Back in Portland for work, I fell into my usual routine of finding a nearby brewery for beer and/or food each night. This week’s adventure started with Gigantic Brewing, a small, funky, and oh so classic Portland brewery. Founded in 2012 by two friends with many years of brewing experience, they have purposely grown the brewery to gigantic proportions in name only. With a focus on keeping it local and offering a limited array of year-round beers and a limitless quantity of seasonal one-off creations, this is truly a unique offering in the craft beer scene. So grab a pint, sit back, and enjoy my review of this tiny giant found in SE Portland.
- Beer – The tap list is an ever-rotating list of experimental and one-off beers with a few tried and true year-round offerings scattered in. Even better, the styles run the gamut from easy drinking Kolsch to heavy hitting barrel aged imperial beers, and everything in between. Flavors are as bold or as subtle as you would like and the attention to detail and the amount of creativity is, well, gigantic. This is a solid brewery with great ideas and big flavors, with something new every time you stop in. Score: 4.5/5
- Brewery – About as quintessentially Portland as it can get, the tap room is an interesting collection of the funky and eclectic. The main area is small, with a decent sized bar and a few tables scattered around the flood, with a role-up door leading out to a sizeable outdoor seating area. Around the corner from the bar is more seating that leads into a much larger space that feels a little like a German beer hall that doubles as a barrel aging storeroom. They do not have a kitchen on site however food trucks regularly roll in and provide something to eat. The prices are quite reasonable for Portland at $5.50 a pint, with daily late hours that provide lots of flexibility for a visit. Score: 4/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – Their event list reads like the perfect tap room experience. With weekly bingo and trivia nights, sporting event watch parties, beer releases and yoga, there is always something to do here. Heck, they even had a day where they taught you to critically evaluate beer last year, which hopefully they will continue to have every so often. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – Located in a commercial area of southeast Portland, the tap room blends in with all the other warehouses and can be easy to miss if you aren’t watching for the sign. There is ample street parking in front of and around the brewery with plenty of bike racks if that is your mode of transportation. There is not much else close by, either shopping or eating, but a few other breweries are a short car or bus ride away (with a designated driver of course). Score: 2.5/5
- Customer Service – Though busy, there was only one bar tender serving the room, which meant having to wait a little while for a beer. Once the room thinned out it was easier to get a refill. Even so, she was very nice and did a great job of keeping things moving despite a full house and made it a point to check in regularly. Hopefully that was just a one-off evening of being short-staffed, otherwise it could get pretty slow if more people are there. Score: 2.5/5
Total Score: 17/25
Favorite Beer: LP Stout – 6% American Stout
Final Thoughts: A funky, happening tap room accompanied by some excellent beer make this a Portland staple and a must visit if you are in the area. Keep you eye out for any of their beers in stores too as you don’t want to miss some of their limited and one-off beer releases.