Forget the ominous imagery you might expect from most global warming references, when you hear cries of the “beer climate changing,” it’s cause for excitement this winter. Inspired in-part by changing weather patterns and the flood damage its New York City brewery sustained from Hurricane Sandy, Sixpoint created an inventive new winter seasonal dubbed Global Warmer. From its four-pack of smaller Red Bull-style cans to the intriguing flavor combinations contained therein, Global Warmer is a force to be reckoned with.
This cloudy light amber brew pours a frothy head, bolstering a fruity aroma that balances floral citrus notes and a hint of malty sweetness. Between the nose and the initial sip, Global Warmer gives off a strong IPA-like vibe, but it’s far too complex a beer to categorize so quickly. Given the bold hop aroma and whopping 70 IBUs, I half expected a bitter barrage to boot. Instead, I’m greeted with just a touch of up-front fruity bitterness that immediately recedes into subtle caramel, honey, and sweet tea that creates a malty depth. Slight warming from the alcohol mingles with a parting tinge of spicy herbacious hops in the end, working their way down to the belly.
Global Warmer hovers tentatively between an IPA and imperial red ale, finding a unique middle ground that stands out without fully subscribing to either style. It’s different in a good way — a beer that’s well-suited to those indecisive moments where you’re not quite stoked for another round of the status quo in your preferred styles, but don’t feel like straying too far outside of your comfort zone. Altogether, it’s a pleasant transitional pick to ease into the colder months ahead.
Brewery: Sixpoint Brewery
City: New York City
Style: Imperial Red Ale (sort of)
Availability: Seasonal, four-packs