5224 SE 26th Ave., 208-3416, giganticbrewing.com. 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.