Sunday, August 21, 2011


Brewery: Sixpoint (NY)
Style: Rye Beer
ABV: 6.4%
Grade: A-

I recently realized that I've tried very few rye beers. This isn't entirely due to laziness on my part. Rye beers are pretty new as a style, even by the standards of the craft beer scene, so there aren't all that many of them readily available — though more are coming out all the time. I fully support this style gaining traction, because it's delicious. Righteous Rye was probably the first rye beer I ever had, a few years back, so I figured it's a good first rye to review here.

Just in case you aren't clear what rye beer is, a quick intro is in order. Rye beers are kind of the same general idea as wheat beers, but with rye instead of wheat. (Sort-of, speaking-broadly-here.) See, normally beer is made with malted barley. With a wheat beer, some portion of that barley is traded out for a portion of wheat instead. Same with rye. You add some fraction to the barley, and it'll jazz up an otherwise ordinary grain bill. Go ahead, smell a rye beer. It's spicy and bready in a way that you might be able to identify as rye, depending on how much time you spend sticking your face at bread, or maybe not. Rye adds a spiciness and dryness and bitterness that's wholly different from that of hops — both bitter and dry and bready and rye-y. But it doesn't exactly taste like rye bread either, so there's no real equivalent among... things that aren't rye beer.

Righteous Rye is all those things I just described. It's fairly hoppy regardless of style, at 57 IBU. While Sixpoint's Bengali Tiger IPA is technically slightly hoppier, Righteous Rye can seem the more bitter beer simply because of the qualities of rye. But typical of Sixpoint's main beers, there's a residual sweetness that's always there in the background — a yeast profile, is my thought — that gives each of their beers a signature Sixpoint quality. It balances this one nicely, and since the beer isn't technically all that malty to begin with — the flavor is rye, not thick bready barley malts — the taste is still nicely tipped toward the dry end. Also, it's smooth, not sticky like a malty beer would be. I love this beer. Drink it and drink it often.


  1. Why didn't they call it "Ryeteous"? This disappoints me.



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