Brewery: Gigantic Brewing Company
Beer: Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen
Character: brewed with German malt kilned over beechwood fires
Ratings at the time of Review: BA: 83 | RB: 87
Metal Connection: PRIESTESS – Firebird
BeerMetalDude Rating: 3.75/5
I really love what Gigantic Brewing is doing out there in Portland, Oregon. These guys produce some really creative beers and along with that, they get a different artist to create the labels for each beer they release. Each beer is numbers and are part of their endless series of limited edition artists and artisan beers. It’s like every beer they bottle is a different comic book with their unique labels. I did not get to start at the beginning with these guys, but I did start with beer #16 called Bang On!, which was an American Pale Ale that I rated a 3.5/5. I never got to put that beer on the site, cause I lost the tasting notes I took for it, which sucks, but shit happens, I guess.
I am very happy to have a friend in Jorge Espinoza from animebeers.com. Without this dude, I would not be able to bring you these awesome reviews of these unique and crazy beers like this one here. Here is Gigantic Brewing’s beer #18, Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen. I hand picked this beer on a website, cause I was drawn to the label art. This particular label was drawn by German artist, Heiko Müller. His paintings are mostly of animals, just like the one he did for this label. Firebird features a black bird with faintly colored wings and tail. TO me, they look like their are smokey or painted to look like they are on fire, but painted with purples, blues, reds, and yellows. It is a nice painting, and the label art for Gigantic’s beers can be purchased as 16×20 posters at their merch page.
I poured this beer into a short 16 oz pilsner style glass for this session. Firebird’s appearance was a hazy, bright golden color crowned with a 1.5 inch fluffy white head. There was good retention, always being on top the beer all the way down, as a 1/4 of an inch size, leaving a lot of lines of lacing don the glass.
The nose was smoked wood chips up front followed by a blend of clove, black pepper, banana, wheat, and grapefruit rind. The smoke did overpower the other characters in the aroma, which gave a unique overall aroma as the other characters shined through the smoke. The lingering aroma that was left in my nose was that of smoky wood chips, and banana.
The taste buds were working overtime on this beer. A lot of complexity hit the palate. Big smokiness right up front mixed with a woody taste. There were the normal hefeweizen characters such as clove, black pepper, and banana. Big banana flavor, actually. There was a good body of wheat, hay, light malts and grains as well. There was also grapefruit rind notes in the taste. The lingering aftertaste is smokey wood chips and banana.
Firebird had a nice medium sized thickness to it with a slick mouthfeel. This beer was very well carbonated, and had a strong prickly bite to it. The finish was creamy, which was an unusual pairing with the end smokiness.
My overall opinion of this beer was a bit clouded by the fact that I am not a huge fan of smoky beers. I did try to look past this fact, and give this beer an honest opinion. I believe I was fair with my rating, cause after all, my ratings are my personal opinions. I was intrigued by a smoked hefeweizen when I first saw this beer, and I am very glad I was able to try this and bring you this review. Please check out Gigantic Brewery’s website, and see what these creative monsters are up to.
Metal Connection: I knew finding a song that shared the same name as the beer would not be a hard task. I looked no further than a band from Canada named Priestess. These guys play a Stoner Rock/Metal style, which could actually be radio friendly. The song “Firebird” especially could be heard on any college station, or even a modern rock channel. I found this song to be pretty good, and thinks it fits nicely as the pairing for this beer. The cover artwork for Prior to the Fire, which is where this songs comes from even has a similar feel to it as the painting on the beer label. They share a similar style and use of colors. This style of Rock is easily a beer drinking style of music. It will help the beer go down as the tune plays. This was actually my first encounter with this band. They were formed in 2004 as Priestess, and have been oh a hold status since 2012. They released 2 full length albums, Hello Master in 2005, and Prior to the Fire in 2009. Previous to the band forming in 2004 under this moniker, they were known as The Dropouts and played Punk Rock. Some may be familiar with this band as they had a song featured on the video game, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.