A CHRISTMAS STORY

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We had our employee meeting this morning where Owner Joe told us the story of the first batch of Christmas Ale. At the time there were about a third of the employees we have now and our "offices", (one table in a dark room at the top of a ramp with a flickering neon light), were located where we now keep our merchandise. There is also no temperature control up there, so thoughts of warming beers were swirling as the Kentucky weather was throwing us bitter temps in the wrong month.

Owner Robin made Joe up a test batch that came in at about 5% ABV. Owner Ben says Joe's immediate reaction was that "there ain't enough alcohol in this!" The goal here was for it to heat up those cold bones, which is how we ended up with this Winter Warmer style. Upon the next batch at 9%, we were ready to can it up and ship it out, after many deliberations as to how to get a label on it quick enough to be out before Christmas.

We made 200 cases that year, a 30 barrel batch, and they were all gone within what seemed like minutes. There are some good stories about the folks who were working the canning line at the time. You know, getting all warmed up during their shift. 

That same beer is still here today, though refined and after a few years even nostalgic. It's Kentucky Christmas in an aluminum vessel. It's your secret hideaway when family gatherings are getting to be too much, your late night football beer when its snowing, and something you can age and bring out in July for that yummy Christmas feeling. 

Merry Christmas Season, ya'll!

P.S. It's available now. 

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MEET WEST SIXTH

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In the two+ years since Kaitlyn has been with us, she's given out more smiles than we all have in our years combined. Chances are, if you've been to West Sixth even one time, you know this smile and have probably even gotten a warming hug! 

I asked Kaitlyn a few questions that I probably already knew her answers to: "If you were president which law would you make? If a child asked you if Santa was real, what would you tell them? What can you not live without?" Her answers in a nutshell? Kindness, kindness, and hazelnut coffee creamer. 

She admits she has some flaws, like losing everything and wishing she could have a button on her body for things like keys, her phone, her wallet. She claims she is indecisive but really, her positive energy has made us blind to these things.  When asked to describe her job to a child? "People come see you and get juice, then they hang out awhile and you make them happy! And throwing parties!"

We couldn't live without her around here! 

PINK PAY IT FORWARD

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Our Pay it Forward Cocoa Porter has been around for three years. Since its arrival, we have always given back 50 cents of each six-pack sold you a non-profit in different corners of the state. Every quarter, our staff has a vote to decide which nominees we will Pay it Forward to. But this time, we had it in our hearts to change it up a bit. 

For the last quarter of the year, 50 cents for each six-pack sold will go to support Susan G. Komen Kentucky, who works with communities to prevent and cure breast cancer by investing in breakthrough research. Did you know that 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime? We will do our best to support this cause in any way we can.

Look for the pink tops in stores for the next few months. We look so forward to partnering with you to fight breast cancer. Our love and support goes out to all those affected.

If you have a program you're passionate about, please let us know so that we can get them on the ballot!

MEET WEST SIXTH

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Tim has been a fixture around West Sixth since we opened. It's no surprise that he's known for local activism and riding his bike, as he is one of the co-starters of a community bike shop in our building (The Bread Box) called Broke Spoke. We always knew he'd end up on the payroll, and has been killing it in the Special Events department since sometime last year.

When I asked Tim what he'd like to be when he grows up, he said 'not grown up'. Cheers to that! (Mare's Milk Stout on us, Tim. You can pour it.) Speaking of beer, when asked to describe West Sixth beer to someone with no tastebuds, an entire debate ensued. Activist! But he did say it was a party in your mouth, explaining his hypothetical baseball walkout song by The Coup, 'Everythang'. Listen to that one at your own risk, folks. 

If given one million bucks, Tim would take half of it to care for his family, and half to invest back into non-profits he is passionate about. This is especially important to us around here, so our hats are tipped. 

A few ending facts: He'd be a dog if he were an animal because the only expectations are to eat food and love on people. He loathes cell phone holsters, bluetooths and pop sockets, (cell phone gadgets). And if asked by a child to explain his job, he'd say it's the easiest job he's ever had, selling beer! 

Sustainability 2016

When we started West Sixth, we stated from the beginning that our goal was not to just brew great beer, but to have a positive impact on the communities we're a part of. We try to do this in a variety of ways - from supporting non-profits directly, to being a good place to work, to being as environmentally-friendly as possible. These values have informed many of our choices in building the brewery - such as our choice to rehabilitate an older building to house the brewery, to providing a living wage to all employees, to our ongoing commitment to donate at least 6% of all our profits back to organizations doing good work in the communities we're a part of. 

We were inspired, this year, to try and create a measuring stick for our sustainability so that we could start begin to see how we live up to those values and set some good goals for our future here at West Sixth Brewing. We wanted to put it all on paper to see how far we've come, and how we can continue to improve to get where we want to be. By measuring these things under the categories of Social Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, and Economic Sustainability, we were able to encompass everything we believe in. 

Our social culture is deeply rooted in what we can do for the community we are a part of. With programs that give money back to folks who are doing great things, we were able to give $122,141 in 2016, much of it matched by our good giving partners. We also love sharing our space with the good beer drinking community through various weekly happenings here in the taproom.

On the economics spectrum, we are happiest to spend our money with local business at every opportunity possible. By doing this, we feel as though the places we live, work and eat are being benefitted by us in some way. We also bought a farm in Frankfort, Kentucky to remind people that brewing beer is an agricultural act, and that, too gives back to our great state.

Environmentally, we were conscious from the beginning that by choosing to can our beer, we were doing our part to be better for the planet as a whole. With that, and switching to reusable, stainless steel cups for some community events, we hope to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. It is our biggest West Sixth environmental hope, this upcoming year, that we can continue to decrease our waste in recycling and beer making.

Last but not least, it is our employees who make the world go round at West Sixth. We want to pay them well, provide for them opportunities to grow and thrive, and give them access to benefits. We love our growing group and want to keep them!  

You can download our full report here. As always, we know it is not perfect. We plan to update this report annually, and welcome any feedback you might have here.

 

#westsixthinthewild

One of our favorite things about the beer we make is the people who drink it. Where they're from, how they heard about West Sixth, and where they take our beer are always stories we love to hear and share. We made this #hashtag - #westsixthinthewild - with the hopes of seeing where our beloved beer ends up after it leaves the brewery.

What an honor it has been to be able to see your experiences outside of our 'home'! We've seen West Sixth in the Andes Mountains, at Firkin Festivals in the U.K., hiding in your bushes in the back yard, and being enjoyed around a Kentucky summer campfire with s'mores. 

We love these little beer vacations so much that we made a wall for your #tagged photos right here in the brewery. If you happen to come by, check out what your fellow West Sixth'ers are up to right now. We would LOVE to throw your photo up there, so if you find yourself sipping on one of our cold beers, tag it with #westsixthinthewild. And be sure to check the hashtag out for endless entertainment!