Coruscatingly creative

While the latest edition is still at the printer’s, we took a quick look inside: in the 2/15 magazine. And it was well worthwhile! We don’t want to post any spoilers here, but nor did we want to keep what we saw all to ourselves either. For instance, there’s an article about the Parallel 49 Brewing Company, which we found fascinating. We’re reporting the salient facts about it here already, and there’ll be more about it in the next magazine.

Within just two and a half years, the Parallel 49 Brewing Company (P49) in Vancouver has rocketed from zero to an annual output of 20,000 hectolitres. Five friends had joined forces and in March 2012 opened the microbrewery in the Eastside industrial/residential mixed district of Canada’s Pacific metropolis. The name refers to the 49th Parallel, which since 1818 has essentially formed Canada’s 6,404-kilometre-long southern border with the USA. The founders wanted to express that the states on both sides of this line, in Canada and in the USA, were being targeted as future customers for their beers. Through a sales partner, P49 already has possible access to 32 states in the USA, of which 15 are actually being supplied. P49 is also being drunk in Canada’s eastern province of Ontario, and in Alberta as well, Canada’s equivalent of Texas. The same parallel, by the way, likewise runs through Regensburg and Neutraubling, home to Krones.


The substantive goal behind setting up the new brewery, of course, was to create out-of-the-ordinary beers: a cold-fermented mixture of Indian Pale Ale and lager is Hoparazzi, a very hop-heavy Indian Pale Lager with 50 bittering units, produced with a late hop strike and dry hopping, or the Gypsy Tears (a red ale), which is now the flagship brand, accounting for more than a third of total sales. Other creations have included Old Boy, a brown ale (“that was the most boring one,” says a critical Scott Venema as an aside) or the Seed Spitter, an unfiltered wheat beer in the Belgian style with water melon.

Now it was high time for an “authentic bottle filler”, which in the form of a Kosme labeller-rinser-filler monobloc went into operation during the summer of 2014. “Kosme offers the perfect size for micro-breweries. And the way we’re growing, we’re going to be installing a Krones filler next.” P49 uses two different container sizes, a 341-millilitre-non-returnable-bottle for the “standard” products and a 650-millilitre-non-returnable-bottle for specialty beers. “Changing over to a different bottle size used to take four hours. With the Kosme monobloc, we can do it nowadays in 45 minutes during the lunch break,” explains Sleeman. “We have very few standstill times overall.”

During the installation work, Krones did a fantastically supportive job for P49, says Mike Sleeman. If any difficulty was encountered, it got solved. “Krones will definitely be right at the top of the list when we expand,” avers Sleeman. “What’s more, the service Krones offers is simply incomparable. For me as a packaging mechanic, this is a wonderful machine,” he enthuses. “It’s a work of art. We can unreservedly recommend Krones and Kosme for the craft brewing industry.”

When it comes to creating new beers, the P49 crew follow their instincts. And: there are no rules. “In autumn, the Canadians have a love affair with pumpkins,” explains Graham With. “So of course we brew a pumpkin beer.” This is called “Schadenfreude”, and is an Oktoberfest lager featuring pumpkin purée. “Tricycle“ is a “grapefruit shandy” with an abv of 3.5 per cent. “Salty Scot” is brewed using whiskey malt and sea salt. The “Ugly Sweater”, like you get from your aunt at Christmas, is produced with an admixture of lactose. And the “Banana Hammock” wheat beer really does taste of bananas. “Braggot” and “Russian Imperial Stout” are matured for ten months in oak whiskey casks. Meanwhile, P49 has more than 30 different beers in its range, though not all of them are continuously available.

Well, are you curious? Then you should request the magazine right here, so as not to miss out on a single issue in the future.

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The story of Parallel 49 | Dead Famous Hive Mind at 27. April 2015

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