Nine Giant opens in Pleasant Ridge this Saturday, June 25, vaulting the neighborhood into the Dallas Buyers Club stage of its Ridgeaissance. The brewpub, located near the corner of Ridge and Montgomery, is run by brothers-in-law Mike Albarella (the beer guy) and Brandon Hughes (the food guy). It’s named after a local, long-dormant, beer-guzzling giant.
On the brew side, Nine Giant will feature 10 taps of house beer (they hope to have 9 ready by opening night), but they’re doing things a bit different than most of their fellow craft breweries in town. The taps will actually be rotating styles of beer—an IPA, a pilsner, a couple darker beers, a pale ale, one with higher gravity, a couple flexible options, etc. Once a particular batch on draft runs out, they’ll replace that with a new recipe of the same style, or something similar. (Rock Bottom Brewery on Fountain Square does something similar.) The approach allows Nine Giant to feature a wider range of beer options on tap year-round; winter won’t be all porters, summer won’t be all IPAs. It’s also one example of the distinctive style Hughes and Albarella are applying to their business, versus conforming it to standard trends and brewery operating procedures. All of their beers will be served in tulip-style snifter glasses to capture the beery aromatics and offer a cleaner taste. They do have growlers, but instead of flights, Nine Giant will offer 8-ounce half pours of every beer for $3, compared to full pours for $6. Albarella’s recipes will also skew toward more balanced flavors and keep a reasonable ceiling on the alcohol levels. (There will be a wine selection as well.) The names of the IPAs will avoid tired hop puns, and if Hughes gets his way, “I will never in my fucking life do a Christmas Ale,” he says.
The pub side follows a similar custom-tailored gameplan. Hughes fancies himself a chef-in-training, but didn’t want to risk tackling the food service without some experienced help, so he brought in Zach Breedlove from Taft Ale House to head up the kitchen. The menu will be snackery style and made-from-scratch using as many local ingredients as possible, with roughly 10 shareable small plates including deep-fried pickles (that will start in the kitchen as cucumbers), charcuterie, falafel, and pommes frites. There will also be a weekly rotating sandwich, and Hughes hopes to do a regular burger night.
Housed in the old The Earth Collectible Toy Mall storefront that closed in 2008, Nine Giant completely gutted the space, putting in new floors, electrical wiring, and HVAC systems. It will seat 70 and features a main bar made of 150-year-old reclaimed cedar with a concrete countertop, a pair of front window bars using reclaimed bowling lanes from the old Del-Fair Bowling in Delhi, and a full wall of electric blue subway tile.
Standing out shouldn’t be a problem.
Nine Giant opens Saturday, June 25, 6095 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge