5/9/21: HighGrain Brewing Co. and Nine Giant's Dank IPA

2:29 PM

Today I'm bringing you a post that I'm super happy about. See, back when Michelle and I lived in Cincinnati proper, we lived in the city's Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. MadTree was a little over just down the road from our apartment--an easy drive, but not necessarily walking distance. While I was happy to have a great brewery so close to home, five years in Athens had me wishing for something close enough to walk home from after a drink too many.

Luckily, the summer before we split town Nine Giant opened. The brewery was a five minute walk from our place. I spent more than a few dollars there (and I continue to do so every chance I get). I've loved the brewery and kitchen from the day they opened (I attended their soft-opening with some friends). I was bummed when we moved out east of the city and hoped that Nine Giant's offerings would eventually get canned and hit distro. 

Today, thanks to a collaboration with Silverton's HighGrain Brewing, I'm about to crack into the culmination of that hope: Dank IPA, a beer brewed for April 20th.

HighGrain, like I said, is based out of Silverton (a few minutes drive down the road from Nine Giant). They opened after Michelle and I left town--I had always known the building as a police station. I've been to the brewery once before, when my brother first came back after moving to NYC. The brewery was new at that point, but it made an impression: We each grabbed a pint and sat on the old-station steps, enjoying the warm spring day. 

HighGrain's website can be found here. They're focused on community first and foremost. Apart from being dog-friendly (dogs always enhance a visit to a brewery), they have a whole series of carbon-neutral beer which are brewed with locally-sourced ingredients, the proceeds of which go to planting trees. I really need to get back there, especially since they've recently started converting to solar energy.

Nine Giant is Nine Giant. I've not featured them here before (but I hope to feature them again soon!). Based in Pleasant Ridge, they've done a few bottle releases (the first was for their second anniversary, on the day Michelle and I got married. I had a good friend swing by the place for me to nab each of the releases in my stead). Founded by Brandon Hughes (the chef) and Michael Albarella (the beer guy), their website boasts that they feature an intimate brewery experience, which is exactly the case. 

As a one-time member of the Pleasant Ridge, I can say for a fact that Nine Giant is an active member of the neighborhood, giving back to it when they can.

Dank IPA (as featured here, on Nine Giant's Instagram) clocks in at 7.3% ABV. It features three kinds of hops and a citrusy flavor "...that mellows into a sticky, dank finish." Let's get to it.

The IPA's nose boasts big and bold citrus notes: orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. There's also a dank musk layered over the citrus. High Giant is what this brewery team-up is called, and I get that. Dank IPA is dank. Purrl gave my can three whiffs. She's not a big "dank" fan.

The first swig from my can begets citrus on the fore. Orange and lime, namely. Bright and flavorful. I'm finding a little dankness in the finish, but not much. Okay, now I'm finding it: The finish of the second swig is all dankness. Nowhere near the level of skunky, though. There's citrus coating the inside of my cheeks. This beer's delicious.

Dank's mouthfeel is soft. Sure, there's a small bite of carbonation, but the ale's smooth and easy drinking. That ABV'll get you for sure if you're not looking out for it.

Sitting here inside on this rainy day, I'm remember the Nine Giant's first anniversary. They had day-specific cask releases. I walked up to the brewery each and every day for the whole week of the celebration (sometimes with Michelle and others with a friend, but usually by myself) so I wouldn't miss out. Some days were bright and sunny. One or two were like today, rainy and windy. But I was there for each and every new beer the brewery dropped. Dank IPA would've fit in perfectly that week. I don't know about HighGrain's anniversary celebrations, but I'm sure this beer would fit them perfectly, too.

The IPA matches the caliber of what I've had from HighGrain and is exactly the quality I've come to expect from Nine Giant: Stellar. I'm giving Dank IPA a solid 9.5/10. Here's to hoping I'll get to more offerings from each of the collab's individual breweries sooner rather than later!

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