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Beer Guide 2015: Gigantic


5224 SE 26th Ave., 208-3416, 3-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.

[AND CHAMPAGNE LOUNGE] In the deepest reaches of Southeast ("S-s-s-South of P-p-p-Powell?") lies a brewery with a big name and a little tasting room. Actually, the location might be explained by the pedigree of co-founder/brewer Van Havig, who went to Reed College, just a five-minute stumble away. And yet, the crowd is solidly mid-20s and the lighting's good enough that a crappy fake would be hard to pass off. Neighboring warehouses are uninviting, but Havig and partner Ben Love cozified their space with warm colors, taxidermal animal heads and diffuse lighting. Though it might not be in Buckman or wherever, it's the consummate Portland bar: A sign by the TV explains, "This machine shows Timbers matches," while another by the 10 taps offers loaner bike locks. As the name suggests, Gigantic's emphasis is on doing things big. Its offerings included boast four heavy-hop brews (including an India pale lager), a Baltic porter that would survive the North Sea and an outstanding barleywine with notes of fig, dubbed—surprise—Massive.

DRINK THIS: Pipewrench, which is aged in Ransom Old Tom gin barrels. It has a fruity front end, a sweet, clean finish, and a pleasantly tingly mouth-feel. Highly recommended.