Gizmo Brew Works
5907 Triangle Dr
Raleigh, North Carolina
Visited on January 18, 2014
One of the major problems with this blog is I only get a snapshot of breweries and don’t often get to return. Plus, sometimes it’s my third brewery of the day and I’m not as much in the mood for drinking as I was at the start. But this blog is mainly for my own uses, so deal with it.
In any case, I returned to Gizmo this summer and was pleasantly surprised by how much better it is than my original review. They’ve done up one-half of the taproom so that it actually looks like a serving space now. Plus, the beer was actually quite tasty. From a honey wheat to solid examples of IPAs and stouts, their regular lineup is pretty decent. And they had a blueberry saison when I visited that was excellent.
This place has apparently been hidden away in the far reaches of northwest Raleigh for some time, but you’d never know it. According to the bartender – and part owner, I believe – the spot has been there for several years but recently changed names when the original owner sold it to some of the die-hard patrons.
In any event, I’m not surprised it’s still a secret.
The taproom doesn’t have a lot going for it. Not a lot of effort has been put into making it a relaxing place to hang out and have a few beers. There aren’t really any tables or chairs to speak of – I mean there are a few, but not nearly enough to support even a small crowd – and it feels like you’re sitting in someone’s unkempt basement. All across the back and in the back rooms are tools and pieces of equipment laying around, about as organized as my toybox was growing up.
All of this could be forgiven if the beer was exceptional, but it was not. A small flight of four 2.5-ounce tasters ran five bucks, and it wasn’t really worth it. None of the lighter colored beers spoke to me in any way – although the stout was pretty solid. They also were pouring a coffee version of the stout, but the brew had so much coffee in it that the rest of the drink was completely overwhelmed. Adjuncts should add layers and complexity, not detract from the flavor profile.
If I lived within walking distance, I might actually come back. There was a solid group of young 20-somethings that seemed right at home and were having a blast. But on the basis of the beer alone, it’s not really worth the trouble.
Total: 70 (of 80)