This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our newest Canada craft beer guy, Bryan Clegg.  Bryan joins us from VanFoodies and he'll be covering Craft Beer in BC and Alberta.  He kicks it off  this week Todd with a look at Parallel 49's Brews Brothers collaboration project with other BC Craft Breweries.  Welcome Bryan!
Canada's Craft Beer Western: Brews Brothers | Food Bloggers of Canada

The most interesting news in the BC craft beer scene recently was the release of the Parallel 49-led Brews Brothers collaboration mixer pack. It features 12 beers, each one brewed by Parallel 49 in collaboration with another BC brewery. The brewery lineup consists of an old favourite, Storm Brewing, as well as highly regarded upstarts like Dageraad, Yellow Dog, and Steel & Oak.

When I first heard about this pack, you could say I was pretty excited (still an understatement, of course). Strong lineup of BC breweries? Check. Variety of styles? Check. Reasonable price? ($23 after tax!) Check. Basically everything you could ask for in a collaboration pack, hence my decision to buy three cases.

With so many interesting beers to choose from, it would take all day to talk about them all. So instead, here’s a few that I thought stood out:

Hound Dog - Belgian IPA - Parallel 49/Yellow Dog

Canada's Craft Beer Western: Brews Brothers | Food Bloggers of Canada

My favourite style fusion, this Belgian IPA pours gold with a foamy, white head. Followed with a welcoming nose of fruity Belgian yeast that rolls through the taste profile along with some light hoppiness and sweetness. Light to medium body with a 6.0% ABV that hardly registers.

6.0% ABV | Available: BC

House of the Rising Sun - Table Saison - Parallel 49/Dageraad

Canada's Craft Beer Western: Brews Brothers | Food Bloggers of Canada

Saison is a tough style for me. With Belgians or IPAs I tend to enjoy the vast majority of what I drink. But with saison it’s closer to 50/50. That doesn’t mean I don’t like saison -- I really do, just when it suits my particular tastes. For example, there are two saisons in this mixer pack, House of the Rising Sun and Les Portes Du Penitencier. Only the first one floats my boat.

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House of the Rising Sun has a hazy light gold pour and a nice citrus and pepper nose. Taste is pretty even: slight bitterness, sweetness and yeastiness. Crisp finish. Nothing groundbreaking but a solid little saison.

Stone Crazy - Imperial IPA - Parallel 49/Powell Street

Canada's Craft Beer Western: Brews Brothers | Food Bloggers of Canada

Imperial IPAs can be contradictory drinks. Some taste like a glorious hop bomb detonated in your mouth, while others are thick and sweet with a surprisingly reserved hop profile. I tend to love them all, but it’s always fun to guess which personality will show up.

Stone Crazy manages to fall somewhere in between, in my opinion. There is definite hoppiness, but it falls short of being a real hop bomb. And it’s sweet and fruity, but only a little. In fact, the citrus fruit hits more on the nose than in the flavour profile. Sort of a subdued, but still tasty, entry. Dangerous too, as it packs a 9% ABV that you hardly notice.

9% ABV | Available: BC

In summary, I would rate the Brews Brothers mixer pack a success. There’s a good variety of beers that you likely won’t find again elsewhere. Though nothing really rises to the level of true greatness, there isn’t anything particularly bad, either. And at $23, it’s pretty great bang for the buck.

Bryan Clegg is the beer columnist for Bryan has a wide and accommodating palate; whether it’s a tasty low-IBU ale or a ride on the IBU train to Hop Country, he’s happy to drink and share a story about the ride. Follow @vanfoodies on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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