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3Beans – Sixpoint Brewery (2013)

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BLC Says:
Sixpoint Brewery recently released 3Beans. This beer is a coming together (as one may have guessed) of beans and brewing. The “masterminds” behind this limited release collaboration were all brought together by their love of the bean. As Shane Welch co-founder of Sixpoint Brewery says in their promotional video for the brew, “It has everything necessary for life encapsulated in a shell”. The idea is based upon an ancient formulation via Medieval Europe coming out of the Slavic areas and the Baltic areas where due to the climate ancient brewers did not have access to regular brewing grains like barley and wheat. These brewers would look for fermentable sugars elsewhere and one of those sources was beans.

Through reaching out to, “bean masters” as Mr. Welch puts it, Sixpoint was able to find like minded bean aficionados in the local community who were more than happy to make this beer a reality. Each member of this collaborative effort brought a different bean to the project. Cacao came along with Mast Brothers Chocolate. This bean has a rich history being used in fermented beverages dating back to the Mayan civilization. Sixpoint Brewery dug deep into the history of brewing and brought with them the romano bean. As we mentioned beans were used at times when other grains and fermentable sugars were not available to brewers. These two beans came together during the brewing process. The final bean, the last bean to be integrated, was added in a more refined form. The coffee bean came via Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The bean was itself cold brewed as coffee and was then blended into the beer post-fermentation. Lastly the now complete 3Beans is aged on toasted American oak.

3Beans is sold in a four pack of twelve ounce cans. The packaging is slick and bold (as is the Sixpoint overall design aesthetic) delivering a lot of visual impact. The cans themselves follow suit and are very sleek making one eager to crack the top of the can. The beer pours a medium mahogany brown, highlighted by copper, with a tan, fluffy head that leaves tons of lacing when it finally subsides. The aroma is full, bold and powerful. You barely even need to raise the glass to catch the aromas which rise to meet you. There are notes of wood, vanilla, chocolate and coffee, though there is a strong alcohol smell that is present throughout. In addition to these rich, powerful aromas there is also an underlying syrupy scent that is reminiscent of a brandy.

The sip is in the same vein as the aroma, as this is a strong brew through and through. You are immediately struck with coffee, chocolate and wood-like notes and while there is an alcohol presence, it is not as overwhelming as the scent would lead you to believe. The beer itself is smooth and medium bodied, with a slight drying quality that makes an appearance mid sip. The sweeter notes along with the coffee and chocolate do give way to a bit of heat and bitterness which linger throughout the aftertaste. Due to the high ABV and aggressive flavors, this may be a beer that responds well to a bit of age. We suggest you snap up a four pack or two of this burly Baltic porter and see what will come from some time in the can, we will be doing the same!

What Alicia Thinks:
Though I did enjoy many of the flavors in this beer, it was a little on the strong side for me. The chocolate, coffee and vanilla flavors did impart a nice sweetness and that, combined with the aggressive, warming alcohol, made me think of this as more of a dessert beer. This one does come in a smaller can than all the other Sixpoint brews though, so I have a feeling the brewers did not intend for this one to be downed by the pint glass.

What Kevin Thinks:
3Beans is strong, I agree with Alicia there. It has lots to love but you have to love its bold characteristics as well to truly love this beer. For me it was one I liked. The beer has a really appealing look to it, a fantastic mouth feel and finish. The aftertaste on this beer is complex but not muddled and brings you back for further sips (or as we say “research”). The aroma and the sip could perhaps use some rounding and I will be putting a few of these away to see how they do with some maturity. This is an intriguing beer and was created with a sense of wonder and that is always a good thing in brewing. For me this is a 7./10 that I look forward to visiting in a future, “It Came From Seasons Past!”, article.

ABV: 10% IBU: 85 Color: Mahogany Year: 2013 Brewery: Sixpoint Brewery

The Brewery Says:
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans…and put them into one vessel.
The beans of bygone brewers, united with cacao and coffee, to create a trinity of roasted, rich, and savory flavors. Ancient brewing techniques in concert with innovative methods and the finest products have produced a brew that triangulates the spirit of the Sixpoint Motto… Beer is Culture.

Written by A+K

March 27th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

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