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Sixpoint Bengali Tiger - recipe change? bad batch?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Beercub, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Noticed that both in cans and on draft that the Bengali Tiger tastes almost entirely different than it used to. It's not as smooth in the mouthfeel, it's lost a lot of its citrusy hop profile, and it's pretty harsh in bitterness. This seems like a completely different beer. Others that I've talked to at bars have agreed that it seems different. Any insight into this?

    It used to be one of my favorite local IPAs, but now not so much.
  2. t8000shx

    t8000shx Savant (305) New York Mar 2, 2004

    Completely agree. I usually go through 4-packs of this stuff like water. The last two that I've purchased, both over the last week and from two different reliably good stores, have been decidedly mediocre. I sincerely hope this is just a temporary problem. Exactly the same thing you noted - hop profile extremely subdued, overall dull/flat flavor.
  3. Gentlemen,

    I would highly encourage you to contact Sixpoint directly with your specific comments. I truly believe they want to hear from the BA community and they are seriously interested in making things ‘right’.

    You can send an e-mail to: [email protected]

    Or you could fill out a comment on their website: http://sixpoint.com/connect

    For your reading pleasure below is a recent posting that I made concerning Sixpoint in general:

    “I have exchanged a number of e-mails with Shane Welch but the topic of yeast strain was not discussed within those e-mail exchanges.

    My understanding of which yeast strains that Sixpoint utilized/utilizes in their beers brewed at the Lion Brewery is based upon information provided in BA threads.

    Quite some time ago BVbeer1 (a BA account for folks from Bella Vista Beer Distributor; they are the wholesale distributor for Sixpoint in the Philadelphia area) posted that the Sixpoint ales brewed at Lion Brewery were brewed using the Lion house yeast. Within that post they detailed that this was the ‘explanation’ for why the Sixpoint beers brewed at Lion Brewery tasted different from the previous versions which were brewed at Brooklyn.

    Last November/December Shane Welch posted that he hired a new headbrewer (Jan) which I believe will be resident at Lion Brewery for the brewing of Sixpoint beers at Lion Brewery. He also mentioned then that they were ‘switching back’ to using the Sixpoint ale yeast for making the ales.

    They also brew Crisp lager at Lion Brewery, I have no idea what lager strain is used to brew that beer (Sixpoint lager strain or the Lion house lager strain).

    My read of Shane Welch’s post in November/December is that Sixpoint is making ‘changes’ in the brewing of their beers at Lion Brewery. I am hopeful that these ‘changes’ will result in changes for the better.”

    Cheers!
  4. Robtobfest

    Robtobfest Savant (340) Connecticut Oct 21, 2009

    Had this on tap at MSG for the Big East tourney. Holy Shit was it bad. Way different for sure.
  5. Not a big fan of this beer . I think Sweet Action is hands down their best regular offering
    touchmeimsac and Cresant like this.
  6. Jack, thanks so much for all of this information. It certainly could explain the vast difference between the two beers. I sure hope they are able to brew it at Lion to the same exact specification as in Brooklyn because I really do enjoy it. Sounds like a fairly grave brewing error if you ask me, but I'm sure contracting things out comes with these kinds of risks.
  7. Righteous > Sweet Action

    Raise those hands.
  8. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    Ill agree.

    I love Righteous. Currently one of my favorite beers.
  9. I still would highly encourage you to contact Sixpoint with your experience(s).

    Shane Welch posted that they were implementing changes back in November/December 2011; that is 4-5 months ago. While it is possible that you drank an ‘old’ can of Bengali I find it hard to believe that the draft Bengali that you drank would be ‘old’. The draft Bengali should be a ‘post change’ beer (i.e., utilizing the Sixpoint ale yeast and brewed under the supervision of the new head-brewer Jan). If there are still ‘problems’ with the production it would be helpful to Sixpoint for them to be aware of it.

    If Sixpoint continues to brew ‘subpar’ beers, beer consumers like you and me will stop purchasing their beers. The Sixpoint beers that were brewed in Brooklyn were quality beers. Sixpoint needs to get ‘back on track’. Honest, constructive feedback will help the brewery. At least that is the way I see it.

    Cheers!
    Aexoonge and Eriktheipaman like this.
  10. JoolyGoodFellow

    JoolyGoodFellow Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012

    Sixpoint came on here recently to discuss Resin and made mention of a new yeast that they would be using in most of the beers, with the changes to be implemented approximately to what is better known as "about now".

    Resin is one bold brew.
  11. Sneers

    Sneers Savant (385) New Jersey Dec 27, 2009

    I was under the impression that all of their draft beer brewed in Brooklyn, while all the canned beer is done at the Lion Brewery. While I could easily be mistaken, if I am right, then the draft product shouldn't have had any problems to begin with unless it was in fact a recipe change.
  12. "Shane" from Sixpoint (who is "Sixpoint" on BA) has stated in previous threads that if a beer is canned the draught version of the same beer is made "in the same facility" (i.e., The Lion, which with they have an "alternating propreitorship" arrangement).
  13. Sneers

    Sneers Savant (385) New Jersey Dec 27, 2009

    Oh, nevermind, then.
  14. I've noticed the same from Sixpoint, good beers, but inconsistent.
  15. The cans I bought were quite fresh according to the date stamped on the fourpack carton (within a few weeks of canning). I may take you up on your suggestion to contact the brewer, although I hope they are also reading these forums. The first whiff of the beer out of the can smelled more like a stale lager than an ale. I thought Budweiser.
  16. I had the same experience, my batch was best before 5/7/12, purchased at Julio's. I wrote to Sixpoint, and this is the response I received. Not particularly pleased with the lack of explanation/window dressing, but at least they were polite.

    "Thank you for taking the time to bring your concerns to our attention.
    I am sorry to hear that your recent experience with Bengali Tiger was
    not what you have expected. Without having the cans in question in
    hand, it is hard to determine the reasons as there can be many, and
    often it has to do with the cans not being stored properly (means
    cold) at warehouses and stores until they are being sold to the
    customer. At Sixpoint, we take incidences and complaints like yours
    very serious because it means that something is not right. I will
    check on our sample storage where we keep sample cans of all batches
    for many months. This will determine if the problems you mentioned
    were caused during production or after the cans left the brewery. I
    will keep you posted and hope that you will give our Sixpoint beers
    another shot :) Cheers"
  17. Here's the bottom line for me. For Sixpoint to become a serious brewer in which I buy their beer on a regular basis, they need total control of their entire line of brewing. If you read between the lines, this means Sixpoint needs to get out of the Lion and get their own brewing facility.

    /rant.
    VonZipper, jampics2 and Alexmc2 like this.
  18. This is sort of disingenuous on Sixpoint's part because even with beers that are much more prominently marked "PLEASE REFRIGERATE" (Anchor's cases come to mind) it's ignored. They've got to know that the vast majority of beer stores - even the A+ BA-rated establishments - simply DON'T refrigerate craft beers, instead keeping them on "warm" shelves, exposed to daily room temperature until sold, and hours of artificial and sometimes even natural sunlight (granted, the light exposure's not relevant for Sixpoint's cans but I had to throw in that pet peeve). The nice dark cooler shelves and floor square footage typically reserved for cases of Old Milwaukee, Corona, Bud, Miller and Coors, etc.

    In Sixpoint's case, their tiny (2mm) "PLEASE KEEP REFRIGERATED" request is on the BOTTOM of their 4 packs - that much easier to ignore. Not many shelf-stockers are reading the fine print.

    I have wondered if Sixpoints cans are pasteurized - one would think that in a brewery (The Lion) which traditionally pasteurized their bottled and cans beers (rather than sterile-filling), skipping that step might mean problems.
    canoale likes this.
  19. “I have wondered if Sixpoints cans are pasteurized - one would think that in a brewery (The Lion) which traditionally pasteurized their bottled and cans beers (rather than sterile-filling), skipping that step might mean problems.”

    It is my understanding that Sixpoint beers brewed at the Lion are not pasteurized. Below is information provided to me by Shane Welch (President of Sixpoint):

    “ ,,, however, we cannot be sure that the beer was stored properly at the wholesaler or the retail account. Our beer needs to be kept refrigerated the entire time. That is why we ship on refrigerated trucks to all of our wholesalers to guarantee the product always stays cold and fresh.

    Our beers are unfiltered so fermentation will continue in the can or draft.”

    Cheers!
  20. jedwards

    jedwards Savant (330) California Feb 3, 2009

    So reports of quality issues mean that the QC person has to go and drink a bunch of beer? Talk about bad incentives.... ;)
  21. Keith,

    I feel your pain.

    I have no idea whether the ‘agreement’ between Sixpoint and the Lion has a termination clause which can easily be implemented.

    As regards “get their own brewing facility”, obviously Sixpoint does have their own brewing facility in Brooklyn. They still brew some of their beers there. The ‘agreement’ with Lion permits them to expand their production without having to make a capital investment to either expand their facility in Brooklyn (assuming there is room there for expansion) or obtaining another facility for expanded production (similar to what Victory is doing). I am not a businessperson so I have no idea how easily Sixpoint could obtain a loan to expand (presuming that they want to make this business decision).

    My read of Shane Welch’s BA past last year (Nov./Dec. 2011) was that he was taking steps to remedy things:

    · He hired a head-brewer named Jan. My understanding was that Jan would be resident at Lion to supervise production but maybe my understanding is not correct.

    · He decided to utilize the Sixpoint ‘house’ yeast for making their ales.

    I don’t really know where Sixpoint is relative to the above remediation plan. Using a different yeast should be something to easily implement. The Sixpoint ales being produced at Lion today should be produced using the Sixpoint yeast.

    Perhaps there are other production issues at play here?

    I must confess I am a bit dumbfounded on what the (continuing?) problems are here. The Lion Brewery has been making beer since 1905 (over a hundred years) and they have plans to ‘expand’ their specialty line of Stegmaier beers. Why are they incapable of brewing quality Sixpoint beers?

    Cheers!
  22. Jack, I have no idea what the issues behind the Lion are, and you spell out a few possibilities in your response which I agree with all. I just know that other breweries are expanding and finding a way to do it capital/facility wise. Just look at Flying Fish, they are constructing and moving into an expanded facility to be able to brew more beer. Another great example is Sly Fox. They just did the same thing. So why can't Sixpoint?

    Regarding the Lion, have they been brewing for years and should they know what they are doing? Yes. But look at it this way. Have they ever produced world class beers there? My opinion? No. Not to mention they are also contract brewing the "new" Ruckus Hoptimus Prime. Have you had that mess of a beer and it's even supposed to be the same recipe as when Legacy had it. That's all I need to know that I'll not trust what is coming out of the Lion unless some significant changes are made somewhere (ownership maybe).

  23. “Have they ever produced world class beers there?” I have always assumed that was due to ‘economics’ in that they mostly brewed lower cost American Adjunct Lagers. I personally have little experience with the Stegmaier type beers. Are they any good?

    “Not to mention they are also contract brewing the "new" Ruckus Hoptimus Prime. Have you had that mess of a beer?” No, I haven’t. Based upon Jesskidden’s post it appears that beer is now being brewed elsewhere.

    I would like to think that Lion is capable of brewing quality beers (what I would call craft beers) under situations like the ‘agreement’ they have with Sixpoint.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for Shane Welch and the folks at Sixpoint. I know that Sixpoint can brew quality brews at their facility in Brooklyn. I really hope that the Sixpoint beers brewed at Lion can truly ‘get back on track’. I guess time will tell?

    Cheers!
  24. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Savant (305) New Hampshire Jul 29, 2006

    Disingenuous like only listing Brooklyn, NY on your cans? Customers deserve better than that.
    jampics2 likes this.

  25. Ha, ha - yeah, just like that. I've done so many posts about that little twisting of the TTB labeling rules, I guess I've come to accept it. Not that I find it "acceptable".

    The bottler's or packer's principal place of business may be shown in lieu of the actual place where bottled or packed if the address shown is a location where bottling or packing operation takes place. The appropriate TTB officer may disapprove the listing of a principal place of business if its use would create a false or misleading impression as to the geographic origin of the beer.



    Now go and count the number of times their website says "Brooklyn" and then how many times it says
    "Wilkes-Barre"...

  26. tolar111

    tolar111 Advocate (655) New York Aug 17, 2008

    I seem to recall a thread being shut down on 12/26/11 that discussed the craft beers brewed by New York's Sixpoint brewery coming from a brewery in PA. So I'm sure there are a lot of BA's who are unaware of the TTB's labeling rules.

  27. Stegmaier was known as nothing but low end beer when I was growing up, as was Lions Head and a few others the Lion brewed. Most (if not all) beers they brewed were known as nothing but below average swill. I went to college up there so we drank our fair share of cheap beer and that stuff was always around.

    Regarding Hoptimus Prime, they may have now moved it, but I'll tell you I had a bottle when it was brewed at the Lion and it was an absolute disgrace to the Hoptimus Prime name.....insultingly bad.

    As you can see, I'm not a fan of the Lion and as long as Sixpoint continues to brew there I won't be buying their beers on a regular basis. I actually like Diesel and Bengali, but I walk by it most time when at the store.
  28. “As you can see, I'm not a fan of the Lion and as long as Sixpoint continues to brew there I won't be buying their beers on a regular basis. I actually like Diesel and Bengali, but I walk by it most time when at the store.”

    I understand 100% what you are saying here. Permit me to make an alternative suggestion. Sixpoint is still brewing some of their beers at the Brooklyn location. My understanding is that the Sixpoint beers being brewed at the Lion are the beers that are canned (both canned versions and draft of those particular beers). So my reckoning is that the following beers are brewed at Sixpoint:

    · Bengali Gold

    · Sweet Action

    · Righteous Ale

    · Autumnation

    · Diesel

    · Resin

    · Crisp

    Did I miss anything in the above list?

    Anyhow, maybe you could still drink the other beers that Sixpoint makes? They make a lot of other varieties of beer but I suppose they would predominantly be draft product.

    Cheers!
  29. If I get what you are saying, then Sweet Action, Diesel and Crisp are all beers I have seen in cans, so those would also be brewed at the Lion.....correct?
  30. jiboo22

    jiboo22 Aficionado (210) New Jersey May 24, 2005

    Didn't read through the entire thread but I'll throw in that i got a growler of Bengali a few weeks ago from my local beer bar. I was excited because it was the first time I was trying it. It was terrible. Definitelty tasted like something was wrong with it. I barely got through 2 pints and drain poured the rest.
  31. Yes, my understanding is that any style of Sixpoint beer that is in cans is produced at the Lion Brewery. That would include draft of those beer styles as well.
  32. Had Bengali Tiger for the first time today, and was very disappointed. Most of the reviews I had read said that it was a very good IPA. Not so for the one I had. I found it harshly bitter, not clean and crisp. I'll follow up with the brewery because I don't believe they really intended the beer to taste that way. I've had their Resin, and found it very tasty, so I was rather dumbfounded when I tried Bengali Tiger.
    johnnieoz likes this.
  33. skinsfan

    skinsfan Advocate (600) Maryland May 24, 2005

    I have tried all their canned beers and they have been average at best. Not sure I would go back to them, however, its all a matter of personal preference. Maybe I am missing something...
  34. ChrisM361

    ChrisM361 Aficionado (205) Ohio Jan 12, 2011

    I just drank 2 Crisp that I bought yesterday that were stored at room temp and I thought they were great
  35. My favorite of the Sixpoint beers I have tried so far. Great stuff.
  36. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Savant (490) Ohio Jul 4, 2008

    I've tried 3 of their beers several times since they've appeared in Ohio (Sweet Action, Righteous, & Bengali) and they all were decidedly mediocre to me varying only slightly, bitter to dull. I won't be going out of my way for Sixpoint stuff, in this day and age $$$ spent on underwhelming beer is a bitter pill to swallow.
  37. atone315

    atone315 Advocate (640) Wisconsin Oct 8, 2008

    I just tried Bengali Tiger yesterday....UGH. It tasted like cheese to me, actually it was the same taste I get when licking my fingers after eating a bag of Cheetos. Resin on the other hand, YUM!
    johnnieoz likes this.
  38. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    First time i had Bengali i thought it was fantastic...the next one? Not nearly as good and i dont know why.

    Sweet Action and Righteous are my favoites by far.
  39. This thread is welcome, but sad news to me. I was a HUGE fan of Six Point and used to be so excited to run into their stuff on draft. I specifically remember the first time I had each of their Sweet Action, Bengali IPA and Righteous Rye. I loved each of them which is noted in my reviews.

    I thought it was just my palate changing or me having a bad day as I just wasn't enjoying these beers as much anymore. I won't go so far as to say they are bad. (don't want to exaggerate) But as some have noted in this thread.. Mediocre is the correct term. Different and Mediocre. Just this week I was discussing this exact issue with a bartender at Armsby Abbey and we had agreed that the beer had changed. Now I see this thread.

    Sad News. Let's hope they get things under control. I'm just not excited anymore when I see their 4packs in the store. Disappointing.

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