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Thread: 2020 Beer Advent Calendar Review: Parallel-49

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    Default 2020 Beer Advent Calendar Review: Parallel-49

    So begins the thread for Parallel-49's 2020 Advent Calendar of Beer. For those who don't know, I did a Beer/Advent thread in 2019 based on the one available at Costco. The link is here and it was well-received, which was nice. I really wanted to do another like that, but 2020's Costco Advent Calendar was very different and in very short supply. It did not feature a variety of beer from all over Canada and they hardly made any of them. I think they sold out in September!
    In fact, I couldn't find any beer advent calendars anywhere and started to worry until good old Willow Park Spirits came through. I bought this one and it is from Parallel-49 which is right on the cusp between the used needles and the $coffee$ in East Vancouver.
    All the beer will be made by them and that's going to make it a lot different from last year. They have made some quite successful and popular beer over the years; but, they have also really put some liquid-shit-in-a-glass, so i don't expect smooth sailing in the next 24 days. Which is fine! I am happy for the opportunity to try items I never would have purchased six of during our short Christmas season.
    Vancouver = West Coast and The Wet Coast seem to have convinced themselves that hops need hops on their hops while playing hop-scotch without scotch... With hop sauce. So, me gots a feelin that there is going to be a few of those in the mix. We shall soon see.
    Let's get it on!!

    20201116_183229.jpg
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 12-01-2020 at 07:43 PM.

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    Day 1: Hurricarana IPA
    Comin out swinging with a 6.4% strong beer complete with dumb name to kick off this no-remember-December!
    It smells bad (overly hoppy) and is an unsettling orange~ish colour, so I am worried, both for this beer and what else Parallel-49 will have in store for me over the next 3+ weeks.
    20201116_183431.jpg
    Well, hello! It's still bitter, overall, but there simply has to be some sort of pineapple and/or orange juice in this to sweeten it up and balance it out. Only a tiny bit, though. I'm not calling this a radler. The result is just about good enough to order at a bar. Actually... I think I would given that it's chock full of sweet, sweet alcohol.
    You see, I'm like a chocoholic, but for booze! You've heard how chocoholics just can't seem to get enough chocolate crammed down their throats? Well, I'm a bit like that too - but for booze!

    Please play along if you have the same calendar. Argue, agree, +Rep, whatever!

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    Day 2: Tiger Tanks Dark Wheat Ale

    Dark dark red. This does not seem like a wheat beer, at all. More like a black lager tricked an unsuspecting brown ale into humping it. Since Black Lagers are good (when not being sexual predators) and Brown Ales are pretty good - this beer is pretty good! Lots of head. Caramel but not sweet. Toasty and a bit nutty, but not in that Austin Powers kind of way.
    I would drink this, again. I feel strongly that winter/Christmas beers should be robust and dark or maybe thick and complicated, or something along those lines. This is a good teaser towards that, without smashing your Jerk Face with a broken hunk of concrete. (That's marginally funny because Jerk Face is one of this company's popular beers. Don't laugh - it's weak).

    Screenshot_20201202-195532_Gallery.jpg
    It's looking like all these beers have this labeling like they're wrapped presents. I suppose that's pretty neat. Not off to a bad start, Parallel-49!
    *tips hat

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    Day 3: Alekaku Belgian Pale Ale
    Stupid name. Almost flat lack of carbonation. Soapy taste. Hoppy without balance. Smells overly floral like a star gazer lily that you're allergic to. This beer is shitty.

    Screenshot_20201203-192836_Gallery.jpg

    It's not terrible, but I'm finding myself trying to find some redeeming qualities about it and it's just not happening. Disappointing.

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    what's with belgians? they are they the way they are?
    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    If there is one thing I know for sure. ES has no Aspen goals

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    what's with belgians? they are they the way they are?
    Good question. I don't know.
    But as I say that, I can picture myself drinking 6 Hoegaarden followed by 6 Stella followed even by 6 Leffe before before I'd want more Alecrapu in my mouth.

    Although... I think I accidentally drank 15 Stella's at a Serbian wedding one time and the next day was a "I'm never going to drink again" day.
    Serbian weddings... Don't get me fuckin started! I've never kissed so many people in my combined life or spent that much time standing in a church. If that country isn't one mass grave of CoVid victims, we should be looking for the cure there. It was like a receiving line to kiss every single person in the wedding party and their parents - after the 343 people in front of you already did!

    Insert Russian Gypsy joke.
    Mic drop.
    Sprint from scene!!

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    Day 4: All Seeing Eye Black IPA
    Remember that thing I said about West Coast? We are drowning in IPA up in here. Give it a fucking rest, Boys.
    This one is decent. Darker than coon shit at midnight, and a light blaze of alcohol at 6%. I believe there is coffee in this beer (not that I could tell from the ingredients, because apparently that's none of my business). Coffee in beer has been an insane surprise benefit in the past, but it's not a giant treat in this instance. There is also something about an attempted sweetness added. I want to say there's a hint of a natural sugar like beet sugar? Probably not literally an added sugar, but something sweet had been thrown in, I think.

    Screenshot_20201204-190803_Gallery.jpg

    Meh, it's an interesting experiment but I don't think this is opening anyone's third eye. It doesn't speak to me like the chorus to the verse.

    Edit - no one will ever know why this second fucking attachment will never go away no matter what I do.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 12-04-2020 at 08:11 PM.

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    Day 5: Undulator Double IPA
    Oh look... It's an IPA! Another shockingly flat beer. A very off-putting colour looks like precisely like a sick piss.
    For a 7.8% it tastes like a 5, so that's amazing. There will be days where I am rushed and can't write a dissertation and this is one of those days.
    This beer is not worth a dissertation, anyway.

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    Day 6: Paper Plane Yuzu Ginger Radler
    Radler? A radler is not a beer. Fuck off! Oh and I've always been telling myself that if I'm thinking about a beer but I get tricked into a radler, it better have a big dominating, woody ginger flavour! Gross. 3.5% ripoff...
    I feel like I just picked what was supposed to be a vanilla caramel chocolate from the giant Purdy's box and it turned out to be the one with the piece of fresh ginger in it. You know that feeling? You actually start writing the "Dear Purdy's" letter in your head while you try to figure out where to get some anthrax to include with the letter.
    Like, why trick people into a gross thing by making it seem like it's going to be a delicious thing?
    This radler really isn't putrid, but the ginger is a deal breaker. I'm honestly shocked and disappointed that this wasn't extremely good because Parallel-49 is the company that makes Tricycle Radler. When that was released, it was sold out for months! It was like the Bud Light Lime level of popular*.
    *But within the micro brew community. Why didn't they just put a Tricycle in here?

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    IPA is blech

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    Day 7: Square One Waffle Pale Ale
    OK, so we're talking about waffles. Can't talk about waffles without syrup and we be in Canada, so you can't talk about syrup unless it's maple. This beer should taste like Sap Vampire. Does anyone remember Sap Vampire? It was a beer from the old Amber Brewing Company located in what was probably still technically Ritchie in Edmonton. In that weird industrial region North of 99th Street, but South of the train tracks. Near Cessco. No?
    Well, they were a thing. I strolled in there one hot afternoon because I was giving hand jobs over at the tracks, 15-bucks a man! I needed a break and a cold beer and I sat in one of their preposterous chairs and enjoyed an ice-chip-cold Sap Vampire. It was delicious. The owner was working there and he mentioned flunking out of engineering school and then he literally offered me a job to try and get their production streamlined! It would have been easy because they were about as streamlined as the windshield on a Jeep Wrangler and the facility was enormous, so they actually had tremendous production potential. But, I was happy with the various methods I had at the time to keep current on my financial obligations.
    Sap Vampire was a beautiful ale with a healthy dose of thin maple syrup that pushed it into the sweet zone, but not insulting.

    Screenshot_20201207-212919_Gallery.jpg

    Surprisingly, Square One Waffle Pale Ale does not taste like that. Not really, at all! It tastes really toasty. You know how a Dunkel tastes? Well, it tastes like that but it also tastes like someone poured about 4oz of Innis And Gunn into your toasty Dunkel.
    This is good. And, it's about fuckin time because I just saw the receipt for this Advent Calendar and apparently it was $82 which was starting to piss me off.

    Amber Brewing went out of business, BtW...
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 12-07-2020 at 10:32 PM.

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    Day 8: Word To The Wise Dry Hopped Saison.
    Lots of that floral taste similar to Hoegaarden. But boring... Not special.
    It's not a disagreeable beer, by any means. But it should be special and it's not.
    Apparently this will be a quick review compared to some others.

    Note that I also purchased the Phillips Space Case but because it only has 12 cans, I haven't started it, yet.
    I'm getting pretty tempted to get into that one and figure out how stretch it out until Xmas.
    Stay tuned.

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    Day 9: Planetary Local Blonde Ale
    A light beer at only 4.2% boozohol. Holy shit, it has carbonation! Many of the previous ones have been mysteriously close to flat.
    And, it's hoppy - what a fucking surprise!
    So, what's a Planetary Local? Or is it named after a Local Blonde? Is this local blonde a raging whore? A miserable bitch with a sandy vag?
    Do they know the difference between a blonde and a Kit-Kat? I do...

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    Day 10: Down To Ride, RosŤ Farmhouse
    The label is pink and RosŤ is the least stupid part of the name. I'll bet you a hundred bucks I should pour this straight down the sink and never wonder how awful it actually was. No takers?
    Fuck... It's the colour of cream soda and precisely the same type of zero-foam carbonation. It doesn't stink, so that's a pleasant surprise. Maybe it's not awf - oh shit, it is.

    It's not a beer. It's a cider that someone poured into a dirty glass that still had a teaspoon of beer in it. Gross!
    Stupid! Gimmicky! Nonsense! Let's check the label to see what the Hell is in this to make it so not-a-beer...
    ....

    ....

    Hmmmmm... The label has nothing about ingredients. That's handy! Wow, there is a pile of alcohol in it and no burn, so congrats. 2.5 out of 10.
    This beer sucks Ellen Page Balls.

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    Day 11: Thunder Dungeon Red IPA
    Holy Kraken this beer smells so awful, I'm concerned that has gone bad! Please don't be awful. Please!!!
    Calling it red seems wrong. It's a pretty colour, but I wouldn't call it red. It looks a lot like maple syrup, which is pleasant.
    Well, it's another IPA, le shock and le awe!!! But there's nothing really wrong with it. Not worth me running it down for several paragraphs but also not worth pumping up...
    The labels all being essentially the same drown my desire to include neat pictures.
    Screenshot_20201211-185031_Gallery.jpg
    Almost half way through!
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 12-11-2020 at 07:51 PM.

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    Day 12: Mr. Needles Fir Pale Ale
    Dumb name. So they must have literally put a bunch of fir branch shoots into this beer somewhere along in the production process. The flavour is dominant and immediately very off-putting. Then you realize it's really not ruining the overall experience and that is quite something. I'm blown away that something with such a concentrated, unwholesome, foreign flavour kept sneaking down my gullet hole without much protest.
    This beer is an elephant that sneaks up on you. Let me explain... Years and years ago, I got to go to an event at the Edmonton Zoo and learn about their elephant named Lucy as well as literally enter her enclosure and even feed her. (This was before one of the foremost experts in pachyderm behavioral needs named Bob Barker had spoken against this elderly elephant's living situation). But I digress... So you mash up a bunch of Corn Flakes into a very large ball of peanut butter and wait for the staff to say that you can help feed Lucy. Well, I shouldn't need to tell that Lucy is fucking inconceivably enormous and paying extremely close attention to you because she wants that sweet, sweet PB & Flakes. She's the elephant in the room and she's also smart as shit. While you're listening to the zoo staff tell you all about whatever, before you know it, an elephant has crept up upon you (from the front) without you realizing a thing and is now snuffling around your hands for that food. An elephant can sneak up on you!
    You'll want to say that the flavour is like Pine-Sol or overly lemon or waxy or like tree sap and bad gin... But you're wrong. You can't put your finger on it, but it's just not a chemical flavour, at all. There's something really clean, crisp and natural about the flavour, even though you might still not like it.
    And then the beer is gone and you realize it wasn't much to complain about. Weird!
    They should have called it Piney The Elder.

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    Day 13: Disco Friends Catherina Sour
    Flat. First sip and nearly bailed. It's terrible in sooooo many important ways!! Why!!!!!???
    This is the flattest beer of the flat beers. Trying so hard to finish.
    Can't finish. Unforgivable!! How do I get my money back?!

    Screenshot_20201213-170230_Gallery.jpg

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    This advent calendar sounds awful

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    This advent calendar sounds awful
    It's not looking promising! Maybe about 35% decent, but still at zero for "WOW this is awesome, get in my belly!!"

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    Day 14: Double Dare Helles Bock
    It's good!! Still a touch flat but no foul smell. Normal colour, which is weird because I was picturing something darker for a Bock. Strong 6.5% but no burn. I really like it. It seems way more European and way less West Coast.
    Its name isn't stupid, either... I wonder if I'm onto something with their nomenclature/suckness ratio?
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 12-15-2020 at 08:29 PM. Reason: way, not "easy"

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