An avid homebrewer, beer aficionado Shane Welch took the inevitable next step in the brew-loving progression: He started his own brewery. Accumulating more than 100 recipes, he housed his ambitious start-up in an 800-square-foot garage in a dilapidated and perilous part of Brooklyn. And thus, in 2004, Sixpoint Brewery was born.
“The neighborhood was not in great shape then and has since seen a wonderful renaissance of growth and renewal, which we like to think Sixpoint has played a part in,” said Jerry Welch, Sixpoint’s sales representative for Northeast Ohio.
Sixpoint takes their name from beer history: During the Middle Ages it was customary for brewers to brand their beer with a six-pointed star to signify purity and excellence.
“The logo, like our mission, is a modern interpretation of classical brewing traditions,” Welch said. “It is our quest to respect and honor the centuries-old tradition of craft brewing while forging ahead with new techniques, styles and flavors.”
Unwilling to stick to tastes that are expected from certain regions, the Sixpoint team believes that each brew should have a mind of its own.
“Our beers are known for being innovative and style-bending, not following strict guidelines for one particular style,” Welch said. “We like to use local and sustainable ingredients in our creations, and our rooftop brewery garden gives us that opportunity during the growing season. We are never totally satisfied with one particular beer recipe and are constantly tweaking and improving all our beers, in an ongoing improvement and enhancement process.”
In May 2011, Sixpoint began selling their beers in 16-ounce cans. The brewery started with their four core beers: The Crisp (a pilsner), Bengali Tiger (an IPA), Righteous Ale (a rye beer) and Sweet Action (a cream ale). This past February brought forth their latest creation, a double IPA named Resin in a sleek 12-ounce can.
“Our core beers have been wildly successful in our recent rollout to Ohio, with this likely being our most successful and ambitious launch of any state we have expanded into thus far,” Welch said. “You guys drink a lot of beer in the Buckeye State.”
Sixpoint also offers up four seasonal beers: Autumnation, a wet-hopped pumpkin ale that came out last fall; Diesel, a dark, roasty, hoppy stout that came out in early winter of 2011; Harbinger, a light saison that hit only draft this past February; and Apollo, a summer wheat ale that will be coming out this month.
Beer enthusiasts will have plenty of chances to get their hands on Sixpoint brews. Aside from hitting all the best brewhound destinations throughout NEO, the brewery will also be present at major NEO beer fests, including the Big Tap In this month in Youngstown, the Cleveland International Beer Fest in May, and the Blues and Brews Fest at Lock 3 in Akron this August.
Be on the lookout for Sixpoint’s ongoing IPA series, Spice of Life, which, more than likely, will only see life as a draft.
“The Spice of Life series is designed to highlight and showcase 12 different hop varietals over 12 months, to accentuate the many hop flavors and aromas,” Welch said. “From Amarillo to Citra to Nelson Sauvin hops, the series demonstrates how they affect the flavor profile of the beers each month as they change.”
The future of Sixpoint in Nbers ortheast Ohio looks prosperous.
“We are a young and agile brewery, and our plans and growth at this point are off the charts,” Welch said. “We thank Ohio and your readers for their wonderful early support of Sixpoint, and we are stoked to be here in this market and to be a part of the vibrant craft-beer scene in Ohio.”