As the Summer of Cans rolls on, you might have seen a beer can offering that comes in multiples of four housed neatly in a box. With classic colors and an eye catching design, you probably couldn’t help being engaged by a package of Sixpoint. Whether it’s Resin, Sweet Action or The Crisp, you are not only holding a great canned beer, you are holding a great BEER. Great beer comes from great brewers. We recently had the chance to speak with Head Brewer Pete Dickson from Sixpoint. Here is what he had to say about Sixpoint, the beer world and the strength and community of Brooklyn.
The Brewery: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Pete Dickson: I’m a practical hands-on kind of a guy who grew up in New Jersey. Mechanically inclined. I live in Cranford, New Jersey now. I dig things like European travel, hiking, motorcycles, and camping.
Sixpoint was founded in 2004, when did you take over as Head Brewer?
Sixpoint was my first professional brewing position after completing the American Brewers Guild Craft Brewers Apprenticeship Program in January of 2011. After about a year and a half, I was promoted to Head Brewer when my predecessor, Ian McConnell, left the company to head back to his home state of Maine.
Is working in a Brewery as magical as most people believe?
(Laughs) It depends on what you consider magical. If magical means to make delicious offerings in a fast paced environment while challenging yourself every day to try and improve upon at least one thing, then YES, it’s just as magical as most people believe. In all honesty, each brewery has its only feel, family of brewers, and methodology. Craft brewing is pretty magical on the whole, but you still have to find the family that works for you.
What’s the best part of your day at the Brewery?
Rocking to tunes on the stereo, while either making wort or working in the cellar. The overall experience of working for a great brewery in the Craft Brewing Industry isn’t so bad either, but that’s kind of an everyday/all-day thing.
Everything about Sixpoint says “Brooklyn” is there a deep sense of community in your brewery?
Absolutely! Our brewery’s early years of being draft only has lead us to still have a significant footprint in our immediate Brooklyn area. We still have special treats and offerings available that keep our local crowd’s thirst quenched.
What is your favorite Sixpoint offering? (Why?)
The Mad Scientist Series. It changes with each new addition. It keeps us on our toes. It really is a treat to make a production level one-off, and we all get to be apart of the research, recipe, ingredients acquisition and execution.
You had the Sixpoint logo tattooed on you before working there, was this destiny?
More serendipity than destiny, I think. As my home brewing gained speed, and while I was rounding out my 6-year long Mechanical Engineer career, I had been looking to get a tattoo for some time. I wanted to brand myself a brewer at the time, and came across the Sixpoint logo. I agreed with Shane’s reasoning for using a 6 pointed nautical star for the brewery logo, and so I branded myself for the symbolism of being a brewer more than being a diehard Sixpoint fan. When Shane approached me a little over a year later to interview for a brewing position, I almost couldn’t believe the coincidence. I wore long sleeve shirts during work for the first 4 months so that I wasn’t ‘that guy’.
What would you consider the beer or style that got you into brewing in the first place?
Brown Ales. As a consumer, the roasted, nutty, malty balance of good brown ale really did it for me. The first home brew kit I every bought was a brown ale. And to this day, if I’m piloting just for the hell of it, I tend to gravitate towards making brown ale.
Sixpoint has offered seasonals before (Apollo, Autumnation), can you give us a hint as to a seasonal we might see in the future?
The four seasonals of Apollo, Autumnation, Harbinger, and Diesel are here to stay for a bit. But I’ve heard teasers of more in-between beers like 3-Beans. I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet on any though.
There are a lot people who fear to change their go-to beer. If you could recommend a Sixpoint offering to open the eyes of someone, which beer would it be?
Resin’s pretty tasty!
Are there any upcoming events at Sixpoint you would like people to know about?
We just had the annual Beer 4 Beasts Event with Beer Advocate. Now we’re heading in to that time of the year when we’ll just concentrate on some local summer events in the NYC/Brooklyn area and make lots of tasty beer. Check out the website or our Facebook page for up-to-date info on upcoming events.
Finally, does being the head brewer at a famous Brewery get you chicks? (Because writing a beer blog and comic do not)
(Laughs) I’m a one-gal kind of guy, and my better half is a tattoo artist in NJ. So, while I haven’t had chicks throwing themselves at me, I haven’t exactly been looking for them to be doing so either.
You can grab a pack of Sixpoint at any liquor store near you. We here at The Brewery highly suggest you give it a try. Let us know what you think, @brewerycomic and remember, The Summer of Cans rolls on. Also if you happen to find yourself in the Financial District of lower Manhattan look for a wonderful new pub called The Dead Rabbit. Once inside be sure to order the cask ale, it’s brewed by Sixpoint specifically for them.
Finally, over on Happy Hour we are doing our annual guest strip and blog series. Swing over there today (and tomorrow) and check out Dave’s guest blog. I mention it here because it’s about kick ass ways to open your beer… like using a helicopter… yes a helicopter.