Beer Review 0208: Sixpoint Apollo Kristalweizen

Sixpoint Brewery, located in Brooklyn, New York, was founded in 2004, but they say the company was actually born at the dawn of civilization, when grains were first being harvested to make fermented beverages. See, Sixpoint believes that beer is culture, and how right they are — whether they be talking about human beings or yeast strains.

Sixpoint began in an 800 square foot garage at the hands of college classmates Shane Welch and Andrew Bronstein. Andrew, native to Brooklyn, provided the cash needed to start up the brewery, while Shane, an avid homebrewer, came up with the recipes. The Sixpoint logo is a combination of the brewer’s hexagram and the nautical star.

Relatively new to distribution, Sixpoint once only kegged beer and filled growlers — they started canning (all their beers come in cans) in June 2011. At first canning, Sixpoint only had a core line of beers; since then, with the turn of each season, they’ve been introducing appropriate offerings. The beer up for review today is Apollo, their summer seasonal, and is a Kristalweizen (crystal wheat).

The brewers at Sixpoint actually went to Germany to research traditional wheat beer styles like the Hefeweizen, and came back to the US inspired to do something that didn’t involve a metric ton of hops and used real Bavarian yeast. A Kristalweizen is simply a filtered Hefeweizen. Apollo is 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) and only has 11 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).

The pour produced a small, soapy head that was stark white against the golden beer. The head was lasting, topped on a clear beer that featured no particles or sediment. Additionally, there was no lacing. A very clean looking brew with a nice golden color.

The aromatics were pungent right from the open of the can. There was banana and clove up front and a hint of bubble gum, all sweet. Supporting actors included a musty, doughy yeast and some biscuit malt. The scent was almost perfume-like, and I found it quite nice; mellow and refreshing. It made me picture a day at the beach, and hey, this is a summer beer.

Apollo greets the palate with an initial surprising tart blast; it doesn’t turn sour but it caught me off guard. This tartness seemingly quenches the thirst, then opens up immediately after the swallow to flavors of sweet banana and clove, finishing ultra-clean with a blast of wheat and a small dash of cinnamon. The mouthfeel was thin, making this beer highly drinkable and incredibly refreshing.

What we have here is a delightfully tasty light summer beer that has touches of great flavors along with a thirst quenching quality and high drinkability. Summer is ending quickly; go out and grab some of this while you have the chance.

Sixpoint Apollo, 87 points. Price: $2.75 for one sixteen ounce can.

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