Final CanWe’ve got some big news today that we can’t wait to share with you:  we’re embarking on a major brewery expansion, and launching a new beer (the Lemongrass American Wheat) in a can!

Over the past year, we’ve expanded a few times on our 15 barrel brewhouse by adding additional fermentation capacity. That’s allowed us to grow from our original 45 barrels of weekly production when we first opened up to 195 barrels of weekly production by the fall of 2013.

However, late last year, we realized that we just couldn’t keep expanding by adding tanks. We were brewing 13 times a week (up from our original 3), and didn’t want to expand into brewing overnight or on the weekends.

So, we’re excited to announce today that last week, our new 40 barrel brewhouse and 6 80 barrel fermenters arrived.

This brewhouse will allow us to continue to grow over the next few years, and also has a secondary benefit: it will allow us to begin canning a third beer.

This beer is one we’re really excited about: the Lemongrass American Wheat.

our new brewhouse

Robin, our head brewer and co-founder describes it this way: “This american wheat is brewed with Sorachi Ace hops and nearly 6 pounds of fresh lemongrass in each 15 barrel batch. The Sorachi Ace hop, which originated out of Japan, has a very unique flavor that we believe complements the lemongrass perfectly.  It’s a craft beer drinker’s wheat.”

This beer will be rolled out gradually into each market — it should be available on draft within a few weeks and in cans within the month.

All this is possible because of the continued support of all of our fans and trailblazers.  Thank you all for this — we never in a million years expected to be expanding in such a way so soon.

Thank you all, and cheers to an exciting 2014!

 

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Full can in truckWe’ve got some exciting news today: We’re releasing our first ever seasonal beer in a can – the West Sixth Christmas Ale!

This beer is a dark spiced ale with the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Weighing it a 9% ABV, it has a nice backbone that will hold up to the chilliest of nights.  This is our slightly darker taste on a holiday beer, and will be perfect for evenings by the fire!

We’re canning the beer tomorrow, and will be releasing the beer at 3pm on December 2nd at the taproom (the Monday after Thanksgiving).  It will also be available in limited quantities at retailers throughout Kentucky.  We’re only going to make 500-600 total cases of this beer, so we expect it to sell out quickly!  It will also be available on draft in the taproom starting that day.

This is our first time ever doing a seasonal in cans — it’s also the first Christmas Ale canned and distributed in Kentucky.  Because of the challenges with doing small runs of cans, we’ve had to figure out a different sort of process to label the cans and can the beer.  It’s been a fun adventure and we can’t wait to share the results with you.

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Introducing our online store

by Ben on October 21, 2013

West Sixth Online StoreWe’re excited to announce the official launch of our West Sixth Online Store.

Each week we hear from folks who want to buy a t-shirt or hat but can’t make it into the taproom.  That’s why we’re excited to be able to offer all of our West Sixth merchandise — t-shirts, hats, glasses, signs, etc — through this store.

Check it out and let us know if you run into any problems!

 

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Our new centrifuge

by Robin on September 17, 2013

separatorWe got a fun new piece of brewery equipment that’s being commissioned this week: a giant separator / centrifuge.

What does that do? In order to answer that question, we first have to answer another one:  Why don’t we filter our beers?

From the beginning, I’ve taken a strong stand as West Sixth’s head brewer (and owner) to never filter our beers. Filtration exposes the beer to a huge surface area of either diatomaceous earth, paper sheets, or cartridges.  It can be done well, without too much detriment to the beer, but not typically at the craft brewing level of investment.  There is a huge opportunity for oxygen pickup, potential taste taint from the filter media, damage to head retention, and removal of certain hop characteristics.

I also chose not to filter for other reasons.  For one, diatomaceous earth is a regulated respiratory health hazard.  I don’t and don’t want anyone else to breath the stuff.  Furthermore, filter media has an environmental footprint: mining, manufacturing, high heat processing, iron oxide removal, transport, and commercial pulp forests versus native ecosystems.  Not to mention the fact that the spent media needs to be disposed of and that typically means in a landfill.

So that’s why we don’t filter.  But now, with a separator we can achieve a similar process throughput and consistency for our distributed products as a filtering brewery but without the downsides.

In a nutshell, the separator runs the beer through a series of cone shaped discs that spin at high RPM.  The short distance between the discs coupled with the centrifugal force causes any solids to collect on the inside of the discs.  The solids are discharged by a quick lifting of the discs off their base and they “sling” out.

To be fair, it is not an apples to apples comparison because a separator will not make a beer super “brite” like filtration.  It cannot, for instance, remove chill haze like a filter can.  But we are only looking for a “near brite” effect on the product not a brilliantly clear presentation that comes at the potential expense of other characteristics of the beer.

So, we’e excited to add this new process to the brewery.  We think you’ll love the results.  Actually, we hope you won’t even notice — that’s is, after all, the point.

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New Hours

by Ben on September 16, 2013

To accommodate  the opening of our neighboring restaurant, Smithtown Seafood, we’re changing our hours effective this week.

We’ll now be open:

  • Sunday – Wednesday: 11am-10pm
  • Thursday: 11am-11pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 11am-midnight

Come on down and grab some lunch and a beer!

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photo (1)We’re excited to finally talk more about a new project we’ve had going on here at West Sixth – the West Sixth Experimental Series.

Since we’ve been having to dedicate more and more of our fermenter capacity to filling the huge demand we’ve seen for our West Sixth IPA and Amber, we’ve been unable to fill the tap room taps with all of the different beers we’ve been dreaming up.  In addition, we now have 4 different folks working in the brewery, each with some great and exciting ideas for some new West Sixth brews.

So, we’ve decided to try something new and scale down – way down – to do some West Sixth Experimental Brews.

Starting this week, each Wednesday and Friday, we’re going to release a very small batch of a completely new beer. We expect these to go quick – we’ll only have about 60-80 pints of each – so we doubt they’ll last more than a day.  But, along with Firkin Thursday (which will continue), we think they’ll allow us to try a whole series of recipes, hear what you like, and then we’ll be able to scale them up to our full system size.

So come on down when you see one you like, and give it a try.

This week, we’ve got two beers:  a Hoppy Brown ale with nuts (half with macadamia Nuts and half with hazelnuts) and a new Saison (half made with local raspberries and half made with lemons). Both of these were brewed by a former bartender and now new addition to our brewing team – Tyler. Our Firkin on Thursday is also a small batch beer – an ESB brewed up by Andrew.

So come on down and try one of these fun new beers.  We’ll be open at 3pm today, and Noon on the Thursday and Friday!

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Announcing West Sixth Pedals and Pints!

June 17, 2013

We’re partnering with Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop to start the West Sixth Pedals and Pints Bike Club! Join us at 1:30 on Sundays for a casual ride through Lexington. Open to all types of bikes and rider abilities. We don’t care if you wear spandex or skinny jeans, but please wear a helmet! The setup will be […]

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Official Release

June 7, 2013

West Sixth & Magic Hat The parties have a mutual interest in assuring that consumers perceive their products as distinct. The parties have mutually resolved the issues addressed in the lawsuit in a manner that eliminates potential confusion about product origin and resolves the lawsuit in a mutually acceptable way. To the extent West Sixth […]

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Still waiting for a response

May 23, 2013

We’re still waiting for a response.  Click here to read more

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Response to Magic Hat

May 22, 2013

Wow, thank you all for all the support yesterday. You forced Magic Hat to respond! Unfortunately, they won’t talk to us directly, so we have to use Facebook to share what we think with them. Please like and share the info here.

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