Parallel 49 Brews Brothers Vol. 3

What’s Golden East Meets West IPA:

Collaborator: Green Flash Brewing, San Diego, CA
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: Straight from their third collaborative effort with other North American brewries – aka. Brews Brothers Vol. 3 – the East Meets West IPA is a golden India pale ale that combines east and west coast influences. Like the other installments in this year’s series, this beer is hip-hoped themed, and named in honor of the Jurassic 5’s famous single, “What’s Golden”.

Tasting Notes: This brew definitely has all the right elements that make west coast and east coast IPAs so palatable. That includes a nice and cloudy golden-orange hue, a nose with grassy/piney hops and citrus fruit, and plenty of the same hop flavor. The flavor department is where it is especially decent, mixing drier east coast hops with your more fruity and citrusy west coast varieties. And it rounds it all out nicely with a refreshing, just-bitter-enough finish!

Blazing Arrow, a Tawny IPA:

Collaborator: Gigantic Brewing, Portland, OR
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.0%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description:  Done in collaboration with Gigantic Brewing’s Ben Love. This beer is brewed in the style of an American India Pale Ale, and so-named because of its deep copper color. The name is a shout out to rap artist Blackalicious’ song of the same name.

Tasting Notes: This beer strikes a nice balance between maltiness, hop bitterness and hop fruitiness. A generous dose of West Coast hops comes through, bringing plenty of dry bitterness and complexiy. The beer pours a deep copper, has notes of grass, herbs, pineapple and peach on the nose, and more of the same on the palate.

Baby Got Back, a Hoppy Hefeweizen:

Collaborator: Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett, WA
Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: Done in collaboration with Scuttlebutt Brewing’s Matt Stromberg. This is a traditional style hefeweizen brewed with a modern breed of hops hailing from Germany. And of course, it is named in honor of the classic ode to big backsides by Sir Mixalot.

Tasting Notes: This beer pours a nice golden-orange, is cloudy and has a lacy head. It has notes of banana, clover and citrus on the nose, and has plenty more of that in the flavor department. It also has a discernible mineral tang and a bitter, yeasty finish.

Gettin’ It, a Northern Farmhouse Style Beer:

Collaborator: 49th State Brewing, Anchorage, AL
Style: Saison
ABV: 7.0%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description:  Done in collaboration with 49th State Brewing’s Greg Mills. This unique beer was brewed with a Scandinavian farmhouse yeast cultivated in Norway. Tart in flavour, this ale offers aromas of orange peel contributed by the yeast and Amarillo hops.

Tasting Notes: This is a nice, light twist on the Saison. It pours a deep gold, is slightly cloudy, and produces a lacy foam head. It has a light nose with hints of yeast, melon, spices and bread. The flavor is much the same, with a  notes of melon, grains, minerals, and the mild but funky and effervescent yeast flavor that makes Saisons famous.

Fernie Hot Saw India Brown Ale

Fernie_hotsawBrewer: Fernie Brewing, Fernie, BC
Style: IPA/Brown Ale
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 60

Description: This is a Winter/Spring seasonal by Fernie, available between the months of January and March. And as the name suggests, it combines the brewing styles of a brown ale with an IPA. A dark malt base is combined with hop back and dry hopping methods to create a balance of toasted malts with hoppy bitterness.

Tasting Notes: I was a little late to this brew, but was glad I caught up with it. A Brown IPA combines many aspects that are pleasing to the discerning beer-drinker. Notes of caramel, coffee, licorice, and roasted nuts combine with a hoppy profile that create a balanced but powerful brew.

Appearance: Dark brown, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Toasted malt, roasted nuts, coffee, licorice, caramel, citrus, piney hops
Taste: Dark, rich malt, roasted nuts, notes of coffee, licorice, piney hops
Aftertaste: Lingering roasted malt and pine hop bitterness
Overall: 8.3/10

Dieu du Ciel Corne du Diable IPA

bouteille-biere-corne-du-diableBrewer: Dieu du Ciel, St-Jerome, Quebec
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: This beer, who’s name is French for “Horn of the devil”, is a contemporary interpretation of the classic English India Pale Ale. Combining West Coast and North American IPA styles, the end result is a strong, hoppy offering with plenty of malt flavor and varied bitterness.

Tasting Notes: This was definitely a good take on the North American/West Coast-style of IPA. A smooth malt base, with a mild tang and slight sweetness, are paired with notes of citrus, herbs and pine that create a balanced and strong brew. Another good offering from this Montreal-based brewery!

Appearance: Deep golden, cloudy, sediment, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt base, notes of piney hops, hint of lemon and herbs
Taste: Smooth malt, hint of sweetness, dry hops, notes of pine, citrus, herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, pine and citrus rind
Overall: 8.5/10

Phillips Apteryx IPA

phillips_apteryxBrewer: Phillips Brewing, Victoria, BC
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs:

Description: Phillips latest limited release, which is named in honor of the iconic Kiwi bird, is a tribute to New Zealand. As such, this India Pale Ale features a generous dosing of Nelson Sauvin hops, which are then added post-boil for a dry-hopped profile.

Tasting Notes: This Phillips release was definitely one I could get behind. The combination of strong pale malts, Nelson Sauvin hops, and the fact that it’s dry-hopped made for a very tasty, but also subtle and complex character. The malt base is strong but sweet, and the hop flavor comes through with notes of citrus, grass, pine, and grape – but at no point is it overwhelming.

Appearance: Amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt, strong notes of grape, hints of citrus, grass and pine
Taste: Strong malt, hint of sweetness, hop bitterness, herbal, grapes, citrus
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, citrus rind and pine
Overall: 8.5/10

Croucher Nuclear Free Anzus IPA

Croucher_IPABrewer: Croucher Brewery, Rotorua, New Zealand  
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 7%
IBU: Unspecified (high)

Description: Brewed in New Zealand, Nuclear Free Anzus is a tribute to New Zealand rocking the boat when it asked that the ANZUS treaty (a Cold War alliance with Australia and the US) not involve nuclear warships and was dumped. Using pale malts and hops from Australia, NZ and the USA, this IPA strikes an interesting balance. It is also the recipient of the Bronze medal at both the 2014 BrewNZ Awards and the 2014 Australian International Beer Awards.

 

Tasting Notes: This brew is another installment from the Advent Beer Calender, and was quite a lovely take on the IPA. It packs quite the gullet-punch when it comes to the citrus hop flavor. However, the passion fruit flavor was a bit overpowering, to the point that it almost seemed like they had thrown in some actual fruit and artificial flavor into the mix. Still, it was a pleasant brew and a good installment in the pack.

Appearance: Deep orange, clear, mild foam retention and medium carbonation
Nose: strong, floral hop nose, tropical fruit and citrus
Taste: Crisp malt, strong hops, grape, lots of passion fruit, citrus rind
Aftertaste: Lingering passion fruit flavor, citrus rind
Overall: 8/10

Category 12 Transmutation Belgian Specialty Ale

C12_transmutationBrewer: Category 12 Brewing, Central Saanich, BC
Style: Belgian Tripel/IPA
ABV: 9.6%
IBUs: Unspecified (but high)

Description: This is the latest release of Category 12, which just premiered yesterday at the brewery, and amidst quite a bit of fanfare. Brewed in the Tripel fashion, but with a significant hopping consistent with a Northwestern IPA, this beer is brewed using Superior Pilsner and Belgian Caravienne malts, Hallertauer and Northern Brewer hops, and then fortified with Amber Candi sugar that was handcrafted in house.

Tasting Notes: Where to begin with this one? For starters, the term “Belgian specialty ale” is appropriate given that it has elements of both a tripel and a saison, but also some distinct West Coast flavor. This leads to an eclectic taste, where three times the malt, candi sugar and a high alcohol content lead to a powerful malt base. Add to that some strong yeast flavor and some powerful hops that compliment the yeasts, and you’ve got this baby in a nutshell. Between the fact that they handcrafted their own candi sugar to make this beer and it happened right in my backyard makes me especially proud!

Appearance: Dark ruby, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, sugars, notes of citrus and tropical fruit hops, strong yeasts
Taste: Rich and coarse malt, saison-like yeast, caramelized sugar, hop bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt coarseness, hop and yeast bitterness
Overall: 8.5/10

Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan Handshake

Latroudediable_shawiniganBrewer: Le Trou Du Diable, Shawinigan, QC
Style: Hopfenweisse
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 42

Description: A combination of wheat and barley malt, German yeast, and West Coast Chinook hops, this hopfenweisse-inspired ale is dedicated to Prime Minister Chretien – Canada’s Prime Minister for ten years and who hails from Shawinigan.

Tasting Notes: This brew was an interesting break from my usual samplings of West Coast IPAs and Belgian strong ales. Ironic that it combined elements of both then! On the one hand, it has the smooth malt backing and fruit flavor of a good heffeweizen, and just enough bitterness and tropical flavor of a West Coast ale.

Appearance: Yellow/orange, cloudy, heavy foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, strong notes of peach, passion fruit, yeast
Taste: Smooth start, yeast bitterness, notes of peach, banana and cloves
Aftertaste: Lingering yeast bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Driftwood Entangled Hopfenweisse

entangled-circular-logoBrewer: Driftwood Brewery, Victoria BC
Style: Hefeweizen/IPA
ABV: 7%

Description: This Fall limited release combines a Hefeweizen base that employs wheat malts and Hefeweizen yeast, along with a generous dosing of North American hops (what I assume are Centennial, Cascade and Columbus – the 3 Cs) to create a fusion brew the combines a German Wheat beer with a West Coast IPA.

Tasting Notes: This brew was quite delicious, combining the smooth drinkability and yeasty backbone of a Hefeweizen with a serious infusion of fruity, floral and bitter West Coast hops. Definitely an improvement on the many Belgian IPAs that have been fashionable these past few years. I do hope this is the beginning of a trend.

Appearance: Orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, rich hop nose, strong citrus, tropical and passion fruit notes
Taste: Smooth malt, strong tang, yeast, notes of grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, citrus rind, yeast bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Deschute Fresh Squeezed IPA

deschutes-fresh-squeezedAs the summer comes to an end, it seems fitting to get in as many seasonal beers as I can before they cease to be available. Might as well since I’m sure to have my hands full with Marzens, Browns, Pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers. So I decided to start my evening with an IPA that once again comes from south of the 49th – Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. I’ve seen it around my local beer store for many weeks now, and thanks to the endorsement from my friend at I think about beer, I finally decided to give it a try.

Though my range of sampling has been limited with Deschutes, I have come to expect a very high standard from them. My introduction came back in 2004 when I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Oregon and he introduced me to some of the local brews. Mirror Pond Pale Ale, their flagship production, just happens to be one of his favorites. And for me, it has come to be represent what brewing in Bend and Portland is all about, or at least a big part of it.

In any case, I found this version of an India Pale Ale to be quite faithful and very pleasant to drink. Pouring a deep orange color, the beer is clear and has a relatively good head. Citra hops are clear on the nose and come through especially well on the tongue, and the addition of the Mosaic hops add an added dimension of rich tropical flavor.

Appearance: Deep orange-amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good citrus and floral hop aroma, tropical fruits
Taste: Immediate hop burst, citrus and pineapple, mango and passion fruit
Aftertaste: Lingering tropical, mild sugars and sweet malt
Overall: 8.5/10

All in all, its quite the delicious beer, consistently hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. Not a bad intro to the Deschutes Seasonal lineup, or their Bond Street Series. No doubt, I am going to take this as an invitation to start cruising their other products. But when did I ever NOT want to drink more of what a brewery has to offer?

Tuatara Double Trouble Extra-Dimensional APA

tuatara_logoQuite the mouthfull, isn’t it? Well, believe me when I say that nothing about this beer seems tame or conventional. In addition to a label that is designed to look like something that requires 3D glasses, this New Zealand brew and its patrons were clearly going for something overwhelming, yet nuanced, powerful, yet balanced.

Tuatara_DoubleTroubleAnd the style, IAPA, I can only assume means Imperial Australian Pale Ale, or possible Imperial American Pale Ale. Hard to say. All I know is, given its strength, maltiness, and extreme hoppy profile, this beer is essentially an Imperial IPA with a big twist!

But I digress… This beer came highly recommended from one of my buds at the beer store. Weighing in at a heft 9% alc/vol, and loaded with hops to the point that it ranks at a stunning 167 IBUs (most IPAs rank between 40 and 80). The varieties include Pacific Jade, Nelson Sauvin, and Simcoe hops to bitter the beer, then Zythos late in the boil for flavour and aroma, and then more Nelson Sauvin for the first dry-hop, followed by more Simcoe and Zythos a second dry-hop. And the result, as I said, is something truly multi-faceted and powerful, though not overwhelming.

Appearance: Deep orange/amber, cloudy, medium foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Very malty, syrupy nose, massive bouquet of citrus, pine, floral, tropical fruit
Taste: Sweet, slightly coarse malts, citrus fruit and rind, notes of pineapple and apricot
Aftertaste: Lingering bitterness and heavy malt flavor
Overall: 9/10

awards2012poster

Apparently, this brew also won a the silver medal for the 2012 Brewers Guild of New Zealand (BGNZ) Awards. This is just one of several medals collected by the brewery in 2012, but don’t expect them to brag about that much. For as they say on their website, no doubt with much irony: “Awards are just irrelevant wank for beer snobs. But dammit, somebody’s got to win them!”

My God… can you really say “wank” on a website? Apparently, they can! A good first sampling from this Kiwi brewery, and I will be looking for more. In addition to much foul language, their website would seem to indicate they have a rather full lineup. I will have to go searching for some very soon…