The beer flowed freely at the fifth anniversary celebration of Sixpoint Craft Ales, held last night at Roberta's in Bushwick. There's no question that locally brewed Sixpoint has a loyal following—reflected in the sold-out event's crammed communal tables and the lines at each beer depot around the restaurant. And the deal didn't hurt, either—$32 for an evening of unlimited Sixpoint beer and Roberta's pizza.
But to flock to this event like a frat boy to "dollar pitcher night" would have overlooked the purpose of the celebration: a real celebration of beer. The cozy backyard was open and the fire pit was up and running, though the communal tables were packed elbow-to-elbow. Yet the mood was cheerful, and complaints were few and far between—outstanding beer helps with that. Particularly the show-stoppers at the Experimental Beer Bar, some of them one-time-only brews: the Double Sweet Action, Irish Latte Stout, and the Progress Ale.
Sixpoint brewmaster Shane Welch attended; approachable and at ease, he was more than happy to talk with anyone about his brews and the evening's cause for festivities. Where at times New York can feel like a city where people live to work, this gathering reflected the community of New Yorkers who work to live—and who live to drink good beer.