Firestone Walker Releases Nitro Merlin Milk Stout In Cans

It took me a while, but I’ve come around to the can.  I guess I had some bias to overcome.  I grew up in the days when canned beer meant cheap, lousy, American light lagers in cans with pull-tabs that were littered everywhere and a real danger to anyone in bare feet.  Even worse was the so-called innovation of the ‘push button’ top, where you’d have to push one small button on the can to release the pressure, then push the other ‘button’ on the can to open it (leading to many cut thumbs).

With improvements in can design (in both opening and in making sure the contents don’t pick up any metallic taste from the can), you can now find many excellent craft beer in cans.  In fact, many of the more recent beer releases I’ve attended were to acquire beer that comes in cans. Firestone Walker Brewing Company has been canning beers for a while now (including those in their Luponic Distortion series, their Leo v Ursus series and, of course, Mocha Merlin), and now they’re pleased to announced the release of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in cans.

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Firestone Walker Announces Wookus Imperial Black IPA

Back in late 2016, Firestone Walker Brewing Company announced, to the dismay of many craft beer fans, that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series of beers (which included their Opal Dry Hopped Saison, Double Jack IPA and Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA).  Since that decision, however, Firestone has been busy cranking out new beers at a furious pace by way of the Luponic Distortion Series as well as their Leo v Ursus Series.

I’ve really been enjoying the first three releases in the Leo v Ursus Series: Fortem (A worthy successor to Double Jack!), Adversus and Inferos.  Now, Firestone Walker is set to bring back a classic.  Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA has found new life as Wookus, the next beer in the Leo v Ursus Series.

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Firestone Walker Releases XXI Anniversary Ale

I’ve been a Washingtonian for nearly 20 years now.  I love the Washington craft beer scene and the plethora of wonderful craft breweries in the state, but some of my favorite breweries are still from California. One such brewery is Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of Paso Robles, CA.

Each year since their 10th Anniversary, Firestone Walker has released a special Anniversary Ale. They hold an annual blending session, with both brewers and winemakers in attendance, in order to craft the perfect blend for each year’s Anniversary Ale offering.  Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release the latest version: XXI Anniversary Ale.

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Firestone Walker Announces Inferos – The Next Beer In The Leo v. Ursus Series

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.

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Beard And Bine Arrives This Friday From The Lagunitas Seattle Tap Room & Beer Sanctuary

Back in late July, I told you about a special brew day I attended at the Lagunitas Seattle Taproom & Beer Sanctuary. I joined Lagunitas and a whole host of their hop and barley farming partners to brew what would become the first Seattle exclusive beer to come out of the brewery since they took over their space in Ballard from Hilliard’s.

From what I could tell, this was a rather experimental brew with no strictly set recipe.  In the end, it wound up including Caliente, Ron Mexico, and Galaxy hops, giving it a burst of tropical brightness on top of a smooth, blonde, 2-row malted barley backbone.

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Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 007 From Firestone Walker Will Feature Australian Hops

Even before Firestone Walker Brewing Company retired their Proprietor’s Reserve Series of beers (which included their extremely popular Double Jack Imperial IPA), they started experimenting a bit more and coming out with some really unique and delicious IPAs.  By the time Double Jack was gone in late 2016 we were already seeing the 3rd beer in the Luponic Distortion Series and, by early 2017 we got Fortem, the first in Firestone’s new Leo v. Ursus Series of IPAs.

Now Firestone Walker is ready to debut the 7th iteration in the Luponic Distortion Series.  Just released in California and hitting the Seattle market within the next couple of weeks is Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 007, featuring three different Australian hop varieties.

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Firestone Walker Announces Generation 1 IPA – Limited Release

If you want to get noticed in today’s craft beer World, you can’t rest on your laurels.  You’ve got to continue to innovate and keep coming out with new and interesting beers to keep the buzz going.  Firestone Walker Brewing Company understand this and it’s part of the reason they retired their Proprietor’s Reserve Series of beers – which included Opal (Dry Hopped Saison), Wookey Jack (Cascadian Dark Ale) and their wildly popular Double Jack Imperial IPA.

Around the same time they retired the Proprietor’s Reserve Series, Firestone Walker proceeded to release two new series of IPAs: The Luponic Distorion Series (Currently on #6) and the Leo v. Ursus Series (which consists so far of Fortem and Adversus).  Now, Firestone Walker is preparing to release a new,limited-release IPA named Generation 1 IPA.

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Sierra Nevada Partners With Brauhaus Miltenberger To Create The Ultimate Oktoberfest Beer

Images Courtesy Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

I wonder how many young craft beer drinkers today realize that they owe the wonderful proliferation of craft beer in the U.S., in small part, to President Jimmy Carter and his brother Billy.  On October 14th, 1978, spurred on by his brother Billy who was a homebrewer, Jimmy Carter signed a bill into law which allowed homebrewing of beer in the United States. Prior to this ruling, Sierra Nevada founders, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi, had already been homebrewing in California’s Butte County.  When it became legal, however, they decided it was time to go pro and in 1979 Sierra Nevada Brewing Company as born in Chico.

Their first beer was the popular and iconic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, followed soon after by Celebration IPA (now discontinued). Today, Sierra Nevada still brews many excellent and well known beers including: Torpedo Extra IPA, Otra Vez Gose, Hoptimum Triple IPA and, of course, their classic Bigfoot Barleywine plus, of course, their annual Beer Camp series of collaboration beers.  Now Sierra Nevada is ready to release their latest Seasonal creation.  This year, they have teamed up with Germany’s Brauhaus Miltenberger to create the ultimate Oktoberfest beer.

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Are You Ready For The 15th Annual Bend Brewfest?

There are breweries all across the U.S. that are making some truly great craft beers, but I find that I tend to favor those that come from the West coast: Washington, Oregon and California.  I’m sure that’s probably due, in part, to what I guess you’d call regional loyalty.  I live in Washington and grew up most of the way in California.  It’s probably also party due to the fact my first introduction to craft beers was in California were I was drinking stuff from some of the early craft beer pioneers like Sierra Nevada, Mendocino Brewing and Anderson Valley Brewing, just to name a few.

Despite my general West coast preferences, however, please don’t ever ask me to pick a single favorite beer or a single favorite brewery.  It’s just become too difficult with so many great craft beer producers out there today.  There are, however, some breweries in Oregon that are doing some truly amazing work, particularly in the Bend area.  I’m a big fan of Crux, Boneyard and, of course, The Ale Apothecary – who was recently named one of the best 25 breweries in America by Gear Patrol. Also on the list were other West coast breweries: de Garde, Lost Abbey, MonkishSante Adairius & Sierra Nevada.  Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that Seattle’s own Holy Mountain Brewing didn’t make the list.

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Lagunitas Brews Their First Seattle Exclusive Beer

I’ve always enjoyed the beers coming out of Lagunitas Brewing Company.  I even used to live in Petaluma, CA but I moved to Seattle just a few years after they opened and never had the opportunity to visit the brewery there (it was also before I started writing about craft beer).  That’s why I was excited when the news broke last year that Lagunitas would be opening a brewery right here in Seattle – taking over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing.

After a media/friends/family sneak peek, The Lagunitas Seattle Taproom And Beer Sanctuary opened their doors back on January 12th.  At the time, there was a rumor going around that the new Seattle location would be producing some pilot batches of new, unique beers that would only be available in the Seattle market.  Those rumors were quickly confirmed, but no date was set for when those Seattle-only brews would begin.

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