After retiring their Proprietor’s Reserve Series last year (which included one of my all time favorite IPAs, Double Jack), Firestone Walker Brewing Company embarked on two new series of IPAs. First came the Luponic Distortion series, which is currently on version #6 and then came what is probably my new favorite IPA from Firestone Walker, Fortem; the first in their new Leo v. Ursus series.
I’ve been enjoying plenty of Fortem since it arrived in late February. Now, I’m eager to try the next beer in the Leo v. Ursus series: Adversus. It was released at Firestone Walker back on June 10th and should start arriving on Seattle store shelves and taps any day now.
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.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company brews some of my favorite beers. I was dismayed a bit last October when they announced that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series, which included what was probably my favorite IPA of all time: Double Jack. However, I was thrilled earlier this year to learn that they’ll be putting their entire line of Vintage Reserve beers in 12 oz bottles, starting with Bravo.
As sad as I was to see Double Jack go, I’ve really been enjoying Firestone’s Luopnic Distortion Series of IPAs. For those who aren’t familiar with the series, Firestone is brewing a line of IPAs which will all have the same malt bill, but each new iteration will use different hops. The first 4 have already dropped and now, Firestone Walker is pleased to announced the imminent arrival of Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 005.
Now, Firestone Walker is ready for another first. All of Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve barrel-aged beers will be moving from from 22-ounce bombers to individually boxed 12-ounce bottles. The first beer up for the 12-ounce treatment is Bravo Imperial Brown Ale, which is being bottled for the first time in 12 years.
Sometimes, saying goodbye to an old friend can be difficult. While selecting just one beer as my favorite is a virtually impossible task, I do have a few favorites for several different craft beer styles. Firestone Walker Brewing Company‘s Double Jack double IPA, for example, is on my list of favorite IPAs (double IPAs actually). Now, it looks like I’ll have to say goodbye to Double Jack and a few of his brothers. Read on to find out why.
Part of the reason I don’t have a single favorite beer or a large number of set favorites is that new craft beers come out at such a brisk pace these days. It seems you can hardly go a week lately without discovering one or more new beers on tap each time you visit your favorite craft beer bar or even some local breweries. Sure, there are some breweries out there who come out with their set list of beers and hardly ever change or introduce something new, but that approach can seem downright boring next to the plethora of breweries who are constantly coming up with something new. After all, craft beer drinkers are explorers. Most love trying new things, so we don’t tend to fall into the same rut as those who prefer mass-produced American Lagers like Bud or Miller.