‘Tis the season for pints.
Happy holidays! The Parallel 49 and Red Racer Seasons Greetings holiday mixed 24-pack can be found on shelves now, but Santa warns you not to crack your first pint until December 1st or else all your stocking beers will be replaced with shitty coal, which has the mouthfeel of dirt and burnt Yuletide logs.
Thanks to St. Augustine’s, Central City Brewers + Distillers, and Parallel 49 for having us tonight. We were treated to a handful of the delicious, seasonal beers that can be found within this year’s mixed pack.
Parallel 49 Gong Show Belgian Spiced Quad (9% ABV)
This beer has a lot going on. While sometimes complex, interesting, nothing-like-you’ve-ever-tasted-before beers provide an experience that’ll knock your socks off, this one didn’t quite live up to what we were hoping for. The flavours at play were a little too much for me – habanero, orange peel, and chocolate with a toffee finish proved to be a melting pot of tastes that didn’t quite mesh in a palatable fashion. I dug the experience, but wouldn’t order a pint of this one. Nonetheless, props to P49 for trying it out and for using their dominance in the Vancouver craft beer market to try something a little wild for the holidays. I’d recommend this crazy Belgian spicy quad to anyone up for an intense flavour profile, but not to anyone looking for a favourable holiday brew.
Parallel 49 Rock the Bells Cranberry Sour Ale (7% ABV)
Apparently P49’s cranberry infused seasonal beer is a polarizing one. Some folks are liking it a lot and others seem to be a little turned off by the tartness of the cranberry. Personally, I thought it was an awesome beer. The cranberry flavour was more noticeable than the typical sourness found in a usual sour ale and to me, it tasted like the like holidays in liquid form. I’d recommend this one to anyone who’s into sours and likes a little cran in their bevvy.
Red Racer Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor’s Hammer (11.5% ABV)
If you’re ever in the position where you’re like, “I can’t choose between a beer and a whiskey tonight,” then this is the “beer” for you. While it claims to be a hefty 11.5% ABV, something tells me it’s secretly even stronger than this in terms of alcohol content. In fact. St. Augustine’s even served in a dang shot glass… This intense brew is infused to the last drop with an oaky bourbon flavour and finishes with notes of toffee. I strongly recommend Red Racer’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor’s Hammer to anyone who has nowhere to drive in the four hours after drinking it.
Parallel 49 Top O’ the Morning Breakfast Stout (6.5% ABV)
You may have tried Parellelogram (P49 x 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters) a few years back. At least, as sure as hell hope you did because that brew was the beer/coffee hybrid that made the hipsters of Vancouver rejoice. It also has, arguably, one of the coolest beer names in the history of time. Okay…maybe that’s going a little far, but I digress. Anyways, for this year’s rendition, Parallel 49 has teamed up with 49th Parallel (how confusing is that?) to once again create a caffeine-infused pint bomb that has made me cry tears of joy. Is this office approved?
Red Racer Kiwi Sour (6% ABV)
Pretty sour upfront, with a nice kiwi finish. Medium to high level of tartness. I really enjoyed this one, although I’m not sure it fits the Christmas season? Regardless, if you like tropical sour beers, this is right up your alley. A very refreshing beer that I would frequent (fill my glass up, drink, repeat) any time of the year.
Red Racer Wee Heavy Scotch Ale (8% ABV)
A wee too heavy for me…hahaha I’m hilarious. But not really. This beer was full bodied with a strong malt flavour. Tasty but not super memorable compared to the other offerings I sampled from the Season’s Greeting lineup. Solid winter option though.
Parallel 49 Filthy Dirty Grapefruit IPA (7% ABV)
Holy grapefruit Batman! The strong grapefruit flavour masked the hops in this one. A few more sips were needed to pick out the hoppiness. I’ve been a fan of the Filthy Dirty IPA since P49 introduced it, and this radler-esque addition takes it to the next level. Not too mention, for a 7% brew, this is extremely sessionable. Kick off the stockings and enjoy again, and again.
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