Much like the singular charm of watching a rat fight a pigeon over a discarded chicken bone, the beers of Red Hook’s Sixpoint Craft Ales are, at the moment, only available in the NYC area. But back in May of this year, the Brooklyn-based brewers broke with the keg-only strategy they’d employed since their launch in 2004 and decided to bring their beers to the retail masses in the form of 16 oz. cans. It’s still a New York thing, but that’s a good sign for the rest of the country in the not-too-distant future. Since I’m in the current distribution range—and certainly not one to argue with a proper pint—I picked up a four-can cube of the ale-centric brewery’s sole lager offering this week, brought it back to my place, and cracked one open.
The Crisp is a pilsner at heart, but don’t expect the light, lawnmower beer feel you’d get from other members of the family. While it pours relatively clear—there’s just a touch of haze—and smells clean and bright, that first sip is a doozy. It’s heavy, full of hops up front, and rooted by a slightly sweet, malty backbone. And it hit me like a damn truck (the taste, not the middle-of-the-road 5.4% ABV). I was actually worried it’d be too much after a full pint, but I was wrong. While it still felt heavier than expected as I sipped away, it never got cloying. I did stop after round two, though. I wasn’t feeling weighed down, necessarily, but I was feeling well and truly sated after a couple pints of the stuff. So, no: It wasn’t exactly what I expected. But it was a very tasty surprise, and it’s certainly worth a try.
A four-pack of 16 oz. cans will run you $10-12.