Thursday, March 2, 2017

Beers with Chuck: Parish Brewing's Strawberry Canebrake

by Chuck P

When craft beer enthusiasts think of Parish Brewing Company the first thing that comes to mind is hop juice. Delicious hop forward beers like Envie Pale Ale, Opus Vert, Bloom and the insanely popular Ghost In The Machine are owner Andrew Godley’s specialty. But with his latest release, he’s entered into the fruit beer market with a twist on his classic Canebrake Wheat Ale that is already flying off of supermarket shelves as fast as a 4 pack of GITM.

Ladies and gentlemen, Strawberry Canebrake is here.

Photo courtesy of Parish Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Parish Brewing Company

Back in 2010 Parish Brewing Company exploded onto the local craft beer scene with their flagship wheat ale brewed with Steen’s sugarcane syrup. It quickly became a favorite of craft and non-craft beer drinkers alike and Canebrake tap handles were soon popping up at bars and restaurants around the Lafayette and Baton Rouge area.

A few years later Andrew opened a tap room at the brewery and began playing with different variations of Canebrake that were only available there to get feedback from customers on a possible new variation of the popular brew. One version stood out in particular and was soon a favorite among customers and staff: Strawberry Canebrake was born.

For years Abita’s Strawberry Lager was considered “THE” strawberry beer in Louisiana. Eventually, other local breweries would come out with their own version of the popular strawberry beer, such as Covington Brewery’s Strawberry Creme Ale, to try and compete with the popularity of Abita’s fruit forward lager. Now Parish has entered the ring and it’s not pulling any punches. This deliciously crushable beer is aiming for the title.

From its first pour, the golden honey colored body of the beer shines. There’s just enough of a scent of strawberry on the nose that cuts through and mingles with the honey notes some may get from a regular Canebrake. With my first taste the sweetness of the sugarcane was still present but the strawberry began dance over my palate. 

It’s just sweet enough not to overpower the maltiness which follows through nicely. It really reminds me of what Abita Strawberry was like those first 2 years it was released before it became increasingly sweeter. Parish’s version is a much lighter beer with a perfect balance of malt backbone and sweetness.

Whether you’re heading out to a crawfish boil or one of the many festivals coming up this spring around Louisiana, make sure to pick up a few sixers of Strawberry Canebrake.

To learn more about this delicious brew click on the link below and listen to the Bite & Booze Podcast with myself, Jay Ducote, Blair Loup and Parish owner Andrew Godley.

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