Brew Review

Beer Review – Sixpoint Brownstone

Sixpoint Brownstone Ale #1

Since Thanksgiving was relatively early this year, I thought that the Holiday Season (i.e. Black Friday to New Year’s Day), would go by at a leisurely pace. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The last week of November and the entire month of December were a blur, and it’s now January of 2013. Why am I telling you this? Because I’m not sure if I bought this can of Sixpoint’s Brownstone Brown Ale at The Foodery in Center City Philadelphia or at WineWorks in Marlton, NJ. I know it doesn’t really matter where I bought this beer, but this is one of those little details that we like to include in our reviews (call it filler), and I like to keep my facts straight. Since I can’t keep my facts straight this time around, let’s get down to business…

Sixpoint Craft Ales has the following to say about their Brownstone Brown Ale:

In the mid-1800s, the residence known as the Brownstone became popular among the new urban middle classes.  With a distinctive architectural style and sandstone foundation, it was widely built from across the great lakes regions to the eastern seaboard, though over the years it has come to exemplify the rows of townhouses seen today in Brooklyn, NY.

When Sixpoint launched in Brooklyn in 2004, it only seemed appropriate that the name should accompany the first beer produced – the Brownstone Ale.  The beer became a local draft favorite in NYC’s pubs and restaurants, where beer lovers enjoyed what some characterized as a delicate balance between a brown ale and a porter.

Brewed with 8 different malt varieties, including Munich, Chocolate, and Caramel, the Brownstone offers a textured canvas of sweetness while still allowing plenty of room for a spicy hop flavor.

Well, the time has come for the beer to share its unique flavors with the fridges and coolers of the world, and so it should come as no great surprise that this week the Brownstone takes its rightful place as the cornerstone among Sixpoint’s canned favorites, Sweet ActionBengali TigerThe CrispRighteous Ale and Resin.  With a delicate reformulation for its new canned form, it weighs in with an IBU of 45 and a ABV of 6.0%!  Look out for the Brownstone in its new NanoKeg housing, everywhere Sixpoint is sold.  Some call it delicious, we call it destiny.

And here is my impression of this beer…

  • Appearance: Hazy, reddish-brown color with tan foam that dissipates rapidly and leaves a thin layer on the top. Moderate lacing.
  • Aroma: Lightly roasted malt with hints of milk chocolate and fresh baked shortbread cookies. Mild piney hops in the background.
  • Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A touch of sweet malts in the beginning with milk chocolate and medium roast coffee notes. Mild hop bitterness at mid palate that carries you to an astringent and moderately bitter finish.
  • ABV: 6.0%

There is one word that I can use to describe Sixpoint’s Brownstone: Solid! Easy drinking and well balanced, this is a definite session worthy ale that can be enjoyed either on its own, or with a wide variety of foods. Brownstone is just a really good beer.

7 replies »

  1. Once again, I find myself at the beginning of a sentence that has no intention of ending well. OK, so it ended without obvious carpentry or suspicion of hidden childbirth but I can recommend it for little more than that.

    Before you spin further into an intellectual abyss by attempting to latch onto some kernel of information in the preceding sentences relevant to this post – or any beer review – let me remind you that the people who devised computer keyboards were sinister and vapid beings out to wreak unholy fatwas resulting from the close proximity of letters to one-another, thereby encouraging just this sort of confusion. Virtually none of the letters comprising the words so far typed have been presented or ordered as intended. It’s almost as though I have a digital (literally) form of complex, compound Tourette’s Syndrome.

    *fighting mightily…. Brooklyn Brownstone is a nice brew. Born mere feet from where I began my journey to craft beer lunacy in Brooklyn Jewish Hospital along with the likes of Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, and, yes……Mandy Patinkin! Finally! Proper context for a reference to him – perhaps Barry Manilow was actually crooning about him in his iconic ’70s ballad.

    So back to the beer. Not a world class brown ale by any stretch (Cigar City Maduro, AleSmith Nautical Nut Brown, Rogue Hazelnut or even Dogfish Head Indian Brown – how do they get away with that name these days anyway?) but, as you said, “solid.”

    Time to end this comment just like it started.


    • With so many Mandy Patinkin references, I’m thinking of renaming the blog. Would “It’s just Mandy Patinkin dancing…” be too predictable? Besides, he’s known for his singing, not his dancing. Then again, what do I know about Broadway.


      • And, let’s not forget his riveting performance as Inigo Montoya in what is arguably the greatest movie ever made. Oh, yeah and a Tony award for Evita and an Emmy award for Chicago Hope.


  2. While I wasn’t crazy about some of their beers, I don’t think I’ve been truly disappointed by anything Sixpoint has made. At worst, they’re consistently solid, as you point out.

    Their new brew – 3 Beans – looks to be really good.


    • I agree. None of their beers have blown me away or made me want to buy a full 4 or 6 pack, but Sweet Action, Brownstone, Resin, and Diesel are worth revisiting when there aren’t better options available. Not mind blowing, but definitely solid.


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