Jack Liakas has fond memories of the first time he spotted a Sixpoint four-pack at a Brooklyn bodega. "I remember thinking, 'daaaaamn!'," he says. "I’d never seen beer packaging like it before—super clean, bold colors, and that billboard effect. It went against all the design trends of the time, which were very much in a distressed or homemade look…. I also loved how the UPC turned into the NYC skyline. UPCs before then sucked, but Sixpoint somehow made them cool."

Now that cans far outnumber bottles in the craft beer community, it's hard to think of a time where hop heads equated the former with crap beer. But that's exactly the sort of pushback Sixpoint had to deal with when they went that route in 2011.

"They started calling them 'nanokegs' to help consumers understand the value of cans," says Liakas. "I thought it was a great perspective and it actually lead me to start drinking the beers while I was in college."

Now that he's actually part of the company, Liakas has come to treat his Sixpoint designs as "ever-evolving entities," from its familiar core flavors to badgeless small-batch releases that "rely heavily on my illustrations and tattoo/Americana influence."   

"We just completed a large packaging refresh to further amplify the personality of the beer," says Liakas, "which is constantly being tweaked to get the best taste and aroma possible. The custom hand-drawn type on Sweet Action is a perfect example of this. You have to stay hungry (and thirsty) in this industry and never rest on your laurels."

Brittany Murray

The 14-year-old brewer will be opening a new taproom and brewery in Brooklyn.

Mike Pomranz
November 08, 2018

Yesterday, CraftBeer.com announced that the number of breweries in America had officially surpassed the 7,000 mark. So we shouldn’t be surprised that another trend in the beer world appears to be continuing as well: consolidation. Yesterday, Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV)—an ownership group that formed in 2014 with the merger of two highly-regarded breweries, Pennsylvania’s Victory and New York’s Southern Tier—announced it had added another big name to its portfolio: Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewing.

Sixpoint is an interesting pickup for ABV. The company, which was launched in 2004, has certainly had its highs and lows over the years, but the brewery is noteworthy as both a trendsetter and as a brand poised for continued resurgence. Sixpoint opened in New York at a time when the actual city wasn’t producing many interesting beers. Of course, Brooklyn Brewery was well established, but the wave of brewers that pushed NYC to its current prominence like SingleCut and Other Half were still nearly a decade away opening. And yet, Sixpoint was an extremely early adopter when it came to selling beers in four-packs of cans, and though they didn’t quite anticipate the whole hazy IPA shift, the brewery was definitely keeping up with the Joneses during the whole double and triple IPA explosion thanks to its Resin series.

More recently, after a period of being a bit adrift, Sixpoint has been working to regain its focus and solidify its Brooklyn status with the development of an app designed to sell interesting limited-releases direct to drinkers out of its current brewery. Included the announcement, Sixpoint says it will be furthering that dedication to NYC with “plans to open its first taproom and new production brewing facility in Brooklyn.”

“Adding Sixpoint to the ABV family is consistent with our strategy of working with successful regional brands that have great local market penetration, passionate fans, and opportunity to grow,” John Coleman, CEO of Artisanal Brewing Ventures, said in a statement. “Our resources, expertise in craft beer and high operating standards can unlock Sixpoint’s growth potential, improve its productivity, and allow their team to focus on what makes Sixpoint special and successful: brewing great beer, creating strong local relevance and building an authentic brand.”

Sixpoint joining Victory and Southern Tier is just the latest example we’ve seen of older craft beer brands looking to partner with larger ownership groups. Last month, the Craft Brew Alliance acquired three brands—North Carolina-based Appalachian Mountain, Massachusetts-based Cisco, and Florida-based Wynwood—in one single announcement. Meanwhile, the Oskar Blues-backed CANarchy has become a growing presence in the craft beer world, expanding to seven different craft brands since its 2016 inception.

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