Firestone Walker Introduces Old Man Hattan

Most of the time when I’m drinking, I’m drinking craft beer. I sometimes enjoy a cocktail (or even just straight bourbon), and the occasional glass of wine or cider but, for the most part, craft beer is my go to. My enjoyment of good cocktails, bourbons and wines though is likely a big part of the reason I’m such a fan of barrel-aged beers. There’s just something about barrel-aging a craft beer that adds character and a complexity that simply can’t be achieved without the barrel aging.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a master of barrel aged beers and they’ve won many awards over the years for their multitude of barrel aged offerings – particularly those from their Proprietor’s Vintage series. They’ve also become more experimental over the past few years, trying new grains, new hops and new techniques and I applaud their daring and creativity. Now, Firestone Walker is set to release their newest barrel aged experiment: Old Manhattan. This multi barrel aged and blended Ale is designed to invoke the classic cocktails: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

Continue reading

Luponic Distortion No. 13 Uses A New Custom-Grown Hop

It’s been a few years now since Firestone Walker Brewing Company shook things up a bit, discontinuing their popular Double Jack IPA (along with a few other beers) and launching two different series of IPAs: Luponic Distortion and Leo v Ursus. I’ve tried each release from both of these series as they’ve arrived and I’ve enjoyed most of them very much.

I applaud Firestone Walker’s commitment to experimentation, and that enterprising spirit continues with the arrival of the latest beer in the Luponic Distortion Series: Luponic Distortion No. 13. This latest entry in the Luponic Distortion series features a custom-grown experimental hop, grown right here in our own Yakima Valley. According to Firestone’s Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, this new hop adds a distinctive and tropical character to Lucky No. 13.

Continue reading

Firestone Walker Joins The Haze Craze With Mind Haze

Craft beers come in a wide variety of styles, and each style has managed to find its audience. With so many different styles to chose from though, IPA still remains the most popular style of craft beer by far and the New England style juicy/hazy IPA has taken the spotlight over the past couple of years, outselling all other sub-styles of IPA by a wide margin.

Although the juicy/hazy sub-style of IPA was only officially recognized by the Brewer’s Association in March of 2018, by the time the Great American Beer Festival rolled around in September, the “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA” dominated GABF entries.  Juicy/Hazy Pale Ales and IPAs made up 706 entries (Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale: 131. Juicy or Hazy IPA: 414. Juicy or Hazy Double IPA: 161.) compared with 331 entries for the more traditional American-Style IPA.

Many breweries have resisted jumping into what’s come to be known as the haze craze and, in fact, many breweries out there still refuse to make a hazy IPA. Others, like Firestone Walker Brewing Company, have simply been busy with other projects (like their experimental Luponic Distorion series and their Leo v. Ursus series). However, now they’re ready and the time has come. After a year of experimentation and development, say hello to Firestone Walker’s Mind Haze hazy IPA.

Continue reading

Firestone Walker Hits Milestone With 10th Luponic Distortion Release

Back in Spring of 2016, Firestone Walker Brewing Company launched a new series of experimental IPAs under the name Luponic Distortion. Each one has been different. I’ve enjoyed some more than others, but each offering in the series is distinct and unique.

Now, two years later, Firestone has reached a milestone. They’re releasing Luponic Distortion No. 10.  This version uses 7 different hops from 3 continents and, according to Firestone, has a variety of fruity aromas and flavors. Perfect for Summer.  No. 10 also marks a change in the look of the Luponic Distortion cans.  You can see the new look below.

Continue reading

Firestone Lager Returns From Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Ales tend to dominate the craft beer World.  Sure, there are some truly exceptional craft lagers out there but Ales, especially hoppy ones, always seem to take center stage. Even Firestone Walker Brewing Company, who first released Firestone Lager back in the year 2000, has a portfolio dominated by Ales.

Firestone Lager was discontinued back in 2007, mainly due to low demand compared with the plethora of Ales they produce. However, they feel that the craft beer landscape is changing and believe more people are open now to the idea of craft Lagers. So, Firestone Walker is pleased to announce the return of their new and improved version of Firestone Lager.

Continue reading

Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks Releases Bretta Rose Batch No. 005

Are you a fan of sour or wild ales?  Not everyone is and that’s just fine by me.  Fewer fans simply means there’s more for those of us who do enjoy them to drink.  For those who do enjoy them though, we have some breweries here in the Northwest who excel at making incredible sour and wild ales, including Holy Mountain, Urban Family, Engine House Number 9, Cascade and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of Washington (and Oregon) brewed beers, I don’t hide the fact that several of my favorite breweries are, in fact, from California including one of my all time favorites: Firestone Walker Brewing Company.  Firestone’s Barrelworks Wile Ale program has it’s roots all the way back in 2006, when Barrelworks’ Master Blender, Jim Crooks, took a trip to Belgium to work with Lauren Salazar (New Belgium Brewing).  He returned with some dregs from one of their 15 or so Foeders and placed it into a French oak wine barrel of freshly filtered and un-carbonated Firestone DBA. This experiment was the foundation of what would eventually become Barrelworks’/Firestone Walker’s Agrestic Ale.  Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading