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Archive for the ‘Craft Beer Series’ Category

2016 marks the third year in a row Central City and Parallel 49 are collaborating on a December Advent Calendar, the Seasons Greetings 24-Pack. It’ll also mark the third year in a row I try to cover it. I say “try” because, well, my past coverage has been…delayed…or nonexistent. Hey, December is a busy month, finding time to drink and write every day is tough! It really shouldn’t be, because a life of drinking and writing every day sounds pretty much like the perfect existence…but alas.

I’m entering this December with a renewed commitment, though. I’ve even made a bet with myself.

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It’s pretty hot out there right now. So hot, it kinda blows my mind. Where I’m from, there’s still snow on the ground. But Central City must have known this was coming, because they just unleashed a new pair of Radlers on the world.

Red Racer Radler

The first is a standard beer-based Radler. Red Racer Radler is a blonde ale mixed with grapefruit juice and a bit of lemon juice at a 50/50 ratio. It comes off as slightly dry compared to some of its counterparts. That’s not meant as a criticism, though. I quite liked it, and at 3.5%, the ABV is suitably radleresque. This would be tied with P49 for my favourite grapefruit Radler were it not for …… (more…)

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The Beer

I recently (OK, maybe not that recently) had the opportunity to attend a release event for a new beer from Central CitySour Brown I Barrel Aged Sour Ale – the first in what will become an expansive Sour program, including upcoming Sour Red, Kreik, and Framboise releases. As people may know, I’m a pretty big fan of sours, so I approached this release with no small amount of expectation.

Sour Brown I Tasting

Sour Brown I Tasting

I wasn’t disappointed. This beer offers an aroma of red wine and sour berries, while the taste is balanced nicely with a smooth sour acidity, a bit of wine tannins, berries and oak. It all came together nicely and honestly, I think it’s an excellent first effort. Gary Lohin deserves a serious high five.

Gary Lohin, Brewmaster, Central City

Gary Lohin, Brewmaster, Central City

The Shock

Sour Brown I BottleI went home that night with a plan to buy two, maybe three bottles depending on the price. I knew it wasn’t going to be available right away at my favourite local beer store so I waited a few weeks. I knew it would be available at the brewery first, likely for a couple dollars less, but I like the convenience of my local store. I just had to make sure I was on the ball, because I didn’t expect a huge quantity available, and it would probably go fast. So I kept checking in until I finally saw it on the shelf.

Then I saw the price. (more…)

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One day as I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I came across this tried and true Beer Batter Bread recipe on Epicurious. Mr. always bugs me about not baking enough, and that he misses my occasional baking (when are you going to bake me another pie?!). And since Mr. likes freshly baked bread, I decided to give it a try.

The recipe is very simple and doesn’t require yeast or proofing. It just needs a bottle of beer. But it doesn’t specify what kind. Perhaps back then, one would assume it’s asking for a bottle of domestics, like Bud, Coors or even Molson. Fast-forward to 2016 and we have so many craft beer options now! And thanks to Bryan, we have become a bit of a beer snob, so the lightest beer I could pull out from our stash was the Parallel 49 Jerkface 9000 North West Wheat Ale. Wheat ale for a bread recipe? Why not!

Beer in Bread Batter

And with a heavy heart, I poured a bottle of the Jerkface 9000 into the bread batter. The colour of the batter remained quite pale, and in the oven it went (after drizzling the melted butter).

Bread Batter

Result? As my first try, the recipe was easy to follow and it turned out great. (more…)

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Last year Parallel 49 and Central City released the Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown Advent Calendar. And while it was a good, fun experience. There were a few minor quibbles.

This year P49/CC have stepped up to the plate in a big way with its new Craft Crossing Calendar. Instead of only 1 unique brew each, they’ve created 6 uniques each. That means half the box is uniques! I hadn’t even bought my box yet and I was already sure this year was going to be a lot better than last. They could have made 2 or 3 uniques each (still an improvement!) and gotten away with it, but they didn’t. So right off the bat I wanted to give a huge props to both breweries for putting in the time and effort to make this calendar extra awesome.

Craft Crossing Calendar

As of this post, we’re halfway through the calendar. So I thought I would give a quick rundown of the beers and my general impressions, with a focus on the uniques. Here’s the list:

Day 1: P49 – Rock The Bells Cranberry Sour Ale (Unique)

Great way to start! 2015 has been a monster year for sour beers in BC, and I’m so glad to see the trend continue in the calendar here. I really enjoyed this beer, cranberry and sour make a damn fine combination, and with the brett influence added we have a beer I would gladly drink again.

Day 1: Parallel 49 - Rock The Bells Cranberry Sour Ale

Day 2: CC – Red Racer ISA

Repeat from Day 14 last year.

Day 2: Central City - Red Racer ISA

Day 3 – P49 – Jerkface 9000 North West Wheat

P49 released Jerkface 9000 earlier this year and received a great response. Sadly, I missed out on it. So pulling it out of the box here was a happy surprise for me. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: After being MIA for a month, we are finally posting Part 2 of the Brews Brothers coverage. Sorry, you beer fans had to wait this long!]

Last time we talked, Colin and I had just finished the first 6 beers in our Brews Brothers boxes. Now it’s time to finish those bottles and share our thoughts and opinions. Enjoy!

Brews Brothers

Les Portes Du Penitencier – Black Table Saison – with Townsite Brewing

Colin – This smells really bready, then has like a fruity ester that comes in after the bread.

Bryan – It has a decent smell. Like it might be something good, but I remember not really digging it.

Colin – Well, it certainly is boring. It just tastes, I dunno, bland. Do you get bland?

Bryan – Yeah, I had this one before and wasn’t that impressed. The opening gives you hope and then it kind of disappoints.

Colin – It has a nice taste up front, but fades into a really meh aftertaste. I think the roasted malt gives it a little more up front, that’s why it begins so nicely, but then it just sort of dies at the end.

Bryan – I can’t really argue with that.

Tiger in your Tank – Kellerbier – with Steel & Oak

Colin – That’s definitely smokey!

Bryan – Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m getting some bubblegum smell in with that smoke.

Colin – That’s possible though, sometimes the esters can give that essence.

Bryan – It’s an interesting blend, not something I would expect. But it’s good.

Colin – You know, I’ve had a few Kellerbiers and I didn’t really like them. But I’m digging this. I don’t think they usually have smoke, but I’d say that’s the Steel & Oak spin on it. Everything I’ve heard from them is how they’re the masters of smoke.

Bryan – They’re really established themselves here as the guys that do that well. Like how Four Winds have shown they’re awesome with Brett, S&O have shown they’re the best around at using smoked malts.

Colin – I like this. It’s got a good malty base with a smokey finish. It’s an enjoyable take on the style.

Stormy Monday – N2 Smoked Brown Ale – with Persephone Brewing

***I decided to follow the “Invert To Pour” instructions on this supposedly nitrogenated brown ale. I was rewarded with beer all over the table, floor, and my pants. I should have known better.***

Bryan – That went well.

Colin – That was the worst nitro pour I’ve ever seen in my life. Look at that, there are no cascades at all. This is terrible. They shouldn’t even call this a nitro.

Bryan – Brutal. (more…)

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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.

IMAG2034

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.

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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. (more…)

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