As I mentioned in a previous post, Parallel 49 has recently released their second annual Brew Brothers Collaboration pack, 12 unique partner beers with breweries from around the province.
Since this is one of my favourite releases of the year, I thought I would give it some in depth analysis and breakdown each beer offered. Regardless of whether you like a particular beer in this kit or not, this is still one worth picking up.
So here are all 12 available beers, from my least favourite to the best of the bunch.
12. Doan’s Thunderstruck Sticke Alt -6% ABV
Just because this is at the bottom of the list doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. This had a nice bready character to it, but a little too much mineral for my taste. Like I said, something had to be at the bottom.
11. Barkerville Run to the Hills Belgian Golden Strong- 8% ABV
This had a really nice crisp nose to it, but for my taste I like my Belgian Strong Ale’s to taste strong. This was a little too light bodied, not a knock, just not the way I’d go with it.
10. Hearthstone Sympathy for the Devil Black IPA- 6.5% ABV
This is another one from the box that while nicely balancing hops and malt, doesn’t suit my preference when it comes to style. I’d have preferred more hops in this IPA.
9. TIE- Moody Ales Purple Haze Black Current Sour- 8% ABV
Very happy to see a sour claim one of the 12 spots this year, and this one does suit the box nicely. It has a light berry taste and a soft sour quality. Honestly, given more time in a barrel, I can see this being outstanding.
9. TIE- Bridge Brewing Bat Outta Hell Dark Helles Bock- 6.5% ABV
Here’s what I’ve noticed with this pack, a lot of these styles are creative but seem to be made “safe” for the average consumer. Honestly my only complaint with this Bock is they could have gone more polarizing with it.
7. Fernie Brewing Spirit in the Sky Havana Club Stout- 6.5% ABV
I actually really liked this, made me think of a really well made Cuba Libre. There is a soft rum flavour, not as strong as something like an Innis and Gunn. Could have used a little more carbonation.
6. TIE- Strange Fellows People Are Strange Hoppy Saison- 6.5% ABV
Here’s the thing with this offering from Strange Fellows, it’s an excellent Saison and has some nice characteristics to it that you normally don’t see in a Saison, but…it’s not hoppy…at all. A mismatch in the name and the offer threw me off.
6. TIE- Category 12 Comfortably Numb Rye Old Ale- 9% ABV
This was a very nice surprise from Cannery with a Rye Ale that drank almost like a Belgian Strong. This more than made up for the strength I was looking for with the Barkerville offering.
4. Axe and Barrel Paranoid Oaked Wild Imperial Pilsner- 8.5% ABV
If you had told me a Pilsner would have ranked in the top third I would have laughed at you, but Axe and Barrel really hit a homerun with this. The wild yeast in this Pilsner is what does it for me, it’s just a great Pilsner that I really want on its own.
3. Cannery Brewing Gimmie Shelter Apple IPA- 7% ABV
Cannery has really nailed down fruit infused beer, and this apple IPA is no different. The green apple does an excellent job of counterbalancing the hops and it’s just a great, crisp drinking IPA.
2. Crannog Ales Suspect Device Gruit- 5.5% ABV
Can we take a moment to acknowledge the small miracle that Crannog is offering a bottled beer?? Add to that the fact they chose a Gruit of all things and this easily ranks as one of the best. Honestly Crannog if you’re reading this, start bottling your beer, I need more in my life.
1. Four Winds Boys Are Back In Town Nectarface- 6% ABV
And how about that, Four Winds tops the list with Nectarface, this bastard of a beer that I can’t even classify. Lightly soured, hints of citrus and nectar, and a bold hoppy nose. I could drink this all summer.
Overall compared to last year I think Parallel 49 did an excellent job of bringing together some unique offerings. Far more hits than misses this time round, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for some of these in single bottle form.