The Beer: Taildragger's 6-4-3 Session IPA (4.8% ABV, 55 IBU)
The Brewery: Saddle Mountain Brewing Company, Goodyear
Let's start with a baseball lesson: 6-4-3 is baseball terminology for a double play that originates with the shortstop, who then gets the ball to the second baseman, who follows up by getting it to the first baseman to achieve two outs on the same play.
6-4-3 is also a very aptly named beer created by Saddle Mountain Brewing Company that's currently featured at the Goodyear Ballpark, home to the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds spring training home games.
As a "Session IPA" 6-4-3 aims to satisfy public demand for hops, while remaining incredibly drinkable in the warm afternoon sun due to its lower ABV. According to the Brewer's Association, the IPA category accounted for 8 percent of total craft beer sales in 2007. By 2015 that number skyrocketed to 27.4 percent, showing a steady trend of affinity for hops and beers containing those precious flowers from the humulus lupulus plant.
According to the folks at Goodyear Ballpark, this beer was brewed specifically for the ballpark (though it can also be enjoyed at Saddle Mountain Brewing Company just up the road). It's intended to give consumers a nice alternative to the typical, mass-produced lagers usually prevalent at ballgames. On top of that it also helps create an overall "local" experience. And we have to admit, there are many worse ways to spend an afternoon than enjoying America's pastime with a well-crafted, local beer.
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And it is well-crafted. Toasted grainy malt and a blend of citrus and earthy hop notes work in tandem aromatically in this brew. This is definitely a hop-forward beer, but designed in a "sessionable" format (read: easy drinking), so it's not overpowering. The hop flavors are strongly orange-citrus in nature, and the toasted malt flavors help lend the beer some balance and added dimension.
It's a beer brewed specifically for a ballpark so the requisite cuisine must be ballpark food. We'd suggest enjoying 6-4-3 Session IPA with a classic ballpark hot dog.