Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gigantic Brewing Company - Solid! Hoppy American Wheat Beer

A solid liquid?
The Hefeweizen. It's probably the most popular craft beer style after the venerated IPA. I would posit that the always reliable Hefe is the antithesis of the uber-hoppy IPA. I know that when my wife is in the mood for a beer (which is almost never), she'll sip a nice, mild Hefeweizen. Let's face it, big hops flavor and the tag-along hops bitterness isn't for everybody.

The traditional Hefeweizen is a German brew that is made with at least 50% wheat and a yeast that produces pleasant, mild flavors of banana and clove. The appearance is typically cloudy. It's usually low in ABV and has very little hops bitterness. I might call it a lightweight brew, but I don't want to offend anybody...it's a lightweight brew.

American craft brewers have created a version of the Hefeweizen in the American Wheat Pale Ale. Typically, there's little or no banana and clove flavors in these brews--different yeast. There's also very little hops bitterness. They look like their German cousins--cloudy and unfiltered. I must say, this is not my favorite beer style. Nope. Not much fun or tickle for the tongue.

Hey! Would anybody be interested in a wheat beer that looks like a Hefeweizen but has a surprisingly bold hops profile? A sneaky, bitter punch to the taste buds hidden in that hazy, innocent looking brew? If so, Gigantic Brewing Company has something for you! Meet Solid! Hoppy American Wheat Beer.

I poured Solid! into a pilsner glass. It was a hazy, golden orange color with a white head. The head came up to about a 1/2 inch tall and dissipated quickly. Webby lacing was left behind, along with a thin cap across the top.

Aroma was citrus hops and tropical fruit. Floral notes.

Taste was bitter, citrus hops right up front. Grapefruit and orange rind. No malt flavor. Lots of those hops. Some bready, yeasty notes waaaay in the background.

Medium to slightly thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Dry finish with citrus hops left behind on the palate at the end.

Overall, Solid! is a fairly one-dimensional beer but it's a dimension that I like a lot. I'm not sure there will be a big following for this type of beer, but what do I know? It's tasty and I'd drink it again. I'm giving Solid! a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.

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