The signs are all around us: Beer festival season is soaring to an epic crescendo. The magnificent misnomer that is Octoberfest is in full swing. Brooklyn Pour returns to the Expo Center in Greenpoint this Saturday afternoon, while in Denver, the Great American Beer Festival — the nation’s largest annual craft gathering — kicks off today. But whether you’re in New York City or at a beer hall in the backwoods of Bavaria, you’re gonna need to summon the stamina to go the distance. There is, naturally, a beer to help you do just that. 4BEANS, the latest release from Sixpoint in Redhook, comes with caffeine to spare. Bottoms up.
Imperial Porter is a darker style of beer: heavy on ABV, incorporating roasted notes of coffee and cocoa into a body that can be deceptively light. Sixpoint’s latest entry into the category is marked by these familiar characteristics, but it adds a smidgen of creaminess into the fray. It’s not enough to delve into the depths of stout, however, although that can often seem like a fine line to cross. Any discernible heaviness is likely due to the minimal effervescence offered by the brew.
To give 4BEANS its savory qualities — and its name — it’s brewed with (wait for it) four different types of bean: Madagascar vanilla, Romano, cacao (from Mast Brothers chocolate), and coffee (from Stumptown Roasters). It’s the same list of ingredients Sixpoint used in last year’s well-received 3BEANS release, plus an addition of vanilla, which ties everything together in a sensible way. A gentle sweetness in the background to counteract roasted acidity. Boozy heat, albeit muted, in a lengthy finish. At 10 percent alcohol, it will certainly creep up on you, which is why the beer works best as a solitary sipper. Use, as directed, to combat acute symptoms of festival fatigue.
Look for 4BEANS this weekend at Brooklyn Pour, alongside a score of craft brews on tap. Doors open to the annual event at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Purchase your tickets here.