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A beer that hops on the ‘Occupy’ bandwagon • Brooklyn Paper

A beer that hops on the ‘Occupy’ bandwagon

Beer man: Sixpoint Craft Ale's President Shane Welch.
The Brooklyn Paper / Gregory P. Mango

The revolution will be brewed.

Sixpoint brewery in Red Hook has created “Occupation Ale” — and the hoppy attempt to capitalize on the Occupy Wall Street movement is flying off the shelves.

“We’ve been selling it like hotcakes,” said Matt Barclay, a manager at Bierkraft on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, which has temporarily sold out of the stuff.

The new beer, which was first reported by Brokelyn, a website, is certainly not Sixpoint’s first attempt to ferment a revolution.

In 2008, the company marketed a “Hop Obama” ale — named for then-candidate Barack Obama — but pulled it from the shelves after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sent a threatening letter.

But Barclay believes that the brewery has now recycled Hop Obama as Occupation Ale.

“It’s the same beer,” said Barclay.

Sixpoint denied the allegation, despite its promise to bring back the beer under a different name.

The company also insisted that the Occupation Ale was not a formal endorsement of Occupy Wall Street.

“Our company is not committed to any of the ideals of Occupy Wall Street other than the virtue of non-violent protest,” said Shane Welch, the company’s president.

Representatives from the anti-capitalist movement were critical of the latest attempt at merchandising their brand.

“Whenever there’s legitimate chance to make reform, some people see a chance to make some money,” said Bill Csapo, an Occupy Wall Street organizer. “The branding of an ideal is not a very good idea — it has a way of diffusing movements. I don’t think that anybody in the organization would approve of it being turned into an artisan ale.”

So there’s nothing truly revolutionary about a $5 pint of beer.

“No sir, I do not believe so,” said Csapo. “I think that’s pretty much business as usual.”

The good news is that Sixpoint’s Occupation Ale does differ from its namesake in one important way: it does not taste like wet socks and reek of long nights in a drippy tent with six unwashed frat boys from Haverford.

“It’s actually bright and fresh tasting,” said Barclay. “It’s a good beer.”

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. Follow him at twitter.com/from_where_isit.

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