PEARL RIVER, NEW YORK
‘More than just craft,” Pearl River’s GENTLE GIANT BREWING also serves some of the best barbecue in the tri-state area. Open during late 2018, this rustic apoxy-floored Main Street warehouse joint retains an unfinished café-style appeal that’s dankly inviting.
The perfect blue collar spot for stylishly conservative brews and delicious homemade countrified BBQ meats, its offhand dinosaur-themed atmosphere will please families as well as Pearl River’s insatiable local drinking community.
Several community tables sidle the kitchen-bound, eight-stooled serving station where one big projection TV, several strewn liquor bottles, a blackboard food menu and simple food counter exist.
Several brew tanks take up the left-windowed red wall staging area and a back-walled corrugated aluminum draught board delivers satisfyingly standard suds.
On this cool May ’19 evening, my wife and I grab some barbecued smoked chicken wings and bacon-smoked Mac ‘n Cheese to go alongside six homemade brews.
Sour lemon-limed pungency seeped into the delicate mango-passionfruit tropicalia of dry Berliner Weiss, Juice By Dr. Alan Grant, leaving a cheese-clothed sweaty musk upon the lactic acidulated malts.
On the other side of the spectrum, Creamsicle-like blonde ale, Chocolate Orange, let creamy vanilla sugaring gain sweet orange peel tanginess as well as bitter orange rind zesting (sometimes recalling citric-tart St. Joseph’s aspirin).
Red, orange and yellow fruit spicing dotted caramelized barley malts for peaty moderation, Irish Dark Red Ale, an off-dry easygoer.
Black grape-embittered wood tones gained a mild hop char to infiltrate the caramel-burnt black malting of Rex Rocket Double IPA, a fine Cascadian dark ale.
Caramelized dark chocolate malts countered dry anise spicing of dark-roasted Imperial Porter, T Porterdactyl, leaving teensy coffee, espresso and cappuccino undertones.
Dry cocoa-powdered black malts and coffee-stained dark chocolate roast amplified Fossil Fuel Stout, gaining creamy brown-sugared molasses sweetness to tweak the bitter mocha finish.