Seriously, don’t read this article if you want to go into this year’s advent calendar completely blind.
With the release of the new advent calendar from Central City and Parallel 49, the inevitable question is always “what’s in the box?” Now if you well and truly want the experience spoiled for you, then continue below. If not, I’m giving you one more chance to stay far away from this reveal.
Continue past this far too cool dog drinking beer for the full lineup.
Still here? I see, you’re one of those kids that would peek at all the presents before and act surprise aren’t you?? Ok, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Red Racer- Gary’s Chocolate Orange Pale Ale. 4.5% ABV
This one has a hint of chocolate and orange, but not as much as you would expect given the name.
P49- Pinata Squamata, Pina Colada IPA. 6.0% ABV
There are legitimately chunks of pineapple and coconut in this, so take that as you will.
Red Racer- Jitterbuzz Coffee Imperial Stout. 9.0% ABV
The first heavy hitter in the group, this Stout has cold pressed coffee from Bean Around the World in it, and it comes through along with hints of molasses.
P49- Vow of Silence, Belgian Strong. 9.8% ABV
Parallel 49 fans will be familiar with this Belgian Strong ale, it’s pretty malt forward and a solid beer.
Red Racer- Superfruit IPA. 6.0% ABV
This IPA has mango and passionfruit juice added in, so naturally it’s quite juicy. Again, you get a bit of sediment with this one.
P49- Steel Horse, Barrel Aged Kentucky Common. 6.0% ABV
Kentucky Commons are not a well known style anymore, this could be compared to a dark cream ale but of course the barrel aging gives it a bit of kick.
Red Racer- Wonderful Winter White Ale. 5.0% ABV
A traditional Belgian style white ale with the addition of coriander and orange peel. Very drinkable, very light.
P49- Dr. Scientist Hazelnut Stout. 4.9% ABV
An oddly light drinking stout with hints of hazelnut. This one was surprising, as I had expected a heavier beer from the name alone.
Red Racer- Smore Stout. 6.0% ABV
Exactly what the name implies, this beer has notes of chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker.
P49- Robo Ruby, Imperial Red IPA. 9.3% ABV
This is an imperial version of Parallel 49’s core Ruby Tears. It’s a whopping 9.3% so while it retains much of the Ruby Tears style, it punches much harder.
Red Racer- Lowrider Sugarplum. 3.9% ABV
This could qualify as a light sour with notes of plums, vanilla and lactose. It’s not bad, but I think could lean more into the sour aspect.
P49- Proper Treacle London Porter. 4.9% ABV
Another very light dark ale from Parallel 49, this one is quite nice and I prefer it over the previous Stout.
Red Racer- Temperance Pre-Prohibition Lager. 5.0% ABV
This beer claims to be inspired by classic ingredients and recipes used during the days of prohibition. It’s pretty drinkable.
P49- Mr. Needles Fir Pale Ale. 5.0% ABV
It wouldn’t be a holiday box without something that tastes like a tree, and that’s exactly what this is. Real fir tips are used in this beer, reminds me of Tofino’s Spruce Tree Ale.
Red Racer- Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine. 11% ABV
Thor’s Hammer is the seasonal Barley Wine from Central City, and it will knock you on your ass if you’re not prepared for it. Tread lightly.
P49- Alakazam Szechuan Peppercorn Saison. 6.0% ABV
Not only is this one fun to say, it’s really fun to drink. One of the better experiments in the box, the peppercorn works nicely with the saison style.
Red Racer- Darkest Night Black Lager. 5.0% ABV
It’s a Black Lager with no surprises. A hint of chocolate rounds out the palate.
P49- Toques of Hazzard Imperial White IPA. 9.2% ABV
Released in the past, this is a very solid imperial IPA from Parallel 49 and one that’s worth trying if you missed it previously.
Red Racer- Up Up and Away Smash Session Ale. 2.5% ABV
Single malt, Single Hop; Golden Promise barley and Calypso Hops. Honestly it’s the 2.5% ABV that surprises me the most with this, it’s practically juice.
P49- Abraxas Belgian Triple. 7.77% ABV
Another solid Belgian offering in the box, honestly these are pretty much the best ones of the bunch.
Red Racer- Snowdrift Amber Honey Wheat Ale. 5.9% ABV
A miss for me as I tend not to be super into honey ales, but I can see the appeal.
P49- Wild Ride Belgian Strong. 9.0% ABV
Finished with Brett yeast there is some funk to this Belgian Strong, which is nice considering it’s practically the only one in the box that features a sour note.
Red Racer- Barrel Aged IPA. 6.5% ABV
It’s the classically good Red Racer IPA but aged in Bourbon oak barrels. Basically a winning combination right there.
P49-Rock the Bells Cranberry Sour Ale. 7.0% ABV
The only dedicated sour in the whole lot. This was also in last year’s box, and it’s only okay.
Verdict- A strong offering this year for those who are fans of Belgian style beers, and a lot of high alcohol offerings. I would have liked to have seen a few more sour options and it would have been nice to have seen a Bock or a Dunkel in exchange for a few of the repeat performances from years past. But a solid case overall, and one that’s worth getting, even if to just try some “out there” beer.