Pacific Northwest - Well it's been another year for the folks in Paso Robles. Another year of selling some pretty amazing beer to the masses. If you were one of those that attended a Firestone Walker dinner, brewers night, or tasting, then we don't have to remind what FW means.
Those on the other hand that have had their first Double Barrel or Velvet Merlin, are probably curious why people love this brewery so much. For this writer, it's not only the regular lines of beers, but their limited edition releases. From the Parabola or Abacus to the Nectar Ales Black Xantus, it's not hard to appreciate these guys.
With that, we are happy to announce the next in the Anniversary series of beers from Firestone Walker. Anniversary 14, is the latest in the barrel-aged, blended, ales that we have come to enjoy since their "10" (tenth anniversary ale), was released back in 2006.
As with previous years Brewmaster Matt Brynildson along with a small group of winemakers and industry experts gather at the table and sample a wide selection of barrel-aged components.
“Our contribution to the extreme side of craft brewing has been to bring winemakers into the process,” Brynildson said. “It’s a fantastic education for us to use the incredible palates of these winemakers to learn about our own beer.” –source, Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Included winemakers featured returning guest Matt Trevisan of Linne Calodo, Brock Waterman from Brochelle Vineyards, Steve Martell of Kaleidos, and Eric Jensen of Booker Wines. New to this year's wine panel was Kevin Sass of Justin Vineyards & Winery.
Noted guest from around the beverage industry included; Justin Crossley of the Brewing Network, Tom Griffin (who provided the bourbon barrels used by Firestone Walker), and Ari Litman. Co-Owners Adam Firestone and David Walker also were in attendance for the first time, to see the process in action.
Throughout the process, blenders sampled familiar beers like Parabola and Velvet Merlin (formerly Velvet Merkin) as well as rarer brewery only beers like Bravo and Double Double Barrel Ale. Additionally the group experimented with two new barleywines, Good Foot & Sticky Monkey.
“Our Anniversary blend has always been a moment of indulgence for our brewery and for our friends who drink our beer,” Walker said. “It’s also a time to reflect on a frantic year of brewing ... as we endeavor to answer the growing interest and following for carefully crafted beers.” –source, Firestone Walker Brewing Company
One can say that every year that the Anniversary Ale is released, it's a confirmation of the quality that is put out by the brewery. One only has to see the numerous medals the brewery has brought home from such institutions like the Great American Beer Festival, where they won six medals and their mid-sized brewery of the year award, for the third time in a row (given at the World Beer Cup).
Look for Firestone Walker's 14th Anniversary Ale to arrive on the shelves and on draft in limited supply. This is not a beer to think on, so hurry and get out there!
For more analysis regarding what comprises this year’s edition of Anniversary, read Beernews' expanded coverage of this ale.
About Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Firestone Walker Brewing Company was founded in 1996 and is located in Paso Robles, Calif. The brewery prides itself in producing the world’s finest pale ales to a regional market. Firestone has been awarded Best Mid-sized Brewery honors at both the 2003 and 2007 Great American Beer Festivals as well as Champion Mid-sized Brewery at the 2004, 2006 and 2010 World Beer Cup competitions.