Last year (2011) Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery started putting their beers into “nano-kegs” (aka cans) for home consumption. Autumn marked the first seasonal in these nano-kegs but summer has, perhaps, brought one that I’ve anticipated the most. On top of now canning their beers they’ve also brought on a new brewmaster, Jan Matysiak, to replace Sixpoint founder Shane Welch so that he could focus more on growing the business. Most recently, Jan was the brewer at Texas’ Live Oak Brewing, known for having one of the most revered Hefeweizens brewed on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. As soon as I found out Jan would be heading east, I started bugging Shane to ask if they’d be putting out a hefeweizen. He told me just to chill and wait, but I had a feeling. Well, here is that “hefe” that I’ve been hoping for from Sixpoint, so let’s see if it’s going to live up to my expectations!
A deep golden straw color this one is a bit darker than many hefeweizens I’ve come across in the past. It poured with a big, pillowy white head but it quickly receded...that said, having had this a few times before, I’m going to say this is an anomaly as it’s never happened before.
Hefeweizens typically have aromas of banana and clove that come from the yeast they are fermented with. That, and the wheat used in the beer, is what makes is a hefeweizen. Typically the beer will lean towards one of those two smells and this is no different as the banana really comes through. Don’t worry if you don’t like banana, though. They are one of my least favorite foods on Earth and I love a good banana-y hefe...there are some very important differences between the fruit and the smell of the beer. Once you’re past that yeasty note, you’ll get some dry, tangy wheat. Overall, it smells like a classic Bavarian wheat beer and I’m not going to wait any longer to drink it!
That banana-like aroma comes through in the taste in a way that few American-brewed hefeweizens pull off. Up front the beer is a little fuller than some others in this style and really coats your tongue. As it lingers on my tongue, I get just a hint of tartness. It’s barely there, but it adds a great dynamic to the beer...some delicious complexity that keeps you on your toes. As you swallow, though, the wheat really brings a drying character that, along with the carbonation, finishes the brew nicely. Add the fact that Apollo comes in 16oz tallboy cans and barely tops 5% abv and this is going to be an instant classic at all your barbecues this year! Pick some up, you’ll dig it and your non-craft-beer-drinking friends will love it!