Behind the Beer: Giantsbane

Giantsbane

Head Brewer Niko Tonks on Giantsbane Double Stout.

Style conventions are a funny thing. At their best, they’re useful guidelines – a roadmap to a successful beer recipe. At their worst, they strangle creativity and box people into practices that probably never made sense in the first place (see: crystal malt in pale ales).

Brewery portfolios can be the same way. You start out brewing to a personal style, and hopefully, that continues to evolve and change as you go, but you get to be known for a few things. In our case, you’ve probably heard of our lager biers, and our sour stuff. That’s how we like it, but it doesn’t mean that’s all we enjoy doing.

Giantsbane, our “double stout,” is a solid example of both of these truths. It’s not a beer built to a style designation, and it’s not something that you’d immediately point to as being in our wheelhouse: high alcohol, malty, not afraid to be a little bit sweet. It’s a demonstration of when going outside the norm can be a rewarding thing.

The beer takes cues from the classic “Foreign Export” stout designation, but with a more modern American bent. It’s closer to an Imperial Stout than a standard American Stout (if that’s really even a thing), but it doesn’t rely on a full motor oil consistency to bludgeon you into submission. It’s a beer built for long, dark winters. The magic here is in the combination of specialty malts and grains we employ. Brown Malt and oats are stout secret sauce, and we’ve employed both of them here. Oats buoy the mouthfeel of what could otherwise be a roast bomb, and brown malt is the goldilocks zone of roasted malts: lots of roast flavor, but none of the ashy char of black malt. It’s a fine line to tread, brewing a big stout that emphasizes harmony, and we hope you agree we’ve managed to stay on that tightrope.

FAIR STATE STOUTS

Cans: Giantsbane

Bottles: FSB: 2017 (release date 12.16)

On draft: Giantsbane

PRESS

City Pages: “Local suds: 5 beers to try in November.”

Giantsbane