Tasting the New Sixpoint-Stumptown Collaboration at the Sixpoint Brewery in Red Hook

03/09/2011 8:33 PM |

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Food trends: Assemble! Yes, foodie darlings Sixpoint and Stumptown have combined forces to create the best caffeinated alcoholic beverage since Four Loko. It’s called Berserker Bock, the latest beer in Sixpoint’s “Mad Scientists” line. I had the good fortune to taste it directly at the source—the Sixpoint Brewery in Red Hook.

My host was my favorite Not Eating Out In NYer Cathy Erway, shown above inspecting an experimental brew she made with Village Voice critic Robert Sietsema. But back to the bock. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of most coffee brews, usually chocolaty stouts infused with espresso. There is just something cloying and artificial about them, like a horrible flavored coffee drink from Starbucks. This is a whole different beast. It’s infused with Guatemalan Finca El Injerto beans from Stumptown, whose New York roasting facility is located nearby. Basically, the coffee grounds are mixed into the mash, where it sits for 8-12 hours instead of the usual hour, basically cold-brewing the coffee just like you would to make good iced coffee (which Stumptown does). The result is a surprisingly light, refreshing lager, with slight caramel undertones and a taste not unlike a glass of iced coffee, meaning it has a smooth taste without any bitterness or acidity.

This beer is perfect for warmer weather. Espresso stout isn’t something you want to drink when it’s 90 degrees outside. Before, the only other caffeinated alternative was something like Sparks or Four Loko, both of which taste like someone mixed a bottle of Sprite and Robutussin together. The Berserker, however, is light enough to drink in the summer, plus it tastes amazing. Warning: It does provide a decent caffeine buzz, so save it for a big night out instead of for a nightcap.

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The Berserker Bock in all of its glory.

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Hop pellets, which kind of look like rabbit food.

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This baby is called “The Octopus” and it can fill up eight kegs at once.

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These insanely large bags hold the base grains like barley.

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Spent grains are usually given to this little guy and his friends on the brewery’s roof.