quite put my finger on what, and some definite spiciness which I assume is coming from the rye. Drinking the beer you get a real strong mouth coating of bitter hops and you were left a definite bitter, but very pleasant aftertaste that stayed with you for sometime after you’d finished.

Righteous AleRighteous Ale

Coming to the end I think it is hard to say which Sixpoint beer was my favourite. Despite all being ales Sixpoint have crafted some very different flavours from the very citrusy Bengali Tiger to the super bitter Global Warmer and the spicy rye of the Righteous Ale. I think any beer drinker would be able to pick up what Sixpoint is putting down. If it came down to it I’d probably give the Begali Tiger the edge just because I liked the overall design of the can the most and the citrusy flavours were so intense and refreshing but the Righteous Ale definitely offers something a little bit different with its rye spiciness.

Sixpoint Brewery Ales

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

 

On The Shelf – Sixpoint Brewery Global Warmer

By The Gentleman

 

So I’m back with another Sixpoint brew On The Shelf but I have to admit one small caveat this time around. Unfortunately, due to a sudden urge to stick a chicken on a can of beer and roast it for delicious ends the Sixpoint Brewery Global Warmer cannot actually take a physical place on my shelf at home. Don’t feel too bad though, the can went to a better place after doing its duty proudly, holding that chicken up so it could be some of the juiciest, tastiest roast chicken I’ve ever had.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Anyway enough about beer can chicken, it’s making me hungry. The Sixpoint Global Warmer is one of the brewer’s seasonal beers. It comes in a smaller 355ml can, which was the perfect size for roasting a chicken on top of. Damnit I’m back to talking about chicken again. The beer is a strong 7% ABV and a IBU of 70 meaning it’s a rather potent, bitter little package. Interestingly, the beer was first canned one year after Superstorm Sandy hit New York and the Sixpoint brewhouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn was flooded.

 

Sixpoint Global Warmer Standing Proud

Sixpoint Global Warmer Standing Proud

By now you know that I am a fan of the Sixpoint Brewery design philosophy. Great use of layout, color and typeface to create a uniform branding that is also flexible enough to allow for each beer to have its own identity. The Global Warmer, as a seasonal beer, is allowed to let its hair down a little more with a gorgeous deep red dominating the look of the can. There’s not much more I can really say other than even when you stand the smaller Global Warmer next to its taller brethren my eye was constantly drawn to the Global Warmer due to the deep red can. Also, while I still think the Bengali Tiger has the best logo, because tigers,  I do like the Global Warmer globe in a globe idea. It suits the beer as it has a clear ideology, focusing on the rapidly changing beer climate hence the focus on the globe.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Making the beer can chicken required only a third of the beer to be left in the can, so naturally I downed the rest. The beer itself was super bitter, which is to be expected by the high IBU. It really coats the mouth leaving your mouth with a pleasant but powerful bitterness all over. Sixpoint say there are also notes of biscuit, toasted caramel, dark fruit and mild notes of chocolate. I can’t say I really picked up on any fruity or citrusy flavours nor the chocolate but there was definitely a caramel, malty after taste. It was probably a more bitter beer than I would normally drink to be honest, but it was still a rather enjoyable and interesting brew.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Now that the Global Warmer is down I’ve only got one more Sixpoint beer left from my first experiment with this Brooklyn based brewer. So far I’ve been pretty impressed with what they have to offer, both in terms of design and flavour, and I’d definitely like to explore more of what they have to offer as well as revisit some of the one’s I have already tasted. Thankfully, it’s also a good thing I’ve started to see Sixpoint at a few more local establishments so I can satisfy my craving easily. Plus the can is the perfect size for beer can chicken and that is definitely a plus in my book.

Boozefood – Macadamia Beer Cake

By The Gentleman

 

This is the first entry in our newest category ‘Boozefood’. As you can guess Boozefood refers to food that has booze in it, so you can get sauced while you sauce!

 

I’m a bit of a baker so it’s only natural that the first recipe comes from a Frankie Magazine book called Afternoon Tea. The book collects recipes, I assume from readers of Frankie Magazine, and focuses on sweet treats that have been handed down from generation to generation. One of those recipes was for a Macadamia Beer Cake, a delicious combination of beer, dates and macadamias.

477

Beer Cake Recipe

125g butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 ½ cups self-raising flour, plus 2 tablespoons, extra (for dates to stop them sticking)

1 teaspoon mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice)

1 cup draught beer (I used a Cooper’s Pale Ale)

1 cup chopped dates

½ cup chopped or roughly crushed macadamia nuts

465

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a springform tin.

 

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and mixed spice. Alternately, fold the sifted flour mixture and beer into the batter mixture until combined.

 

In a separate mixing bowl, combine dates, nuts and extra flour. Fold the nut mixture into the creamed butter mixture.

 

Transfer batter to tin. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.

473

The cake is very quick and easy to make. The most time consuming part is chopping up the dates and macadamias (luckily I had The Lady on hand to help with that). My spice mixture consisted of ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 3 whole allspice berries that had been crushed in a mortar and pestle, and a liberal grating of nutmeg. When it came to cooking the cake it only took 40 minutes in my oven. I’d suggest that you check the cake after 30 minutes to see how it is progressing. The tin I used was quite big, but shallow so it cooked quicker while a small, but higher tin would take longer.

467

Flavour-wise it was pretty damn good. We couldn’t really wait for it cool down properly before cutting a piece because it smelled so goddamn tasty. It really needed to cool down a little more, to cut a nicer piece, but man it was nice. The cake was soft and moist, from the use of the beer I’m guessing, while the brown sugar and dates had given it a delicious crunchy outer and almost caramel flavour. The macadamias give the cake a nice crunchy texture whenever you come across one and the spices work nicely with all the other flavours to just make it taste awesome.

478

The Lady and I were very happy with this cake and everyone around us must have been as well because it all went a little too quickly. This is definitely something I’d like to make again but with different beers and maybe some different nuts just to play around with the flavours. Some of the Sixpoint Brewery ales sound like they might be good in a cake. The cake also gets bonuses points for giving you an excuse to drink beer at 10am, the rest of the beer has to be used somehow.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

On The Shelf – Sixpoint Brewery Sweet Action

By The Gentleman

 

After sampling the Bengali Tiger the next Sixpoint Brewery beer on the list to try was the Sweet Action Ale. The Sweet Action is another of Sixpoint’s core ales and in fact the Sweet Action was the original beer brewed by Sixpoint back when they were founded in 2004.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Again the Sweet Action follows the same design style as the Bengali Tiger. Putting the Sweet Action and Bengali Tiger next to each other they look good, similar yet with their own identity. I think I prefer the bold orange and tiger design on the Bengali but the Sweet Action still looks nice. It has what I think is a wheat plant as its logo, so not quite as impressive as a tiger, but as it is done in the same style as the tiger it still looks cool. I also love the name, ‘Sweet Action’ and it’s made even better by the fact that sweet action has an entry on Urban Dictionary.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The beer itself is quite tasty. It is lighter in colour than the Bengali Tiger, less of an orange and more of an amber. It is quite hazy though and not as clear as I was expecting. Sixpoint describe the beer as “hard to define, but perhaps that’s why people love it. Part pale ale, part wheat, part cream ale- all Sweet Action.” The flavour is certainly hard to define. It is not as bitter as the Bengali and not as heavy either. I found it easier to drink as it had a nice dry crispness to it. I couldn’t really pick up on exact flavours quite like I could with the Bengali, maybe a bit of citrus and a sort of caramelly/butterscotch, but for me it starts out sweet then goes bitter with the aftertaste and then as it lingers it goes kind of sweet again. I can’t really describe it but I do like it.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Two down and so far I’m liking what Sixpoint have to offer. I could probably drink more of the Sweet Action because it is that bit lighter than the Bengali and a bit easier to drink but both boast powerful and interesting flavours in stylishly large cans. Any beer drinker would be happy.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Now Serving – Bengali Strepsil

By The Gentleman

 

So the other day I was watching an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club and they kept going on about how beer cocktails are the big thing in drinking at the moment. It was also an episode where Jamie and Jimmy said huckle-my-buff so many times it became a form of torture and I wanted to huckle Jamie’s buff to make him stop, but it did get me thinking that I hadn’t had a beer cocktail yet.

 

I skipped through my books to see if I could find any interesting beer cocktail recipes, but nothing took my fancy. There were either a version of ‘shot and a brew’ or something akin to a shandy. Not that there’s anything wrong with those combinations, I’ll probably try them later, but I was feeling a little more adventurous. I eventually searched online and adapted the Weissen Sour from here. It was an interesting drink that grew on you over time.

 

Bengali Strepsil

1 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp lime marmalade

2 dashes Bitter Tears Lucille Blood Orange bitters

2 oz Sixpoint Brewery Bengali Tiger IPA

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Combine ingredients in shaker over ice. Gently shake together. Pour over fresh ice in glass. Top with remaining Bengali Tiger and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Now you are probably wondering why I called it the Bengali Strepsil. Well, the drink had a very intense bitter and hoppy flavour at first from the beer (you can see my views on the Bengali Tiger IPA here). As the flavour progressed you picked up on the lemon juice, the citrus from the beer and the ginger from the bitters. What you were left with was a flavour and sensation reminiscent of sucking on a strepsil throat reliever, but in a good way. The Lady commented that they reminded her of these particular Danish strepsils that were ginger flavoured. In the same way that a Strepsil works, your mouth felt very cleansed afterwards with a very pleasant aftertaste and a hint of numbness. The drink also had a very pretty light orange colour to it, I assume from the beer that I used which had more of a hazy orange colour. Pleasing to look at and, eventually, pleasing to sip.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The recipe itself could use a little work. It probably wasn’t quite as balanced as it should be but it didn’t taste like rocket fuel and that’s always a plus in my book. I didn’t think the marmalade added anything, mainly because the ice kept it solid. Maybe warming it up could help. Adding in the extra beer and squeeze of lemon was a personal flavour thing as it was pretty damn intense without them. If you’re a bourbon drinker you may not want to add the extra beer and lemon in. The IPA was also quite a heavy, strongly flavoured beer on its own so I’d like to come back to it and try out a few different types of beer to see how the flavour changes and a few different bitters too. I would also like to try it without adding the beer to the shaker. That way you could get the bourbon, juice and bitters more incorporated and then top it with the beer.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Overall, drinking the Bengali Strepsil was somewhat reminiscent of Dylan Moran’s stand-up where he talks about drinking wine. You start of thinking ‘God that’s strong!’ but then overtime the flavour grows on you, becoming more pleasant and familiar and easier to drink. Who knows, I may even whip one up next time I’ve got a sore throat to see if it does the job. It’s certainly a more attractive proposition to drink an alcoholic strepsil than to suck on one.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

On The Shelf- Sixpoint Brewery Bengali Tiger IPA

By The Gentleman

 

Half the fun or should I say struggle of On The Shelf is in not only finding cool brands to feature on The Cocktail Challenge but finding cool brands that we can actually get our hands on. So many times we’ve come across something kind of special only to discover that it isn’t available in Australia or is unable to be shipped here. Luckily Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery is not one of those brands and I was able to order a selection of the brewer’s fine ales.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The Bengali Tiger IPA is one of Sixpoint’s core brews. It comes in a can, but not a dainty Coke sized can but a big 473 ml pint can. Holding the Bengali Tiger reminded me of being in France and going down to the corner store to buy street beers with my brother. Every beer there came in the same style can and for a Euro or two you got a whole lot of beer. In Australia, despite being a mighty beer swilling nation, the pint can has never really taken off for some reason, which is a shame.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Looking across the Sixpoint line there is a degree of uniformity I like. The design of each can is essentially the same, except each beer has it’s own colour scheme and logo. It’s a very clean and effective design style. On each can the name of the beer and the brewer name are bold and really stand out so you can see easily on the shelf what it is you’re looking at and who it is by. The Bengali Tiger, as expected, utilises bright orange on its can and has a little tiger logo that is all symmetry and simplicity. It is a design that really works and shows how important organisation is in design and how effective repetition can be.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Opening up the Bengali Tiger you get a strong hit of citrus. Pouring it out, the beer is quite a hazy orange colour that generated only a bit of head. It had quite a hoppy bitterness to it and it felt very thick in the mouth, I guess from the relatively high alcohol volume of 6.4% and the high level of hops and malt. In the after taste I definitely got some of the pine and general citrusy feel with a bit of an almost numbing sensation in the aftertaste, probably from the pine. Looking into the beer a bit more I can now better understand why the beer cocktail I made with it tasted the way it did (more on that later in the week).

 

For my first Sixpoint beer the Bengali Tiger IPA was encouraging. It looked good and tasted pretty good too, I definitely enjoyed the citrus/pine mix, and with it’s presence expanding in Australia it could be the next Brooklyn based brewer to follow in the footsteps of Brooklyn Brewery and come to capture the attention of Australian beer drinkers. It certainly cuts an impressive figure that should help it stand out on the shelves.

 

As always remember to like, share, and follow The Cocktail Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.