It seems like everyone is throwing hops in everything for the hell of it
these days and that doesn’t necessarily make the beer better. Case in
point: Sixpoint Brownstone. Sure it’s an interesting, unusual brew for
the style (though that’s typical for this brewery), but the dry
bitterness from the hops seems to overpower the sweet, malty, brown ale
Appearance: Mahogany hue that’s dark but translucent. Forms a huge, tan, foamy head which laces and retains very well.
Smell: Light perfumey flowery hops and an underlying coffee scent. Otherwise quite mild in the nose.
Taste: I’ve had Brownstone many times this year - at just about every
beer fest I’ve been to and on tap at a local restaurant last week, but
never had it out of the can until now. It’s never let me down, but it’s
never knocked my socks off the way a lot of other Sixpoint beers have.
It’d be easy to simply describe it as "a hoppy brown ale" but that’s not
entirely accurate. It’s more like a malty ale with a significant hop
component and some familiar brown ale notes.
Though the can indicates it’s 45 IBUs, this brew seems a little more
bitter than that. Sharp dry bitterness hit the palate right away with a
bit of floral hop flavor through the middle. The finish is the best part
as there’s a mixture of sugary coffee, caramel, and peanuts. These
flavors are short lived, as the bitterness from the hops comes back to
envelope the tongue. I really liked this malty taste and found the
hoppiness distracting. That’s not to say it tastes bad, no, it’s
definitely a tasty, appealing beer. I appreciate the uniqueness to the
palate, but sometimes traditional is better.
Drinkability: Though this beer is bitter for the style, it’s remarkably
drinkable. The mouthfeel is rather thin, but there’s a creamy texture
which makes it very comfortable and enables it to go down extremely
smooth. I’m surprised Sixpoint Brownstone is 6% ABV as it seems much
lighter than that, but it’s definitely not a filling beer. It probably
works best as a meal complement than anything else.