On March 3, Parallel 49 Brewing hosted a launch party for the third instalment of their Brews Brothers collaboration pack. The Brews Brothers mantra is to bring Parallel 49 together with other fantastic craft breweries to brew some truly unique beers. This year’s pack brought the entire West Coast together, featuring four breweries from four different US states – 49th State Brewing (Anchorage, Alaska), Gigantic Brewing (Portland, Oregon), Green Flash Brewing (San Diego, California), and Scuttlebutt Brewing (Everett, Washington). The last two Brews Brothers packs featured some really interesting beers, so I was excited to see what these collaborations with some great US breweries had in store.
One of the neat things about Brews Brothers is that each rendition has a different theme that draws inspiration from the music industry. Last year’s box was designed like an amp, with each beer taking it’s name from a classic rock song (ex. Purple Haze – Black Currant Sour). Brews Brothers Vol. 3 gains some serious street cred with it’s box designed to look like a boombox, and each beer’s name stemming from old school hip-hop.
Due to Parallel 49‘s tasting room undergoing renovations, the launch party was held across the alleyway in their warehouse/barrel room. I hadn’t been in a barrel room before, so it was a cool experience seeing the racks of wooden barrels, previously holding everything from tequila to port, now adding some depth and complexity to great local beers.
Fittingly, the event was hip-hop themed. A DJ was spun the classics while a local graffiti artist recreated the Brews Brothers Vol. 3 logo on a wooden canvas. Mom’s Grilled Cheese served up some delicious eats while the beers were flowing. If you haven’t had a sandwich from Mama’s grilled cheese, you’re missing out!
I was able to sample all four of the new Brews Brothers beers. For three of the four brews, there is a common theme: lots of hops. What else would you expect from West Coast collabs? But this isn’t to say that the beers weren’t balanced…I found them to be very drinkable.
Baby Got Back Hoppy Hefe (6.5% ABV)
Holy smokes. This beer is damn good. Spice and banana flavors up front, complimented by a nice hop bite and mild bitterness throughout. The finish is that of subtle grapefruit. Baby Got Back is cloudy and dark yellow in color – a beautiful sight indeed. This is the first hoppy hefeweizen I’ve had, and it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed this remix of the more classic hefeweizen style. Parallel 49 and Scuttlebutt hit it out of the park with this one.
Blazing Arrow ‘Tawny’ IPA (6% ABV)
A full-bodied IPA that has some delicious hop flavor, with a light bitter aftertaste. Blazing Arrow is a very well-balanced IPA that I would describe flavor-wise as more of a pale ale. The copper color is a nice touch!
What’s Golden ‘East Meets West’ IPA (6.5% ABV)
Another deliciously balanced IPA. Luke and I were told that this beer features an insane amount of dry hopping, which definitely adds to the character of this brew. What’s Golden is my top pick from Brews Brother Vol. 3.
Gettin’ It ‘Northern Farmhouse’ Style (7%)
I’m not sure what to think of this beer. I was expecting a really funky tasting ale but got more of a lager taste. This was the last of the four Brews Brothers beers that I tried so I honestly think my pallet was destroyed from the three hoppy beers I had earlier in the evening. I’m looking forward to trying it out of the bottle to see if I get a different result!
Thanks again to Parallel 49 for inviting us to the Brews Brothers Vol. 3 Launch party. It was an absolute blast to get a sneak peak of this year’s release and to hang out with some equally excited people. Brews Brothers is currently available at Government and select private liquor stores, so make sure to grab a pack before they’re gone.
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