Chris Schonberger reports from Sixpoint’s Red Hook, Brooklyn brewery.

In terms of sheer access to great beers, New York’s craft scene is tough to beat—bodegas in the trendier parts of town stock labels like Chimay and Smuttynose, and beer bars are a fixture of the city’s drinking culture. Given all this intake from the world’s best producers, it’s ironic that NYC keeps one of its finest brewers to itself—Sixpoint Craft Ales sells almost 90% of its product within a 10 mile radius of it’s Red Hook, Brooklyn brewery (look for it in Philly, as well), and the company has no plans of bottling anytime in the near future. Instead, the fanatical brew team focuses on quality-control and innovation, keeping local taps flowing with its stellar lineup of ales and producing one-off proprietary brews for restaurants like the Breslin at the Ace Hotel (a Scotch cask ale) and the Modern (an ESB and a soon-to-be-released stein beer made by dropping molten stones into the wort). An example of Sixpoint’s creativity and expertise is the Double Sweet Action, which hit select retailers and bars in February to mark the brewery’s fifth anniversary. Taking the popular Sweet Action as its base, the Double Sweet has twice the hops, twice the malts and nearly twice the alcohol, yet somehow it holds the alcohol well and doesn’t taste like a typical American hop monster. In NYC you can get almost any beer in the world, but as long as Sixpoint’s around, it still pays to drink local.

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