I’ve mentioned before that Portland is nothing if not a major enabler for those who enjoy good food, coffee, and beer. Oh, the restaurants, roasters, and breweries you’ll find. It’s kind of embarrassing how great we have it here, honestly.1
Recently I discovered a local brewery I’d never heard of, Gigantic Brewing Company. I was just wandering through the aisles of Fred Meyer, looking around, and I saw a beer bottle with a label featuring a giant robot incredibly reminiscent of several different Japanese mech warrior robots. The drink turned out to the be equally awesomely named Ginormous Imperial IPA, and I bought one. Because giant robots.2
I’ll just say straight up, I’m not a huge fan of the IPA. I know that’s an unpopular opinion around here, but it’s true. I think of it as a default, go-to, unimaginative beer, sort of in the role of a default brand like Starbucks for people who want coffee but aren’t sure what to try. It doesn’t matter who makes them, I usually find them satisfactory at best and completely unappealing at worst.
Ginormous is different. I like it. It’s got some kind of fruity thing going on, which I also usually don’t like, but it’s a quite tasty combination. I even have a second bottle downstairs in the fridge right now, and for me to drink any IPA a second time on purpose represents a substantial victory on the part of the beer crafter.
It’s best in small glasses, a little at a time, but then this is true of most beers. For me, the perfect amount of beer is when I’ve enjoyed the flavors without being able to realize physically that I’ve had any alcohol. Beer without moderation isn’t really about the beer, it’s about the drinker. Assuming that criteria, Ginormous IPA is perfect.
At least as good as the actual drink, though, is the artwork. Everything that comes from Gigantic has unique and imaginative labels. You can buy any of them as posters or labels; be forewarned the poster-sized versions aren’t cheap. $15 for one of every label in stock seems like a pretty good deal though.
Besides being fun, the illustrations are a pretty great marketing tool; as soon as I spotted the Ginormous IPA, I figured anyone that cool probably knew what they were doing. It stood out, and it made me curious. On a shelf full of local beers from small breweries, that’s a good thing for Gigantic.
If you’re into a sip or two of locally crafted beer and think original and interesting artwork on the label should be mandatory, check out Gigantic Brewing Company.