Sixpoint Brewery of the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York was founded in 2004 by Andrew Bronstein and Shane Welch. It is a microbrewery, meaning that it does not put out large amounts of beer on an industrial scale. Instead, it focuses on a range of beers that, according to the brewery’s philosophy, are not bound to traditional beer taxonomy, but rather are born of their own, individual inspiration. This philosophy certainly seems to describe Sixpoint’s Sehr Crisp Pilsner. It is hard to know what the official name of this beer is, as the company calls it Sehr Crisp (sehr is German for very), while the can itself is labeled The Crisp. In any case, the beer is advertised as a Pilsner.
Pilsner beer originally came from the Czech town of Plzen. In the early days of the style, in the 1800s, Pilsner indicated a beer brewed by the government-owned brewery in the town, and barrel-aged in caves. The word Pilsner thus means, from the town of Plzen. The style evolved so that a modern Pilsner beer is basically a bottom-fermented, cold-fermented lager, in the style of beers brewed in Plzen. A modern Pilsner is typically very light in color, ranging from light- pale yellow, to golden. The flavor of a Pilsner normally ranges from sweet, to malty, to moderately hoppy. But regardless of the individuality of the flavor, it is always mild. Sixpoint’s Sehr Crisp Pilsner (5.4% ABV) is described by the brewery as a very basic, pure-flavored beer. Water, malted grains, hops, and yeast are its only ingredients, so that it demonstrates a perfect, crisp purity.
Can: All of Sixpoint’s beers come in metal cans. I am not a big fan of the can, but not because of how it may appear to others. Rather, glass has a completely neutral effect on the flavor of beer that it touches, while metal will always have the very slightest effect on taste. I know that modern beer cans are lined, but they are usually lined with artificial materials, which, I suspect, also effect flavor. The can’s design is lovely, though, with bright blue and orange colors, and brown lettering.
Pour: The color is pure gold, with the slightest smudge of haze. The head — as expected from a Pilsner — is a brilliant, bleachy white, with thick fizzing and moderate dissipation, leaving medium lacing.
Aroma: There is a light fruity and floral bouquet on the nose, with the slightest blush of malt and hops.
Flavor: There is a very-present grapefruit fruitiness here, as well as a hint of lemon (in its fruity, not its sour, manifestation). Malt is evident throughout, as it the slightest hoppy bitterness. Overall, the flavor is very mild, but pleasant. As far as Pilsners go, this beer lives up to its desire for purity and crispness. But my main complaint is that, in the striving for crispness, some flavor has been left by the wayside.
Mouthfeel: The beer has a medium level of carbonation and a light (but not too thin) mouthfeel, which makes it refreshing and easily-drinkable.
Structure: As goes with the Pilsner style, the structure is light and balanced.
Food Pairing: I would pair this Pilsner with fish (prepared any way except by deep-frying), chicken and other fowl (except duck), pasta with white-wine sauces, or pork chops (to offer a balance).
Overall Rating Out of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: