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You never know where a beer idea may come from. For me, the seeds were planted at what was seemingly going to be a slightly different but nonetheless straightforward Sixpoint tasting at the Wine Library in Springfield, New Jersey last month.
Here’s the backstory: The store had set up what they were touting as a “Brooklyn Brunch.” It was a free tasting from small-batch food artisans based in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Naturally, Sixpoint was chosen to help their customers wash down the food with some tasty local beer.
All of the food vendors had an array of quality products to sample, but the table that ended up intriguing me the most was The Jam Stand. They had some funky concoctions to choose from, including a banana-rum jam, an onion jam, and the one that really caught my attention: Razzy Gabby and a Side of Jalapeño. That’s right, a raspberry-jalapeño jam. And it was delicious (as they all were): slightly sweet, slightly tart, and a nice but not overpowering amount of heat from the jalapeños. I had found our Mad Scientists jam counterparts!
Before leaving the tasting I mentioned to Sabrina, one of The Jam Stand owners, that I wanted to figure out a way to work their Razzy Gabby jam into a beer. I’m pretty sure she didn’t think anything would ever come of it. But it did.
Fortunately, creativity at Sixpoint isn’t just encouraged, it’s basically a requirement. Even if you’re not a member of the brewing team, if you have a beer idea, you are encouraged to give it a whirl on our pilot system and see what happens. So, I reached out to our brewmaster Jan, kicked around some ideas with him and we formulated a recipe.
To have a little more fun with it, we asked Sabrina and Jessica (the other Jam Stand owner) to come down to the brewery to brew the beer with us using their jam. Because their kitchen is also right in our Red Hook neighborhood, it made for the ultimate local collaboration. With a couple of last minute recipe tweaks and a huge amount of help from Danny Bruckert, one of our Sixpoint brewers, we mashed in this past Wednesday morning and had a great time doing it.
So what’s the beer that we brewed, you ask? Well, I suppose you could call it a Raspberry-Jalapeño Belgian Pale Ale. We took some Munich and Special B malt, threw some Columbus, Centennial and Willamette hops into the mix and of course dropped in some Razzy Gabby jam for a little kick, and we tied everything together with a Belgian Abbey yeast strain.
Everyone seemed happy with the initial results of the brew, and we can’t wait to try the finished product a few weeks down the road. Now we just need to figure out a name for it…
Just another day amongst the Mad Scientists at Sixpoint!
by Justin Harm , Sixpoint NJ crew