The core of Sixpoint‘s portfolio is mostly packaged in six-packs of slender 12-ounce cans, including Resin, a monstrous IIPA that, with its excellent drinkability despite a staggering ABV (9.1), has helped to legitimize the style’s boundless—and, at times, absurd—envelope-pushing by American brewers. While Resin is a mainstay in my refrigerator (especially if a quicker conduit to inebriation is desired), also seducing my palate from the brewery, and not only because of their scarcity, is its crew of limited draft-only beers designed for various haunts in New York City. The Meatball Shop’s Wheatball, Union Pool’s Instant Pentecostal Apostle, and The John Dory Oyster Bar’s namesake oyster stout (brewed with the restaurant’s leftover shells) are all solid and focused recipes developed for them by Sixpoint.
These examples aren’t the city’s only partnerships between breweries and bars or restaurants yielding in a proprietary liquid: Salvation Taco teamed with Greenport Harbor for Devil’s Plaything, an IPA brewed with oranges, limes, dried bitter orange peel, and chiles, while Brooklyn Brewery‘s Le Poulet was engineered specifically for The NoMad Hotel’s supernal foie gras-and-black truffle-stuffed roast chicken.
Sixpoint, however, seems to create these unique beers most frequently. Since last month, for example, the Red Hook-neighborhooded operation has unveiled two new one-of-a-kinds.
Biere de Garde
The latest collaboration between Sixpoint and The Modern, a two-in-one restaurant partitioned by frosted glass within the Museum of Modern Art, Biere de Garde is designed to pair with MoMa’s new Henri Matisse exhibit, The Cut-Outs, which exhibits until February 08. Matisse, celebrated here with the largest presentation of the artist’s cut-outs ever assembled, is French, so Sixpoint chose to brew a Biere de Garde (“beer for keeping”), a style of farmhouse ale born in France’s Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. These were traditionally made during winter and spring and cellared for consumption during warmer months, bearing resemblance to another farmhouser, the saison. Sixpoint’s interpretation follows some intriguing concepts developed for The Modern: Dr. Klankenstein, for example, was a recreation of a steinbier, brewed using an old German technique of boiling wort by dropping crazy-hot rocks into the kettle. A rust-colored brew, BdG possesses “a lot of dryness and a lot of rich flavor from the malt,” says brewer Heather McReynolds, “and the yeast character is out of this world. It’s very estery.”
While Biere de Garde will pour until The Cut-Outs commences in February, Sixpoint’s Ever Upward is an open-ended mash-up of beer and cider designed for the Patina Restaurant Group, which includes the newly opened STATE Bar and Grill on the ground floor of the Empire State Building. After tinkering with different spice arrangements and varying levels of fermented, cold-pressed apple juice, Sixpoint opted for an unspiced composition using hard cider—all Fuji apples—from Red Jacket Orchards. “We added juice at the end of boiling to add some fruity flavors and some nice spiciness to it. We wanted to mimic the flavors of a cider without the tartness,” McReynolds says. Ever Upward is light-bodied and driven by wheat malt, which provides a silky mouthfeel. It’s currently available only at STATE, the Empire State Building’s first official restaurant, but will eventually spread to Patina’s other spots in New York City.