GIGANTIC BREWING MAGAZINE ISSUE #5
WELCOME TO another enticing issue of Gigantic Magazine. If an
intoxicating career in craft brewing hadn’t called, my dream was to be in a band. I love the idea of traveling the world making music for a living. Honestly, my guitar playing has never been good enough for that, so I’m really lucky to have started brewing. Over the past few years, you may have noticed we’ve been expanding our connections with the independent Portland music community. We hope you’ve seen (and downloaded) some of the tracks from local bands featured in conjunction with our bottled seasonal beers. The idea is that you enjoy the art on the label, listen to the song, and drink the beer - a complete experience. We’re all proud music geeks around here, and we want to share a bit of that with you. Our first song and beer pairing was 5 years ago when we collaborated with local rock band Sons of Huns on a draft-only beer for the Portland Malt Ball. We created a Black Doppelbock named “Kiss the Goat”, a malty, roasty German-inspired brew perfect for black masses. When we decided to make it one of our bottled seasonal releases in 2016, Sons recorded a new track to put on a 7” record to celebrate the bottle release. This year’s re-release of Kiss the Goat is part of our 5th Anniversary “Greatest Hits” year. High Fidelity, our seasonal hoppy beer, also pays homage to music with its name and the beautiful label by Ragnar. In the spirit of Nick Hornby, we’re asking all the Gigantic music nuts to make their “desert island, all time, top five” lists. We’ve shared ours here, but you can tell your top 5 with us at email@example.com or post them on instagram, twitter or facebook and tag #giganticbrewing or @giganticbrewing. Cheers!
A doppelbock emblackened. Perfect for midnight masses, dancing naked in the moonlight, and malevolent altars. Turn up the Sons of Huns, toast the dark, now turn and Kiss the Goat! Kiss the Goat boasts rich toasty/bready malt aroma and flavor, with subtle chocolate in the finish.
ABV: 8% IBUs: 30
Color: BLACK Ideal Serving Temp: 50-55 F Suggested Glassware: TULIP
Ingredients: Local Bull Run water, barley, hops, yeast Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Melanoidin, Carafa Special III
KISS THE GOAT
BLACK DOPPELBOCK LABEL ARTIST: JOn Macnair BAND: SOns of huns
Listen to “Powerless to the Succubus” from Sons of Huns at GiganticBrewing. com/pages/kissthegoat
JON MACNAIR was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in southeast Michigan. He began drawing at a young age and has been doing it ever since. Once a Portlander, Jon recently relocated to Austin, TX. His works primarily in monochromatic layers of India ink, rendering mythical drawings of things that never quite existed.
In addition to freelance illustration, Jon frequently exhibits his personal work in galleries around the U.S. and abroad. Cities include New York, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle, Tokyo, Glasgow, Paris and Hamburg. Notable exhibitions include the annual group show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery and The BLAB! Show at Copro Gallery in 2010. Publications like Beautiful Decay, Elle Girl, Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose have also featured his work.
Facebook @Jon-MacNair-Art www.jonmacnair.com Instagram @crispycopper
Sons of HunS
recorded “Powerless to the Succubus” for Gigantic’s own “It’s Gonna Be Huge Records” in conjunction with the first bottle release of Kiss the Goat in 2016. Throughout their reign in the Pacific Northwest music scene, which sadly ended in Februrary 2016 when the band went on indefinite hiatus, Sons of Huns became widely known for their ability to turn every live show into a sci-fi, psychedelic-rock party. They livened the spirit of every crowd with their jokes and unforgiving volume. Be sure to read the interview with Sons of Huns drummer, Ryan Northrop, in this issue of Gigantic Magazine. We still have a limited number of the Sons of Huns 7” records at giganticbrewing.com or in the taproom.
We originally brewed Kiss the Goat with Sons of Huns for the 2013 MaltBall in Portland. The beer was so damned good and well received that we had to brew it again (and now again). A doppelbock is a stronger version of traditional bock that was first brewed in Munich by the Paulaner Friars, a Franciscan order founded by St. Francis of Paula.
JON MACNAIR KEEP FEELING FASCINATION
Jon MacNair was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in the suburbs of southeast Michigan near Detroit. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, where he earned a BFA in Illustration. His commercial work has appeared in editorial publications and mainly been used for apparel and package design. Once a citizen of Portland, Jon currently resides in Austin Texas where he divides his time between freelance projects and creating personal work for exhibitions. You’ve lived in a number of different places. What did you find challenging and rewarding in the Portland art community? I hear you’ve recently moved to Austin- how is that going? I am currently living in the city of Austin. I haven’t yet really immersed myself in the art culture here, at least, not like I did while I was in Portland. The art community in PDX ended up feeling like a very tight knit family of artists by the end of my 4 years there. Each place I have lived has been a very different experience in terms of the art community. I am hoping I will be able to get more involved in showing my work in this part of the country. It’s not necessary of course to exhibit in the same place you live, but it can be nice to get to know other creatives in your region that way. You went to art school in Baltimore, MD, a crazy, weird, unique, surprising, and crime-ridden city. The spirit of Baltimore is pretty well summed up by the American Visionary Art Museum com-
bined with The Wire–you walk into the museum and see an entire room made of aluminum foil or something and then go outside and have a legitimate fear of being carjacked or robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight. And then later you might run into John Waters at the video store. Do you think you absorbed any of “Charm City” while you were there? Did any of the seedy underbelly or whatever vibe with you? You have described Baltimore with hilarious accuracy. That’s right on. Baltimore does have a very specific kind of charm, although people who don’t live there might not get it at all. I definitely experienced a lot of things I had not, until moving there. I grew up in a very safe and middle class suburbia and Baltimore felt like a weirdly exciting and sometimes dangerous new world. I don’t know if I would say it “vibed” with me exactly, but let’s just say I got very accustomed to the weirdness and also the crime. I also learned about the variety of Maryland accents that exist within different parts of the state,
which was very enlightening. By the time I was moving away from Baltimore, it felt like a very familiar place to me and pretty compact sizewise. You could run into someone you knew on the street on a daily basis without even trying. Your imagery is very strong, often with elements that are reminiscent of Victorian/Medieval/Surrealist art with lots of devils and horror elements. Are you attracted to certain periods in history or art history? Certain artists?
they already have a very specific idea of what sort of image they want me to create. It’s rare, like in the case of Sons of Huns, that an existing image is just used for the album. I find that usually not only am I trying to bring to life the idea they want me to illustrate, but I’m also editing down the original concept. A lot of the time ideas tend to be overly complicated or too much is being crammed into the single image. I love doing lots of detail, but I often recognize that less is more and has a greater impact. What beers are you enjoying these days? Since moving to Austin and being exposed to a much larger selection of local beers, I have been enjoying the 512 IPA as well as the Zilker Brewing Co. Parks & Rec.
I am definitely drawn to some of those styles and periods of art history you mentioned. In high school I got really into Surrealism and Renaissance art, and they remain strong influences for me today. Also, I would say that I’ve always been attracted to art from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Really, most any ancient civilization inspires me. I love mythical creatures, strange looking animals and in general the bizarre. Some of my favorite artists include William Blake, Alfred Kubin and Remedios Varo. I read somewhere that you enjoy doing album art for bands. I know you didn’t plan the piece for Kiss the Goat to be used with Sons of Huns, but when you DO do project-specific art, do you think about the band or product or do you just let whatever image is going to come out come out? In my experience working with bands, most of the time
RYAN NORTHROP DRUMMER AT LARGE
We were sad to learn that Sons of Huns went on “indefinite hiatus” shortly after the band released the 7” with Gigantic. How are you spending your time these days? Anything music-related in the works? We were also sad to put the band into hiatus, but some things in life get serious enough to have to stop the fun. My wife and I had plans to move to Utah in May of 2016. Start a family, gain perspective on our lives, that sort of thing. We decided to not tour on our latest full-length release in 2015 and things just kinda went from there. Currently, I am jamming with some friends here in Salt Lake City to keep my chops up. Peter has another project, Danava, that is currently in writing phase and Aaron still plays with his mainstay project, Belt of Vapor out of Spokane. How did you first get hooked up with Gigantic Brewing? The Portland Mercury weekly newspaper played match-maker as we were fortunate enough to be a part of their Malt Ball event. [That’s] where Portland bands are paired with local breweries to make a one-off beer, and we totally lucked out. Ben and Van were so cool, teaching us how to brew, and the beer they made was excellent. We connected on musical tastes, beer and overall had a great time with each other. At the event, the beer went over really well and we played to a sold out crowd. Pretty good night, I’d say. It definitely was a high point in the history of our band to work with Gigantic and we are still honored that they decided to release a 7” to go with the bottling. How did the idea for the Gigantic 7” comeabout? Ben told us that Gigantic decided to start bottling ‘Kiss the Goat” in the Fall of 2015 and wanted to do something special for the re-
Northrop with former bandmates Pete Hughes and Shoki Tanabe
lease. I suggested a 7” and that we record it locally for a quick turnaround with our engineer/ producer pal, Pat Kearns. Ben and Van already had a killer artist in Jon MacNair to do the label/ cover art. His work complements our songs quite well. We had a great time making it and are forever grateful to Gigantic for the opportunity. What beers are you drinking lately? Lately I’ve enjoyed Fisher Brewing Co.’s Rye Cream Ale, Brouwerij West’s Switcheroo and Melvin’s IPA.
Gigantic & Tender loving Empire are a quintessentially Portland pairing. Gigantic was founded by brewers Ben Love, a native Oregonian, and Van Havig, who first moved to Portland in 1988. (Yes, that’s “Old Portland.”) Jared and Brianne Mees founded Tender Loving Empire over a decade ago in an idealistic venture to support local independent musicians, artists and artisans.
Shopping at TLE is the perfect place to pick up a little something and know you are supporting a thoroughly local production chain, not sending money off to China or wherever. You can find unique high quality music, handicrafts, tshirts, jewlelry, cards, books, and even beer. In fact, their PDX airport location is the last best stop to pick up a couple of bottles of Gigantic post-security. While undeniably successful, as TLE puts it, they “never set out to make a bunch of money or to take over the world.” Both Gigantic and TLE like to think large while remaining small and locally oriented, challenging the expectations in their given business niche. A retail store that is also an independent record label? A brewery that steadfastly remains small in the face of massive industry expansion? These are intentional choices made from a place of integrity. That integrity and their deep abiding love for Portland and Oregon make Gigantic and TLE quite compatible for collaborative efforts. Not surprisingly, Havig and Love–along with most Gigantic employees–are both pretty big music
geeks. Music is a big part of our lives. In 2016, with the release of Lustrous, Gigantic finally realized its long-term dream of pairing a song with each new beer release. Gigantic’s goal was to combine art, beer, and music for a multi-sensory experience, while supporting interesitng and talented artists. Since then, TLE has joined forces with Gigantic to introduce bands on multiple Gigantic labels. They’ve even sponsored an event at the White Owl Social Club (owned in part by Portland artist A.J. Fosik who does Gigantic’s Massive! labels every year) and done a special listening party at the taproom for a release of their “Friends of Friends” complilation album.
TLE artists Y La Bamba, featured on Shazoo Milk Stout
Gigantic has also worked with Portland’s Relapse Records, Fresh Selects, Big Hunt (TLE’s “kid sister” label) and several completely unrepresented bands to bring new music to people via an unexpected avenue. www.tenderlovingempire.com TLE’s Youtube Channel www.youtube.com/channel/UCTcXxftO6YWmF8APfnpw7zg
TLE + GIGANTIC
Sure, the old breed made IPA, but with todayâ€™s high fidelity hops, we bring you fllavors that have more tweet from the tweeters and more woof from the woofers. So sit back, turn on the high-fi, and see where it takes you. Bright citrus hops with grapefruit, pineapple and pine, finishing with light caramel malt flavors.
ABV: 6.2% IBUs: 66
Color: GoldEN Ideal Serving Temp: 45 F Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass
Ingredients: Local Bull Run water, barley, hops, yeast Malts: NW Pale Malt, Patagonia C 15 Hops: Simcoe, Mt. Hood
HIGH FIDELITY IMPERIAL PALE ALE
LABEL ARTIST: RAGNAR BAND: HOSANnAs SONG: GUITAR COP
Hear an exclusive track, “Guitar Cop” from Hosannas at GiganticBrewing. com/pages/highfidelity
RAGNAR is a California based artist whose
aesthetic is born at the intersection of illustration and design. His work is often some combination of the things he loves most: film noir, fashion illustration, classic cartoons, the great men’s magazine artists, mid century design and architecture, punk rock, and old Las Vegas. His work has been collected in numerous books and can be found on television, films, apparel, toys, textiles, home goods, museums and galleries. Brandon Ragnar Johnson’s clients include Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Gigantic, Spectrum, Legendary Pictures, DC Comics, Sony, MTV, Matel, and Bad Robot. Partners include Lamps Plus, Cranston Fabrics, Dark Horse, 3D Retro, Sin In Linen, House Of Secrets, Mead, and ACME Archives.
www.ragnarama.com Instagram @BrandonRagnar
HOSANNAs was formed by singer/guitar-
ist brothers Brandon Laws and Richard Laws in Portland, OR, in 2007. After a couple of band member additions and subtractions, the indie rock group now consists of the two Laws brothers. Their upcoming album, “Picure Him Protecting You” is the first release from the band operating as a duo. The Laws brothers grew up listening to Kraftwerk and The Beach Boys, and these disparate influences are at the core of the duo’s haunting vocal harmonies, rich verbal imagery and unpredictable guitar. The band’s influences are as diverse as their instrumentation; comfortable mixing Bollywood samples with tin-foil piano, hushed a capella harmonies, tribal crescendos, and thick, warm, over-driven guitar.
One of the last beers to be re-brewed in our “Gigantic’s Greatest Hits” series, High Fidelity brings in the flavor from all wavelengths. A unique combination of Simcoe and Mt. Hood provides hop perfection, while NW Pale malt and a unique crystal malt all the way from Patagonia combine for a dry finish and an overall refreshing experience.
We recently connected with California-based graphic artist Brandon Ragnar Johnson, creator of Gigantic’s High Fidelity IPA label (among many other things). Ragnar’s aesthetic is born at the intersection of illustration and design. His work is often some combination of the things he
most loves; film noir, fashion illustration, classic cartoons, the great men’s magazine artists, mid century design and architecture, punk rock, monsters and old Las Vegas. His work has been collected in numerous books and can be found on television, films, apparel, toys, textiles, home goods, museums and galleries. His clients include- Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Gigantic, Spectrum, Legendary Pictures, DC Comics, Sony, MTV, Mattel, Bad Robot. Partners include Lamps Plus, Cranston Fabrics, Dark Horse, 3D Retro, Sin In Linen, House Of Secrets, Mead, and ACME Archives. www.ragnarama.com instagram.com/brandonragnar brandonragnar.myportfolio.com
Your images are so sophisticated/sexy/cool/ fun. Part of their visual impact is that you see an ultra-polished graphic image, not how it was made. What media and process do you generally use to create your work? For digital work I try not to hide the fact that it’s digital. I don’t want to try to make it look like analog media or something that it’s not. I start every design or illustration traditionally with a series of pencil sketches, but in the end I want the images to become their own thing entirely. While some people think that the human touch gets lost in that transformation, I love to see what takes shape through this process. How do you think growing up in “Old Las Vegas” influenced your art? Being a kid in Las Vegas before in transitioned
years later that they decided to embrace and celebrate the city’s past, but by then all that was left was a handful of neon signs. There was this fantastic blend of humor and sophistication in the visual language of those first few decades of Las Vegas that sadly disappeared a little m o r e with each landmark they bulldozed. That’s the sweet spot for me in regards to the influence the city had on me– where humor meets sophistication. You obviously love Mid Century Modern (MCM) architecture and design. Have you ever gotten to live in a MCM house, or do you drive around Palm Springs drooling with lust like the rest of us? Our house is an early fifties California cottage style that we’ve remodeled to more of a traditional MCM style. Living in Southern California is great for modernism enthusiasts, it seems that just about every city has some significant building or neighborhood. Even our neighborhood has buildings by Richard Neutra, A Quincy Jones, Rudolph Schinder and others. It’s pretty awesome. What are your favorite kinds of projects to work on?
into whatever it is today was amazing. The city was in this weird limbo between the romanticized nostalgia of it’s heyday [that] we’re all familiar with, and the massive enigma it’s become. I kinda think of my work and aesthetic in the same way–a fondness and reverence for the past and reaching for something that’s not quite here yet. Even as a kid most of the original Las Vegas was on it’s way out, almost all of the old hotels were still around but they were considered tacky and out of date, but I loved that stuff. As the city began to turn over they couldn’t get rid of that stuff fast enough. It wouldn’t be until
I suppose my favorite projects involve some sort of world building, which usually means film, television or video games–the bigger the world the better. Unfortunately these kinds of projects are becoming pretty rare as production schedules get shorter and shorter, so I try to squeeze in a few of my own every year. Aside from that, having a wide variety of things to work on suits my short attention span best. This year I’ll design textiles and home goods, album covers, posters, a book or two, a few toys, an animated series and whatever else I can get my hands on, the more varied the better. What beers are you particularly enjoying these days? I’ve recently returned to Negro Modelo.
THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. EVEN THIS ONE. THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. EVEN THIS ONE.
which way is up, what’s goin’ Down? I just don’t know, no C’mon turn ARound -Barry White
Gigantic explores beer's long-standing relationship with music, and their continued relationship with bands, records and local record labels...
Published on Apr 17, 2018
Gigantic explores beer's long-standing relationship with music, and their continued relationship with bands, records and local record labels...