Firestone Walker Brewing Company puts out some truly exceptional beers. Their Proprietor’s Vintage Series (which includes beers such as Bravo, Parabola, Stickee Monkee and more) can’t be beat and they make some excellent IPAs as well. Their Double Jack Imperial IPA used to be my favorite (determined through repeated blind tastings) but, in late 2016, they decided to retire their Proprietor’s Reserve Series of beers which included Double Jack, Opal (a dry-hopped Saison) and Wookey Jack (Black Rye IPA).
I was initially disappointed when Firestone discontinued Double Jack but I later realized that they were merely adjusting to the ever changing landscape defined by all the craft beer enthusiasts out there. Lately, the underlying attitude seems to be that having a few well known beers, even if those beers are excellent and highly rated, isn’t enough anymore. Sure, you’re still respected and people will still think highly of your beers but, if you want to keep that buzz going and stay on the forefront of what’s happening in the craft beer World, you have to keep constantly coming out with something new and exciting.
To that end, Firestone Walker currently has two new series of IPAs on the market. Most recently, we’ve seen the first offering from their Leo v. Ursus Series: Fortem, which I find to be a more than worthy successor to Double Jack. Before they introduced us to Fortem, however, Firestone launched a new series of IPAs known as the Luponic Distortion Series. Each new beer in this series is brewed using the same malt bill, but with different hops each time. Now, Firestone Walker is ready to introduce the 6th beer in the Luponic Distortion Series. Previous beers in the series have featured hops from New Zealand, Germany, the Pacific Northwest and even South Africa. Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 006 features hops from Michigan.
Here is the full press release from Firestone Walker Brewing Company:
Paso Robles, CA: The next release in Firestone Walker’s Luponic Distortion revolving hop series begins rolling out next week with Revolution No. 006—a blend of seven hop varieties led by two hops grown in the up-and-coming region of Michigan.
Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 006 ultimately provides a vivid taste of a unique hop “terroir.”
“This beer showcases what happens when you take two familiar Northwest hop varieties and grow them 2,000 miles to the east,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “The typical piney, dank attributes of these hops are transformed into something much brighter, with a racy citrus quality that adds yet another new layer to the lore of Luponic Distortion.”
Luponic Distortion is not a single beer, but rather an ongoing series of beers that revolves approximately every 90 days. While the base beer always remains the same, each revolution features a different hop blend built around experimental hops, designed to showcase the growing possibilities of pure hop aromas and flavors.
Northwest Meets Midwest
The journey of Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 006 dates back several years, when Matt befriended Nunzino Pizza, founder of Michigan’s Hop Head Farms. They met through mutual Midwest connections, and later toured numerous German hop farms together in 2013.
“These guys are really committed to the German style of cultivation and kilning,” Brynildson said. “Their hops have been on my radar for several years now, and I’ve just been waiting for the chance.”
That chance came when Matt recently brewed a collaboration beer on the East Coast that featured hops grown by Hop Head Farms.
“We had a bunch of their hops on the table, and I was rubbing and smelling them, and the wheels started turning,” Brynildson said. “I was blown away by the different aromas of these familiar American hops when grown in Michigan. Two in particular stood out, and I made a call to Hop Head Farms and was able to secure just enough for the dry hopping of Revolution No. 006.”
The result is a beer that detours from Revolution No. 005’s more tropical tones and into a bright, citrusy grapefruit territory.
“Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 006 is a perfect example of how terroir plays into hop growing, and how it ultimately shapes beer flavor and aroma,” Brynildson said.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a pioneering regional craft brewery founded in 1996 and located on the coast of California. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings. For more information: FirestoneBeer.com.
The Luponic Distortion Series is a great series of beers to explore for any craft beer hop head out there. Since the only difference between each new release in the series is the hop used, it’s almost like going to hop school with each new iteration. Brynildson’s description of how the hops in Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 006 take the typical piney, dank attributes of the typically Northwest hops and transforms them really intrigues me. I’ll be picking up some Revolution No. 006 soon. You should start seeing it by next week on draft, in your local craft bottle shop and everywhere Firestone Walker beers are sold.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.