6Rivers Brew Review

Carlos Sanchez: A Man with a Brew



The legend goes something like this: lightning strikes the top of 6 Rivers Brewery. Brewmaster Carlos Sanchez cackles madly, clutching a fistful of roasted habaneros. Chili Pepper Ale is born.

Carlos “Los” Sanchez has been at 6 Rivers for the last 11 years, laboring with love, equal parts artist and (some would say mad) scientist. The fruits of his labor include over a dozen award-winners, including a silver medal at the2004 Great American Beer Festival for the Chili Pepper Ale, and a gold in 2005 for Paradise Moon Porter.

On a recent tour of the brewery and pub, it was obvious that Sanchez does what he loves and loves what he does. He gazes fondly at new pieces of equipment as if they were new children. When the tour is over, he returns to them to make sure they are safe.





It’s this type of craftsman’s approach to beer making that has led to so many award-winning breweries cropping up on the North Coast over the last 20-30 years, along with great events like Hops in Humboldt and the Humboldt Homebrew Fest.







Here’s a sampling of what’s on tap at 6 Rivers:

Moonstone Porter – This is a dark and smoky, almost black beer. It is bold yet smooth, complex and chocolaty. Guaranteed to keep you warm on those cold winter nights. Alc. content 6%

Weatherman Wheat -This is a crisp, smooth ale, very light and drinkable with a great wheat flavor. Alcohol content 6%

Bluff Creek Pale Ale – A little bit bolder than the Weatherman Wheat, but still light and smooth, with a hint of citrus. Alc. content 5.5%

IPA (India Pale Ale)- 6 Rivers’ flagship ale is a dark chestnut color, bolder than the Pale Ale but still very balanced, with a great lingering flavor. Alc. content 7.2%

Eshan Nut Brown Ale  Named for a co-worker’s newborn child, this complex ale has an attractive light brown color, with a sweet but not overpowering hazelnut flavor that comes on slowly. Alc. content 6%



Rosie’s Strawberry Wheat Ale – This is a light, crisp beer with a beautiful strawberry color. Sweet but not too sweet, the strawberry flavor comes through well and blends with the other flavors. Drink this all summer long. Alc. content 6%


Raspberry -Lambic Style Ale – Similar to the Strawberry Wheat, yet with its own distinct character, this beer is as light and bubbly as raspberry soda. With 480 lbs. of berries per batch, the raspberry flavor comes bursting through. Alc. content 7.4%


Saison du Humboldt – With a delightfully complex, bold yet smooth flavor, this limited edition beer is the result of the collaboration of five North Coast breweries. Get your hands on some of this if possible. Alc. content 7.6%


Chili Pepper Ale – As soon as you pick one of these up you will smell the roasted chilies. A sip reveals a light, clean beer with a hint of smokiness. Then the burn comes. My new favorite. Alc. content 6%

Paradise Moon Porter- This is a dark, rich but not heavy beer that has great coffee flavor throughout. If you love coffee, you will love this beer. Alc. content 6%


But don’t take my word for it, try them all for yourself. And for those of you who say “why would I want my beer to taste like chili peppers?” I say this: let the mind be open and enlightenment will rush in.




As for Carlos, he may be a genius, or he may be mad, but one thing’s for sure: the man makes a sublime brew.

6 Rivers Brewery has live music and features pub fare, gourmet pizzas, and the “hottest wings in town.”

Just look for them on the top of the hill in Mckinleyville.


-“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s best to be thoroughly sure.”-Czech proverb

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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