For today’s post, my good friend Colin (of Impossibrew) and I decided to collaboratively drink the Brews Brothers Collaboration Mixer Pack recently released by Parallel 49. We also consider ourselves Brews Bros of a sort, so it seemed fitting.
Unfortunately, Colin lives in Winnipeg, while I’m here in Vancouver. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology we were able to spend an evening drinking over Google Hangouts. In Part 1 – we drink six beers from the P49 box. Here are our thoughts:
House of the Rising Sun – Table Saison – with Dageraad Brewing
Colin – Definitely not very funky. Lacking in body, I think. It’s not often you get a saison that’s 4.5%, which explains the lack of body. There’s basically no hop profile. Actually, that might be why it’s called a table saison and not just a saison.
Bryan – I feel like it’s good but not great. It has a bit of subtle spiciness to it and the basic saison flavours. It does what it needs to be good but it’s almost afraid to get out and try something crazy to differentiate itself.
Colin – The atomic elements of a saison are there, but it’s missing what you would expect to make it great. Like a session IPA. All steak and no sizzle, baby. This is a starter beer. You might go out and mow the lawn, and then come back in and drink this beer.
Bryan – Yes! Which makes it a good choice for us to start off with.
Little Red Rooster – Red India Session Ale – with Bomber Brewing
Colin – That’s not bad. There’s actually a surprising amount of flavour there.
Bryan – Truthfully, I’m enjoying this more than I did the first time too. There’s more hop than I remember.
Colin – I’m impressed how full the malt profile is, considering it’s a session ale.
Bryan – I have to change my expectations with session ales. I know it’s wrong to judge a style based on another style, but I’m still adjusting to it. I keep waiting for a session that doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of flavour. This seems to come as close as any I’ve tried.
Colin – Hey what song is that? I don’t recognize it. (Note: All the beers are named after songs)
Bryan – (Googles the answer) Wow it’s a Rolling Stones song! (Queue grooving.)
Backdoor Man – Basil India Pale Ale – with Storm Brewing
Bryan – Dirty jokes aside, prepare yourself to be slapped in the face by a heavily spiced Italian dish.
Colin – (After drinking) Honestly, I kinda feel like I want more basil. I know that’s weird, but…
Bryan – What? Really? You aren’t German, you’re Italian. I’m going to start calling you Mario.
Colin – Hah! What’s nice is that the base beer is really good. It’s a really good amount of hops and bitterness. And it balances really well with the basil, this is something I would definitely drink again.
(At this point we spent about 10 minutes talking about how awesome James Walton and Storm Brewing is.)
Bryan – You know what, Storm does their own Basil IPA. I wonder what the difference is between the solo version and this collaboration version?
Colin – That would be an interesting experiment! I’d like to try that.
Bryan – For sure. But as is, this is a great beer. There’s a lot of basil, but I’m totally OK with that. Makes it different, but in a good way. James makes a lot of crazy beer and he knows how to balance it. In general, it’s all up to taste, of course. Some stuff might be too much, but I’m almost always a fan of amping up flavours so I’m totally down with it.
Colin – You know what, now that it’s warming up a little bit. I change my mind, this is just the right amount of basil. I don’t want more now.
Boom Boom Boom – Triple Hop Belgian Tripel – with Moon Under Water
Bryan – You’ll see that this beer suffers from a bit of a misnomer, in terms of what sort of expectations the name sets.
Colin – Yeah, this is nice. But you’re right, there’s absolutely no hop character in there at all.
Bryan – Right? It’s strange for something called a “Triple Hop” Belgian Tripel. That doesn’t mean it’s not good, because I do like this. It’s just that the name doesn’t seem to suit.
Colin – You know what it’s missing though? It’s missing that kind of peachy, apricoty kind of flavour. It doesn’t really have that fruitiness that I would expect from a Belgian Tripel. I feel like this beer needs more body, and it’s definitely lacking the triple hop character that the name implies. But it has a nice nose!
Bryan – I can’t disagree with you there. It’s not a great Tripel by any means. Like many other beers, it gets by just being what it needs without any sort of adventure or real effort to differentiate.
The Thrill Is Gone – Post-Classic Pilsner – with Brassneck Brewing
Colin – Yes, I love this song. Literally three weeks ago today I was standing outside the BB King’s Blues Club in Memphis listening to this tune. Cheers to BB!
Bryan – Nice, cheers to BB! (Notes: BB King recorded the most famous version of The Thrill Is Gone – and, sadly, passed just recently – RIP)
Colin – You know what? For a pilsner, that’s pretty damn good.
Bryan – It is! It’s really smooth and easy to drink. It has a subtle fruitiness to it that gives it a sort of light but nice body.
Colin – This is a dangerous beer because it’s 6.5% and it really, really doesn’t have any sort of boozey hit.
Bryan – Truth, it really doesn’t have an alcoholic bite at all. It’s very even.
Colin – In my opinion, even though this is a bit nontraditional, I think this is a really cool take on the style. One of my favourites so far.
Houng Dog – Belgian India Pale Ale – with Yellow Dog Brewing
Colin – Oh this smells nice and tastes nice too. Very enjoyable.
Bryan – Yeah I really like this one. Yellow Dog actually won a Best in Show award recently at the BC Beer Awards.
Colin – Nice! This one is good and Belgiany and the yeast is really predominant. There’s a lot going on in this beer that could mask a bad beer. There’s a lot of Belgian yeast and a solid malt backbone. But I think this is a really good beer. They aren’t masking anything because they’ve done it really well.
Bryan – I agree, this one is probably one of my favourites in the box. I love this style and this is a great example.
Colin – Yes, this doesn’t push any boundaries but it is an excellent example of the style.
That wraps up our first six beers. Here are our thoughts on the remaining six!
[Editor’s note: Bryan also wrote about his favourites on the Food Bloggers of Canada’s website. Check out his post here!]