I was cutting across town today between two homebrew shops, one to pick out ingredients and one to drop off my samples for an upcoming competition. It turns out there was no straight shot between the two and I ended up weaving my way all over and around Inner SE Portland. However, on the way I discovered the location of Gigantic Brewing on 26th and Steele. I had tasted their beers at festivals but never visited the taproom.
Right now they have six of their beers on tap, plus a Cider Riot cider. Here is a list of what they have at the moment.
The one that caught my eye was the Catch 23 Experimental Hop Pale Ale. It doesn’t list the hop variety, but with a name like X-235 would be all but meaningless to anyone but the most serious hophead.
Catch 23 Experimental Hop Pale Ale – 5.2% ABV (IBUs not listed)
This beer actually blew me away and I’m not even sure what to say about it, which is unfortunate for a blogger, but I’ll give it my best shot. The first thing of course is the aroma, which is all hops. There’s a lot going on here, a blend of pine and earth and grass. The flavor showcases the hops well and as with the aroma there’s a lot going on of citrus and pine. The bitterness is not over the top but it lingers on the palette for a really long time. Let’s put it this way, it was still lingering as I was driving away. Not unpleasant in anyway but just enough to say “I’m still here!”
Appearance: A nice golden yellow color with a long lasting white head. Nice lace in the glass. Really great looking on the outside patio in the sun. Check it out!
Rating: 4.5 (of 5) stars – Really incredible, well made pale ale with all kinds of fun hop flavors and aromas. I think this experimental strain will soon have a name and make it’s way into production beers.