Brew Review – Giggle Shark by 5 Branches Brewing

Here’s what I need you to focus on concerning the label art:

It’s not the name, which will obviously give Cocomelon vibes of Baby Shark (good luck getting that out of your head).

It’s not the shark itself, which has obvious overtones of Katy Perry’s infamous Left Shark.

It’s not the brewery itself, 5 Branches being an obvious reference to the five branches of the United States Military, of which 5 Branches’ owners are proud veterans for which I thank them for their service. (P.S. I could go on about Florida’s awesome abundance of Veteran-owned breweries, but that’s for another time).

No, it’s the diver I want you to see. The reason for that is 5 Branches’ location on the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, north of Clearwater in my favorite Florida Craft Beer county of Pinellas.

Tarpon Springs is home to the largest diaspora of Greeks outside of Greece itself. It has a long and storied history of those Greeks coming to Florida to dive and collect sponges, a practice that goes on to this day.

It’s also becoming quite the craft community, with several breweries and distilleries there. It’s also the location of the former home of the fantastic and much-missed Saint Somewhere. But we’re circling back around to Giggle Shark (IPA, 7.2% ABV), the signature beer of Five Branches brewing, canned and distributed by their friends (and mine) at Big Storm.

As an IPA, it’s an interesting and almost old-school variation. It harkens back to the IPAs of old that combined a big Citrus hop character with a chewy, caramel forward malt bill.

The caramel comes through in the color, since it has a nice reddish hue to the beer, but the aromas take some of that caramel and overload it with notes of orange and lemon. The flavor combines a mass of citrus notes with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. It’s got a moderate dankness with big piney notes of resin, grapefruit, lime, and blood orange.

It is most definitely an IPA for IPA fans, but those that are looking for the bitterness to really come through. A double dry hop bonanza this is not. And as a signature beer, it’s a pretty strong signature. It’s fantastically flavorful and very bold in a field that is starting to become increasingly lighter and complex in all sorts of non-hoppy ways.

If I am correct, there are more cans to be had from 5 Branches, and if I find them you’ll be sure to know that I will get them. In the meantime, I have some old Sponge Dock photos I’d like to go through again, and I need to plan that next visit to the best little Greek town in Florida.


Drink Florida Craft,


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One thought on “Brew Review – Giggle Shark by 5 Branches Brewing

  1. Pingback: Brew Review – Giggle Shark by 5 Branches Brewing | Florida Dispensaries

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