Firestone Walker Brewing Company has two different series’ of IPAs going right now. First is the Luponic Distortion Series, which is currently in its 7th iteration (featuring Australian hops), and then, of course, they have the Leo v. Ursus Series. Both series take an experimental approach, and they allow Firestone Walker to be constantly coming out with something new and unique – which is the industry trend these days. Innovate or be left behind.
Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 007 arrived just last month and now, Firestone Walker is ready to bring us the next iteration in the Leo v. Ursus Series: Inferos. An unfiltered Rye IPA that’s absolutely jam packed with over 4.7 pounds of Galaxy (and other) hops per barrel, Inferos sounds like a rye loving hop head’s dream. I’ve always been a big fan of beers with rye in the malt bill and Inferos has an almost unheard of 25% rye in the malt bill. With all that rye and all those hops, this sounds like a beer I’ll really enjoy.
Here is the full press release from Firestone Walker Brewing Company:
Paso Robles and Venice, CA: The third release in Firestone Walker’s Leo v. Ursus Chronology is Inferos—an unfiltered imperial rye IPA that is fiery in color, hellacious in hoppiness and loaded with spicy rye goodness.
Inferos (Latin for “underworld”) will be unveiled at all Firestone Walker locations this Saturday, and will roll into Firestone Walker’s national markets for a limited time starting next week. It is brewed with 4.7 pounds of hops per barrel and with a malt bill consisting of 25 percent rye.
“Inferos is a perfect example of how the Leo v. Ursus Chronology has turned our brewing team loose to push the envelope and explore new possibilities,” said Brewmaster Matt Bryildson. “The result is something entirely new from Firestone Walker, and a beer that is perfectly suited for that transition time between summer and fall.”
Inferos marks the third release in the Leo v. Ursus Chronology that was launched in March. The chronology is composed of limited one-off beers released on a quarterly basis. Inferos will land in different Firestone Walker markets at variable times in both draft and 16-ounce can (four-pack) formats. It will be available for a short period before yielding to the next release in the Leo. v. Ursus Chronology.
High on Rye
Inferos features five times the amount of rye malt compared to Firestone Walker’s previous foray into the rye beer universe, Wookey Jack.
“Rye is infamous for being a gummy grain and for causing sticky mashes,” Brynildson said. “We weren’t sure we could pull off a 25-percent rye malt bill, but we did some pilot batches at our Propagator brewhouse in Venice that gave us the confidence to go forward.”
He added, “Rye is known for its spicy or rustic grain characteristic in brewing and baking, and I think it really adds a distinctive personality to this beer.”
The remainder of the malt bill includes ESB from Gambrinus malting, as well as Weyermann Carafa malt. Carafa is a specialty malt that is roasted yet pearled (de-husked) prior to milling, allowing it to contribute deep color without making the beer notably roasty or astringent.
“Carafa malt allows us to get this rich reddish color without the beer becoming sweet and cloying,” Brynildson said. “So we get the color we want while maintaining a clean, dry canvas that allows the rye character to really pop.”
Inferos is massively dry hopped with Galaxy and other Southern Hemisphere hops to ratchet up the intensity scale.
“We’ve long been excited about this idea of brewing a heavily rye-infused beer, and then just hopping the hell out of it,” Brynildson said. “This was our chance.”
He added, “Inferos is our next step in the exploration and experimentation process afforded to us by the Propagator pilot brewhouse and the Leo v. Ursus Chronology. The door of possibilities is wide open.”
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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 Leo v. Ursus Series kicked off this past February with the release of Fortem. New up came Adversus, which has been around since June and is just about gone from store shelves now. Each beer in the Leo v. Ursus Series is a one-off that’s only around for one quarter (about 3 months). When they’re gone, they’re gone. So, if you enjoy Inferos as much as I think I’m going to, then you’d better drink as much as you can before it disappears forever. Inferos was released back on September 16th and should start arriving in the Seattle area by last this week or early next week.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.