Review: Grixsen Brewing Company, Portland, OR The second brewery we stopped at on Sunday, Nov. 20th 2016 was Grixsen Brewing Company. They are located in SE Portland off of SE Division St. & 10th. Devin, Stan (the not-so-grumpy-stan) and I were not sure what to expect going out to this brewery, as we had not had their beers before and from what we had seen online, they are doing a pretty decent job of making a wide variety of styles.
So, after having lunch at Wayfinder in close-in SE, we drove down to Grixsen (less than 5 min away by car) and found them off of SE Division in an up-in-comming neighborhood. The outside doesn’t look like much, but they do have a couple of rooms you can hang out in, one is the taproom with the bar and tables, the other has a ping-pong table and sofas to hang out in. The production area is back beyond the taproom and is visible from it. The beer list is next to the bar, you can’t miss it.
They have a pretty good lineup of beers available by taster, pint, and growler fill. Be it that we went on a Sunday in the early afternoon, there wasn’t anyone else there and we had the full attention of the bartender. She was super friendly and wanted to explain their brewing processes and their approach to the styles they offered. I’d highly recommend checking them out if you’re in the neighborhood (just a block west from BeerMongers and Apex). She was sure to point out that they are still working on their recipies and wanted to know our feedback on each of the beers. We were happy to provide it to her. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of attention the bartender provided us.
So, they had eight beers to sample, most of them were one-offs and they really only have a few regular drafts at this time. Overall, the beers were pretty solid with a few really good exceptions being the Fresh Hop Saison and the Scotch Ale. They don’t can/bottle or really distribute that much as they are pretty new, and don’t have an established set of beers yet. I’d imagine that they will be distributed in the Portland area with some interest this year. I’d make the effort to stop by every quarter or few months to see what new beers they have out. The reviews go from left to right as pictured.
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Belgian Blonde / Golden • IBU: 26 • ABV: 7.9% • SRM: 12
Appearance: Straw yellow clear draft with no head or lacing to speak of.
Smell/Aroma: Citrus and pine notes, with some dried cereals and sweet sugars.
Taste: Front is sweet, slight yeast funk, dried hop leafs with vegital and pine hints, malts are thin and rounded on the mid to back.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, some juicy and funk from the yeast show up on the back.
Overall: This is a stronger Belgian blonde ale with some well hidden alcohol behind the hop and malts profiles.
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Saison / Farmhouse Ale • IBU: N/A • ABV: 4.8% • SRM: 10
Appearance: Clear orange/yellow draft with minimal head, retention or lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Fresh cut grass, yeasty wild funk notes.
Taste: Strong hop resins and barnyard funk are on the front, mid to back has a bit of hop cone, dried leafs, earthy notes, and acidic wild yeast. The back is shallow and falls off quickly with a lingering bitterness from the sharp hop resins.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, mild carbonation, has enough to hold it till the end.
Overall: This is a wild/barnyard funky saison with a bunch of bitter vegital hops that are on the nose and front.
|Fresh Hopped Saison
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Saison / Farmhouse Ale • IBU: 34 • ABV: 6.1% • SRM: 10
Appearance: Clear orange/yellow draft with some minor small bubbly head, minimal retention and slight spidery lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Barnyard funk/Dirty socks, slight hints of pine cones, and earthy hints.
Taste: Front to mid is strong dry hopping of leafs and dried earthy tones. The malts are secondary and not present with the barnyard funk showing up mid to back. The yeasty characters show well into the back with the dried out mouthfeel.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, mild carbonation, almost thin/watery on the tongue.
Overall: This is a strongly dry hopped farmhouse saison with all the strong yeast notes, spice, and some dried leafy notes from the hops showing up. Pine resin is what is left over.
|Holy Sh!t An IPA?!?
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Saison / Farmhouse Ale • IBU: 45 • ABV: 9.7% • SRM: 16
Appearance: Medium amber/red hued draft with a solid white foamy head, decent retention and lots of lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Fresh cut grass, hebal hops, some sweet notes.
Taste: Front to mid is solid grassy hops, some dried out citrus pithy hints, wet-bready malts.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, decent carbonation and a little bit of alcohol on the back.
Overall: This is a solid imperial IPA with tons of hop notes that last well into the aftertaste. Dank, wet, fresh vegitals.
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Brown Ale – American • IBU: 29 • ABV: 6.1% • SRM: 30
Appearance: Dark brown/black with a tan, small bubbly frothy head with ok retention and some spider lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Sweet roasted grains, with hints of dried leafs.
Taste: The front to mid is sweet roasted grains like the nose and the sugary caramels really show up on the mid to back. The hops are really secondary to the grain bill.
Mouthfeel: Chewy and full bodied, tons of carbonation and rounded on the back.
Overall: This is a great summer brown to sip on as it’s got plenty of roasted characters and some supportive hops on the back.
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Scottish Export Ale • IBU: 39 • ABV: 5.5% • SRM: 26
Appearance: Molasses brown, dark tan head with some retention and no lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Sweet caramels and roasted grains/malts on the nose, almost smokey.
Taste: The front is a bit sweet, roasted and smoked beyond what it should be. The malts are overpowering to what little malts there are. The hops are hidden, the smoked character is not fitting with the amount of body that is present.
Mouthfeel: This is a full bodied beer, but has a thinner back and drops to a sweet lingering bite.
Overall: This does not fit the style well, it’s too roasted up front and flat on the back.
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Stout • IBU: 55 • ABV: 5.2% • SRM: 35
Appearance: Dark brown/black almost completely opaic when held up to the light. Off-white small bubbly head with some decent retention and little bubbly lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Roasted cocoa and coffee hints with dried grains backing it up.
Taste: Strong coffee and burned grains are present front to mid. The back dries out with some mild dried leaf bitterness from the secondary hop profile.
Mouthfeel: Chewy and solid, has a watery finish on the back. Decent carbonation with a bit of lingering coffee grounds and dried cocoa powder coating the tongue.
Overall: Good example of an American style stout, but it does lack some on the roasted notes, it’s more coffee bitters than anything.
Grixsen Brewing Co. • Stout – Russian Imperial • IBU: N/A • ABV: 11.6% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Dark black/brown, totally opaic even in the light. Shallow tan head, some retention and mild lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Burned coffee, some toasted grains, sweet hints of vegital notes.
Taste: Thinner bodied, sharp burned coffee and dried cocoa powder with a mild hop presence that is covered up with the alcohol that shows up on the mid to back. Sweet finishing, slight yeasty dried notes.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, decent carbonation, but watery on the back end.
Overall: This is a strong coffee flavored stout with tons of roasted notes, but thin and watery on the back.