With all the drinking I’ve been doing from south of the 49th Parallel, it only seems fair that I sample a few that fall north of that border as well. And I thought I might start with a few from, oh I don’t know, Parallel 49! And that’s easy enough, since these brewers are in the habit of churning out another limited release every few weeks! In fact, in recent weeks, my local stores have been backed up with their latest releases, so I thought I might do another two-fer on their fare. This included the recently-released Crane Kick Sorachi Ace Pilser, a single-hopped German-style lager, and the Snap Crackle Hop Imperial Rice IPA.
Crane Kick Sorachi Ace Pilsner:
Parallel 49 are nothing if not junkies for experimentation. And though this Pilsner might seem like a highly-decent, straightforward example of the Czech-style lager, it’s actually quite the departure. Ordinarily, Pilsner’s rely on German or Noble hop varieties to impart a certain grassy or grainy flavor to their beers. However, the Japanese Sorachi Ace hop strain is known for its lemony, bubble gum, and dill pickle-type taste. Adding this to a Pilsner lager could only be seen as an act of experimentation, but one which yields some positive results!
Appearance: Golden, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle Pilsner malt, grainy, mild grassy hop aroma
Taste: Mild grainy malt flavor, good tang, notes of dill and lemon
Aftertaste: Mild bitterness, notes of lemon rind, mild skunk
Snap Crackle Hop IPA:
And of course, what would a Parallel 49 India Pale Ale be without some grand, odd twist? Yeah, I don’t know either! But luckily, we don’t live in a world where such considerations come true. Once again choosing the venerated style of India Pale Ale as a limited release, the brewers at Parallel 49 decided to switch things up by using rice malt in addition to pale barley malt. And the result is a beer that is quite appetizing, calling to mind rice-crispy squares and rice cakes while also relying on a generous hop profile that includes both citrus and tropical fruit flavors.
Appearance: Gold/amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Strong floral, citrus hop profile, toasted, grainy notes
Taste: Strong, supple malts, reminiscent of rice cakes, citrus and tropical fruit flavor
Aftertaste: Mild sugars, lingering tropical fruit flavors
If I haven’t said if before, I will say it now. Parallel 49, you got a weird and crazy way of going about your brewing. But I like it! With very few exceptions, your experimental nature has yielded nothing but positive results. And while I often wonder how you would do with a simple, straightforward Pale Ale or Lager, I am always curious to see what you come up with next. You’re like the Howard Sterns of the brewing world! So please, keep on surprising us!