Rose City Brew Review

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Review: Gigantic Brewing

Gigantic Brewing can be found at 5224 SE 26th Avenue in between some warehouses. Watch out for a giant pothole that can swallow vehicles in their entirety. Regardless of the pothole, Gigantic Brewing is a funky place with animal heads on the walls and surreal artwork. Definitely a place for creativity and Timbers games (the tv had a sign above that said “this box displays Timbers games“) plus beer. Also, a food truck outside. Auto-win. With seven taps of beer-goodness, it is a fun place with an outdoor area to enjoy a cold brew and some rays o’ sun.

P.S. Gigantic does not look like it is pictured above. It is a relatively new brewery and the place looks great now! Also of note, they are teaming up with Belmont to produce the Geezers Need Excitement Chocolate Porter for Belmont’s 16th anniversary this upcoming weekend (3/15 and 3/16). For info on that, check out this article from Brewpublic.

Now on to the beers:

  • Gigantic IPA: K said he got some hops on the nose and the taste was not as off-putting as IPAs usually are. It wasn’t as bitter as it could be either. There also was no extra malt or any other flavors present. He said it wasn’t as bitter as he expected it to be. I thought there was a hop flavor in the middle of the taste and I didn’t really care for it, but I don’t like IPAs. N said it smelled way hoppier than it tastes and he didn’t mind it.
  • Time Traveler Porter: K said it was a bit boozier than 5.8% abv and he suspected it could be the Petit Quad. Wrong. My phone reports that K said it is “a Hilton bboozyier.” ‘Nuff said ’bout that. K continued to say that there was a strong alcohol flavor. I got a chocolate smell off the nose and disagreed that it was so boozy. There was a strong alcohol flavor but it faded after a few seconds. N said the taste didn’t linger and that it didn’t taste like anything except dark beer.
  • Royal Belgian Ale: K thought this beer looked unfiltered and he said it wasn’t bad. There was a warm body and some malt yet it was still light and refreshing. I said that the light bite was substantial and it was very good. There was a hint of spice and some sort of complex flavor. N said he also tasted a hint of spice and for him, it smelled almost sour. He didn’t like it because of the spice.
  • Ume Umai Black Rice and Plum: K and phone say “ply nose.” K got an incredible amount of plum on the nose. He also specified “…and now for something completely different!” If there wasn’t any plum in it, he thought it would be delicious. He isn’t a huge fan of plums and he couldn’t get over that to like the beer. I said “whoa. This beer? Very funky.” It wasn’t quite like wine but maybe sake? N said before he tasted that he probably won’t like it because “don’t fruit the beer.” To him, it had a different texture in the mouth, almost smooth. He compared it to flavored water and that it had such a different feel than “normal” beer. He didn’t know if he could drink a full pint, but he didn’t mind the taste.
  • Old Man Gower’s Holiday Trippel: K said right off the bat that it was Stone’s Vertical Epic 11.11.11. It was spicy and had a similar spice profile to the 11.11.11, although it wasn’t as boozy. It was only 8% abv but it still reminded him of the 11. I thought it had a reddish color with no distinguishing smell. I agreed it was like the 11 but not as strong abv. I did not particularly like it. N said it was more akin to Breakside’s Aztec, but the Aztec is more spicy.
  • Kiss the Goat Black Bock: K required us all to sniff the taster. N said it smelled like a porter. K said it smelled like dogshit. N countered, “If that’s dogshit, what have you fed your dog?” K retaliated with “my friend has a dog named Porter!” (Hi, Dustin and Rene’!) Anyways… N said it tastes like the Time Traveler Porter. I said it was similar but this beer had a thicker taste. Not bad, but a bit too dark for me. N said he didn’t mind it. K and N switched glasses and K said he got a different smell now. Suddenly, the taste was a lot cleaner. K said it was better than the porter, but had a neutral taste.
  • End of Reason Petit Quad: N said “whoa, that’s weird.” He wasn’t sure what to say about it. He really had no idea. It was different than any other beer he has ever tasted. It started off brash on the front and left a malt aftertaste. I thought it was kind of boozy and abrupt. There was too much going on to discern anything specific from the taste. K also said “whoa.” He didn’t know how to describe it either. It wasn’t spicy, although there was spice on the back end of the taste. Just enough spice to recognize. It reminded K of Breakside’s Aztec with the heat on the back of the throat. He also thought it was a little boozy. N said that there wasn’t enough flavor to be spicy.

Pints:

K: Royale Belgian then the Trippel

N: IPA then the Time Traveler Porter or the Kiss the Goat Black Bock

B: Royale Belgian then the Time Traveler if I had to pick a second

Verdict:

Gigantic is a unique joint. I really dig the artwork and want the bottles of their beers to be displayed in my house. The facility is a small venue with a handful of seats at the bar and a couple picnic tables inside. It seemed to us that there was more seating outside. The location is kind of strange in the middle of Industrial-land without a lot less going on in the area. We compared several of their pours to beers we have already had at Breakside, although they do have some less common brews such as the Petit Quad, Black Bock, and Trippel. Of course they have the “obligatory Oregon IPA.

I guess the question is “when would we ever come here?” We actually talked a little bit about that tonight and Gigantic was an option for watching the Timbers game, however, we decided to go home instead since we just finished a 24 set taster flight of everything on tap at the Hophouse on Hawthorne. That withstanding, Gigantic is unique and fills a niche in the Portland craft beer scene. Not a lot of your standard beers on tap but a good experience and fun atmosphere.

Spiffy artwork on the wall

Sweet posters behind the bar

The tap list and the judgmental mannequin guarding the bathrooms.

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