During my recent time away from the revue, while I didn’t write or post anything, I did keep drinking beer. Lots of beer. So much that my wife put me on a “beer budget” each month, severely limiting the number of seasonal limited edition specialty brews I can purchase while also keeping my two beer refrigerators and my cellar stocked. (I know, it’s almost barbaric!)
Even with such draconian measures in place, there was one beer I found that I have purchased at least once every week since I discovered it. It was the beer that nagged at me in the back of my mind. It was the one that for the past two months has been quietly whispering to me, “Write a post about me. Tell the world about me. Happiness is only real when shared!”*
This, ladies and gentlemen, is that beer.
West Sixth Brewing Company is one of the newest and definitely the greatest breweries to come out of Lexington, KY. Started less than a year ago in April 2012, they already have a solid and well established fan base in Central Kentucky, as well as Louisville and Cincinnati. They started their brewery on three central ideas (from their website):
- We will make delicious and creative local craft beer.
- We will be dedicated to the community that we live in.
- We will place a premium on being good to the planet we live on.
To address the second ideal, they donate at least 6% of all their profits to local non-profits or charities that work to improve life in Lexington. To address the third, they can their beer instead of bottle it to cut down on materials and make it easier to recycle. But to address the first… oh, for the first, they chose their I.P.A. as their flagship beer.
And this beer, friends… How can I begin to describe it? First off, it doesn’t need any fancy-pants punny name – it’s just plain old West 6th I.P.A. It doesn’t need the name because it literally speaks for itself. It has that awesome light caramel color and large white head that lingers for two days if you don’t touch it. It smells deliciously of fruity hops with a hint of booze. But the taste.
I have said before that a beer was balanced. I’ll admit, it was because that was a word I’d heard other reviewers use and it sounded good. But when I had this beer, the word was defined in my mind. It pours a delicious amber-orange color with a huge head that would stay around for a few hours if you didn’t touch it. The first sip is sweet and crisp and pops with fruit. Quickly the flavor transitions into the delicious piney notes that I have come to love in an IPA so much, and throughout it all the 7% ABV dances around at the edges, serving to cut the sweetness and warm the bitterness just enough to make you pull the glass from your lips in surprise, as if looking at this beer will somehow explain the smackdown your mouth just experienced.
After my third experience with this beer, my skepticism was qualmed and my initial reaction confirmed: this is by far my favorite beer. It tastes as good or better than other beers twice as expensive without being pretentious. It’s like the Ron Swanson of beers – simple, plain, and the epitome of what it should be. Every time I go to Lucky Baxter to get my brews for the week I end up torn between a make-your-own-six pack and a sixer of this beer, or two packs of this beer.
For me, this is only going to get better. Because I’m an awesome surprise-guesser, I know that my wife is taking me for a brewery tour and dinner at the West Sixth taproom for my birthday next month, and I’m beyond giddy for it. I mean, who wouldn’t be?
WHEN: JUST DRINK IT.
*many thanks to that awesome Into The Wild movie.