Brews Brothers P49 & Yellow Dog Hound Dog Belgian IPA

The first brew of the Brews Brothers pack comes straight from my local… Yellow Dog. If Yellow Dog is proof of anything its that cool people often make cool beer, and its not surprising considering their Brew Master Liam (before he was winning best in show at the BC beer awards) was working with fellow cool person Greame With (i know spelled that wrong) Brew Master at Parallel 49. Multiply these cool people as Cool Person x Cool Person + Brewing Equipment = Hound Dog Belgian IPA

How is it? I find this beer maybe mores than other Belgian IPA’s plays with subtleties much like Yellow Dog’s delicious IPA. Much like the time i first had their IPA i though “oh hmm”. But then i gave it another go and found a lot of delicious flavours working in concert. The first thing i notice after initially taking the beer into my mouth is a sweet bitterness, what i mean by this is the bitterness flows, its part of the beer but not the focus, it leads into more when given the time to consider it. The bitterness is quite tropical in fact and works with that classic belgian funk so notable in belgian beers, again this is subtle and could be missed. Finally i get a crisp fleeting spiciness sometimes associated with Belgians. Together these flavours work together so nonchalantly that a novice might miss them (or me 6 beers deep), but when someone takes the time to really taste the efforts of the brewers really come through. In the end its not mind blowing but rather is exceedingly well executed.

Brews Brothers P49 & Yellow Dog Hound Dog Belgian IPA- 4/5

P.S. Im linking this series to the Mystery Gift tab so you can follow there

MYSTERY GIFT 19 and 20!

Parallel 49 once again gives us another seasonal is Salty Scot. A malt heavy beer a scent of caramel comes off the pour. Taking it in you are treated to a marly sweetness that quickly transitions to a satisfying saltiness that lingers on the tongue. Despite being a flavour that sounds out of place in a beer it forms a delicious malt forward beer.

Parallel 49 Salty Scot- 3/5

Almost caught up MYSTERY GIFT 17 and 18

Another seasonal from Parallel 49! This time its Sahti Claws, an old word recipe with old world ingredients like juniper berries but brewed modernly with hops. Basically this beer is a hybrid and a good one at that. You are first treated to a sweet maltiness which is complimented by a juniper berry flavour. To be honest although i am sure i’ve had juniper berries at some point i can’t remember what they taste like so its more like I’m assuming its juniper berries. The malts are balanced against Chinook and Simcoe hops which don’t steel the stage. This is a nice malty beer complimented with a berry flavour that works nicely with the malt. Its a damn decent beer perfect for winter.

Parallel 49 Sahti Claws- 3/5

So i just drank Sahti Claws whilst my room-mate and his girlfriend tickled each other on the couch, how inconsiderate right?. Anyways i’m slightly buzzed and read some of past posts and wow, a lot of errors. What i mean by that is I wasn’t making use of benign or little known grammatical tricks you were unaware of, i simply make a lot of mistakes, you should probably call me on it. OH Sahti Claws is 7.7% its all coming together now. With a buzz well on (you may not know but using “well” there was an allusion to british colloquialisms because I’m “well’ hard).

No one will get this joke, this is only for me.

In any case, IMPERIAL IPA FROM CENTRAL CITY! Remember how i said Central City makes arguably the best IPA in BC? Well here is the steroid version! Thats what you’d think, but no. Opening the bottle lets loose a beautiful hoppy flavour, not fruity or citrus but of actual hops. Taking the beer in you taste fruit, and citrus in abundance which turns into a broad bitterness that lingers for a short time before finishing cleanly. Wow this beer is not just “HOPS!” but rather “hops” which are very apparent yet not pallet destroying. It is oh so drinkable and for that, it gets:

Central City Imperial IPA or IIPA: 4.5/5

MYSTERY GIFT ROUND UP- attempt 3 at catching up!

So hopefully this will be fast a furious, the beer-how it tastes-and a rating, nothing more. So without further adieu:

Gypsy GIVE ME YOUR… over used old jokes.

Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears. An old favourite for many but not necessarily me. While others have lauded this beer for ages i drank it near to P49’s launch, disliked it, and never picked it up again. So what do i think now? Pours a reddish ruby (surprise of the century right?) with a strong citrus-y (i love my “-y”) aroma emanating from the glass. The sip brings with it a blast of sweet malt and citrus bitterness like being punched by two people simultaneously. Like being punched i don’t find the flavour profile to be a pleasant sensation. Just as fast as the flavour punch comes it seems to leave, like a cute girl/guy at the bar you were totally just about to say hi to but thought “hey I kinda need to go to the washroom but more realistically need to get my shit together”, only to com out and find she/he left.

Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears- 2/5

A beer thats been called the best IPA in B.C., and i’d have to agree. In fact a lot of beer writers agree and they have done much better writing than i have to describe it, so rather than re-hash it, i’ll be brief.

Best beer, see people like it.

Uncap this beer and BAM! a nice bouquet of fruity and citrus flavour comes through cleanly. Taking a first sip you are treated to a heavy floral and fruity hoppiness against a muted malt (which isn’t actually negative) this flows into closing citrus bitterness that gives a clean closure to the beer.

Central City IPA- 4.25/5

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 14

Almost caught up, now lets drink some beer! Beginning with day 14, Central City ISA. India Session Ales seem to be fairly new in BC, having popped up a few summers ago. As the name suggests these beers are intended to be more drinkable IPA’s. This can, but is not always, achieved by use of the lions share of the hops nearer to the end of the boil. Generally the longer a hop is boiled the more bitterness and less flavour and aroma, whereas with less boiling it gives less bitterness and more flavour and aroma.  A simple grain bill is often utilized to emphasize the hop flavour, and that seems to be the case here. The beer pours a beautiful colour a shade or to less than a copper with a white head. A crisp round citrus flavour worts from the head as it pours. Sipping the beer i was treated to a crispness that rolls into a brief citrus-y bitterness before finishing cleanly. This beer is perfect for killing a six pack in an evening at a cabin, what its doing in a Christmas pack i have no idea.

Central City ISA- 3.75/5

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 12-15 post 2

Cascadian Dark Ale, Whoops! Sorry Steamworks, Christmas Dark Ale MMMmmm. Another Seasonal offering from Parallel 49 and the one of the ones i was hoping to see in the pack. It pours a beautiful black colour with brownish head. It smells of rich sweet dark roast malts and i’m honestly stoked to try it again. Tasting it the first thing you notice is the sweetness of the malt, and of course this beer is malt heavy. Next comes the roastiness which becomes part of the flavour profile, this tastes are bookended with a robust bitterness the give the whole thing a real closure. Of course beer is subjective, and Cascadian Dark Ale is one of my favourite styles. Although i like this beer and this style its not among the best i’ve had but is a solid offering none the less.

XMAS DARK

Parallel 49 Christmas Dark Ale- 3.5/5

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 12-15

Alright so what happened there? In short I finished undergrad and went skiing, which meant lots of books lots of beer and little writing. I did however experience quite a few beers and will have a lot to talk about moving forward starting with MYSTERY GIFT DAY 12 Central City Copper ale.

thar she blows!

This beer was released in conjunction with the renamed ESB (India Style Red Ale), and both have a new rather distinctive branding relative to the other Central City Red Racer standards. Why I’m not entirely sure, maybe Central City is considering a larger (or lager ha ha beer joke) rebrand. It pours a *gasp* copper colour with an off white head. Of course if it didn’t pour a copper colour Central City would quickly lose business. The scent is sweet malts that for whatever reason reminds me of soap. It tastes of light sweet malts and is balanced by light hop bitterness. Im told the grain bill utilizes roasted munich malts whilst the hops used are amarillo and german perle hops. In either case neither grains nor the hops were showcased well. In the release months back it was mentioned (not by the brewer but by some marketing president-ish guy) that craft beer drinkers enjoyed amber style beers and they did not have one, and thus this beer was released. Well having had this beer and finding it fairly boring it seems to me that they felt the need to create a beer more that was more accessible than some of their other offerings to new craft beer drinkers. If this beer is in fact for seasoned craft beer drinkers i believe its a failure, if its for new beer drinkers its well done.

Central City Copper Ale- 2.5/5

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 11- Parallel 49 Craft Lager

So looks like we are in tough boys and girls. The Mystery gift has given us some really amazing beers (Toques of Hazard, ESB etc.) but it seems with Pale Ale, Hoporazzi, ESB and now with Craft Lager we are really hitting the dog days of winter, with very traditional styes. Whereas I quite enjoy well done ales i’ve never quite come to love well done lagers in the same way. As we discussed earlier the lager yeast gives a cleaner taste, one i might go as far to say is often boring. This particular lager is just fine, its smells a bit sulphur-y but tastes clean and crisp with a hint of malt. That said is this beer really worth your money? Is it worth the 3-5 bucks more than say *gasp* molson, or dare i say caribou (Im still a student).

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 3.15.26 PM
A Silver medal at the Canadian beer awards?
Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 3.16.58 PM
A gold at the Same awards?
Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 3.17.25 PM
Another gold? o yeah they won another gold in 2006.

Well, i don’t know that it is. If we look to evidence we can see that Molson has pulled in far more Canadian Beer award medals than Parallel 49 for lagers. Yes of course the caveat is Craft Lager has been around only a short time. Of course that is true and Craft Lager may go on to win 8 lager awards in a row, but the point stands that even Molson can brew to style. Keep in mind i only checked the Canadian Beer Awards, not international awards (which they have also won). Furthermore its worth remembering that the question is not which is better (Craft Lager probably is) but rather is Craft Lager 3-5 bucks better than a Molson product? In my opinion no. This also begs the question as a brewery known for doing cool shit do they go and brew a “nice” Lager? obviously the cool shit is their bread and butter. Initially i thought the craft lager would be a beer only available in the tasting room and then sold to restaurants as house beer. By the way this would be a great house beer. But inclusion in the mystery pack shows that P49 are determined to flog this nice-not-scpectacular ale. Which sucks because i think expending efforts on brewing something cool like a Dark Belgian with coffee could be much more fruitful.

Parallel 49 Craft Lager- 2.5/5

ugh lager.

I will be reviewing each and everyone of the daily Parallel 49 & Central City Brewing Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown. So jump on board, follow along and even contribute your thoughts!

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 10- Central City ESB

MMMmmmm, this is beer. Central City ESB delicious. It pours a beautiful pale amber which i sometimes just stare at. Off the nose i was treated to pine flavour before flowing into caramel which finished with a heavy fruity bitterness. This is my favourite Central City offering so far and right up there with “Toques of Hazard” for the overall lead.

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 10- Central City ESB- 4.25/5

Im busy today.

I will be reviewing each and everyone of the daily Parallel 49 & Central City Brewing Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown. So jump on board, follow along and even contribute your thoughts!

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 9- Parallel 49 Hoparazzi

Ale or Lager whats the deal? Yeast. Yeast is the deal. Yeast is what changes sugar to alcohol or rather as a living thing it eats it and produces (poops? no, lets not extend the metaphor that far) alcohol. Yeast is the magic.  So who is ale yeast different from lager yeast? The simple answer is the yeast does its work. Lager yeast ferments from the bottom whilst Ale yeast ferments from the top. Another extension of the yeast difference is at what temperature the yeasts ferment. Whereas ales ferment at temperatures near room temperature, which makes them great for home brewers, lagers ferment at temperatures near 7-13 degrees celcius. This makes lagers harder and more expensive to brew, as they need to be cooled. Had you ever wonder why craft brewer seem to brew more ales by a long shot, this is a major reason why. How does this effect taste? The cooler fermenting seems to give off less yeast tastes, such as fruity or even spicy flavours (as well as off flavours when done poorly). SO the flavour given off is much cleaner. Hopparazi is a style that is done is a India Pale LAGER (NOT ALE). So how might this change the taste? I would hypothesize that the hops in this beer, given the cleaner fermentation, would be easier to identify; thus giving you a less complexed (although that doesn’t mean less good) tasting beer. So here we go! No this not taste like a regular lager, no this not taste like an IPL (although i note that it now reads west coast lager on the bottle). The beer pours a pale with hints of citrus aroma. It tastes very clean with a kick of taste and aroma hops that are floral and citrusy. Its quite good if not amazing, and i’d love to see other brewers give a similar beer a go. It comes in at 43 IBU’s but its still entirely drinkable and once again watch out as the ABV is 6%. Nice beer!

MYSTERY GIFT DAY 9- Parallel 49 Hoparazzi- 3/5

Beer is more magic-er than Xmas.

I will be reviewing each and everyone of the daily Parallel 49 & Central City Brewing Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown. So jump on board, follow along and even contribute your thoughts!