Sixpack of the Week: Tall Tales Red Headed Step Child

Tall Tales (Parsonburg, Md.)
Irish red ale
ALCOHOL: 6.5%

SIXPACK SEZ: When America experienced its first wave of Irish immigration in the 1840s, it saw exactly the same kind of xenophobic nativist nonsense we’re seeing with Hispanic immigration today, only worse. The racism, demagoguery and stereotyping resulted in bloody riots in big cities, including Philadelphia. That’s where the name of this sweet, roasty red lager originates: The despised “red-headed stepchild” was the indecent offspring of an out-of-wedlock sexual encounter with ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Otter Creek/Jack’s Abby Joint Custody

Otter Creek (Middlebury Vermont) & Jack’s Abby (Framingham, Mass.)
Pilsner
ALCOHOL: 6.2%

SIXPACK SEZ: Weed reference aside, this smokin’ can is an excellent example of two disparate brewers coming together to create a beer that may be better than the sum of its parts. From Otter Creek, where hop-minded brewer Mike Gerhart has been kicking up a storm, we get a solidly bitter yet fruity addition of Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria hops. From Jack’s Abby, which has been re-introducing ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Sierra Nevada/Brauhaus Riegele Oktoberfest

Sierra Nevada (Chico, Calif.) & Brauhaus Riegele (Augsburg, Germany)
Märzen
ALCOHOL: 6%

SIXPACK SEZ: Look closely at the label and you’ll understand how a California brewery known for hops-forward ales managed to break out with a wonderfully full-bodied German-style Märzen. This one-time collaboration teamed Sierra Nevada with the 630-year-old Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg. Their unique recipe depends heavily on a high-extract Steffi barley to produce a rich, complex yet very drinkable lager whose touch of Magnum hops only serves to ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Lakefront Riverwest Stein Beer

Lakefront (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Amber lager
ALCOHOL: 5.68%

SIXPACK SEZ: No, despite the name this is not one of those old and rare German stone lagers, made by boiling wort with hot rocks. Instead, it’s exactly the kind of lager I can imagine Wisconsin bratwurst munchers guzzle from frothy, overflowing steins. An underlying sweetness in this outstanding amber lager gives way to a clean, lightly hopped finish.

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Sixpack of the Week: Anchor IPA

Anchor (San Francisco)
India pale ale
ALCOHOL: 6.5%

SIXPACK SEZ: I’m going to chalk up this light-bodied, clean-finishing brew to consumer ignorance. Anchor has brewed a perfectly fine India pale ale for something like 40 years. It’s called Liberty Ale, and it’s one of the seminal brands in American craft beer history. But because the Liberty label doesn’t actually identify it as an India pale ale, it escapes the attention of IPA-fixated beer drinkers. Thus, Anchor introduced this hop-forward ale in ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Yards Pynk

Yards (Philadelphia)
Fruit beer
ALCOHOL: 5.5%

SIXPACK SEZ: When this fruit beer first appeared in 2001, I thought Yards was pulling a practical joke: A pink-colored fruit beer from a Brit-centric brewery known for his pugnacious Brawler? But with its re-introduction (and re-formulation) in 2013, this tart, raspberry-and-cherry beer has emerged as a sought-after late summer/early fall seasonal that goes well with your favorite creamy cheese or chocolate dessert. And it gets do-gooder points for donating a share of sales ...

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