Style: Brown Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Hazy amber body with a dense beige head.
Smell: Hmm…something seems out of place. Are those hops? While there are about a thousand different smells emerging from my glass, spruce and caramel are the dominant aromas.
Flavor: Hmm…something seems out of place. Are those hops? As with the smell, there are a number of flavors swimming around in this glass. Unsurprisingly, hops take the helm of this flavor battle, with a exceedingly delicious herbal character. Other flavors (aka the losers) include Team Sweet Biscuit and Team Salty Caramel.
Feel: This is one of those beers where the mouthfeel is so fantastic (read: appropriately carbonated) that you could drink a million regardless of its flavor. Luckily, the flavor also rules. So make that two million, please.
Concluding Remark: Sixpoint’s Brownstone is not as classic as its name would have you believe. (Brownstones? Vernacular architecture? New York? Anyone?) Instead, it is of the Indian Brown Ale variety with its immense hops content. I’m not shocked that Sixpoint’s Brown Ale favors the hops: they are known for producing big, hoppy ales. Brownstone is no exception. Perhaps I’m just over the sweet maltiness of the last month, but Brownstone is hitting the right spot right now. As I try to be as unbiased as possible (i.e., not let my own personal beer preference trump a stylistically accurate beer), I will say that as an Indian Brown Ale, Sixpoint’s Brownstone is a success. As a straightforward Brown Ale, it’s overly hopped. But if I’ve learned anything from a month of Brown Ales, it’s that it rarely pays to be straightforward. And by “pays” I of course mean that the straightforward Brown Ales were mostly pretty boring.
To end our month of Brown Ales, I transcribed the poem from the back of the Brownstone can:
“…and coming out of the brownstone house to the gray sidewalk, the watered street, one side of the buildings rises with the sun like a glistening field of wheat.”
– Letter to N.Y. (for Louise Craine), Elizabeth Bishop