Grab A Beer: Seattle Beer Week Six Degrees of Collaboration

May 1st, 2014 · 1 Comment · Beer Releases, Beer Reviews, Washington Breweries

Seattle Beer Week Six Degrees of Collaboration
Alcohol by Volume: 6.0%

For the 6th annual Seattle Beer Week, the organizers brought together brewers from six different Seattle breweries to come up with a beer. They ended up using six malts, six hop varieties added at six different times, and six different house yeasts. They stretch the terms of “session IPA” with this 6% ABV beer, but their goal was to make something hoppy that you can have a few of during the SBW festivities. This definitely qualifies. It is currently available around town in 22oz bottles, and it will be available on draught starting with the opening SBW event at Elysian on Thursday, May 8.

Citrus & pine hop aromas pop out of the glass of this dark golden beer with a medium head that sticks around nicely. The flavor follows with a moderate amount of fruity, floral and green hop flavors backed by a solid pale malt base. Despite six different malts being used, I don’t pick up any caramel malt flavors, which is fine by me. The bitterness is assertive and lingering, and like many NW IPAs, I wouldn’t call this balanced. It is quite dry, with little sweetness to be found. It is clean with no off flavors, and it certainly represents Seattle well with its hop-forward nature.

This is a solid IPA, but for the level of bitterness here I wish the hop flavors were more prominent. That said, I’ll happily have a few of these during SBW, and I’ll look forward to trying this on draught.

Verdict: 3 1/2 out of 5 Booyas
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Commercial Description/Press Release:

The craft brewing movement is a collaboration without historical precedent, and almost nowhere as much as in the Seattle area. On Saturday, March 6, six local brewers got together at Elysian Brewing’s Airport Way facility to brew the sixth Seattle Beer Week beer, together. Sixes were definitely wild. Six malts, six hop varieties added in artful combination at six different times, and–get this–six different house yeasts as well were added, taking the collaboration down to a whole new level–the microscopic.

In addition to the crew at Elysian, participating breweries were Georgetown, Black Raven, Naked City, Schooner Exact and Pike. The beer, called Six Degrees of Collaboration, is a session IPA that should weigh in at around 6% alcohol. The first 60-barrel brew will go entirely into 22-ounce bottles for sale in advance of Seattle Beer Week (May 8-18) at stores throughout the area. The second will go into kegs to be served throughout the week.

Sixth Sense? Six Appeal? Six to the Sixth? 666 (Mark of the Yeast)? House (Yeast) Party? These were other names considered before Six Degrees of Collaboration was settled upon, especially appropriate in that not only among this little crowd of six, everyone in the brewing industry knows each other anyway.

-Dick Cantwell


One Comment so far ↓

  • blackhook

    Nice review Geoff, thanks for the info! …like your comment about the lack of caramel malt, which imo has no place in bracing IPAs. I’m drinking this for the first time tonight @ Hopvine, and I gotta say, this is one of my favorite new beers of the last few years –sort of surprising, as (again, imo) beers by committee don’t always come together.

    SDOC reminds me–in a very good way–of the complex, multi-variate hop flavors of Breakside Wanderlust IPA …super balanced, a very light bitterness (at least, what I’m tasting on tap), and as you say, nice pine & citrus notes. Cheers & congrats to all six breweries involved in this inspired collaboration!

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