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.
A few brew tanks take up the left-windowed red wall staging area and a back-walled corrugated aluminum draught board delivers satisfyingly standard suds. An eleven year homebrewer, Nick Carnicelli, took over brewing operations ’round May ’19.
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.