Archive for the ‘Firestone Walker Brewing Co’ Category

This was a beer that I was very excited to give a try and had again after the review during our honeymoon. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “From the crucible of conflict come beers of great intention. The sparring Lion and Bear not only speak to the unorthodox rapport between founders Adam Firestone and David Walker—they also hearken to the heart of our brewery culture, which for 20 years has been forged by often opposing forces in pursuit of the perfect beer. These forces now culminate in Leo v. Ursus, a chronology of beers that shift stylistically with each limited quarterly release. These are bold creations, often hoppy and intense, but always with a native sense of balance. Many also address ‘wish lists’ expressed to us by loyal fans.”

Random: This was on tap at a decent amount of bars in Hawaii.

The beer poured with a three finger, ecru colored head. It took awhile to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow in color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with tropical scents, which reminded me of Hawaii. I picked up pineapple, papaya and grapefruit. The taste was much of the same. It had more pineapple than the nose along with passion fruit, papaya, mango and grapefruit. There was a touch of malt at the end of the sip. The body was on the lighter side for the style with lots of carbonation. It also had a touch of booze. The finish was quick with tropical fruit. A pounder can was $3.50, which came to $.22 per ounce. This was another solid beer from Firestone Walker.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0


One Sunday afternoon, Val and I headed to the local bar and it was a day after their sour event. This was still on tap, so I gave it a shot.

ABV: 5.7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What began as a birthday gift, took on a life of its own. Proprietor David Walker cornered us one day and requested a sour cherry fermented beer for his 50th birthday. Done. A handful were sold at a Liberation, after which our loyal patrons demanded more. Voilà, Krieky Bones Batch #2! This beer begins its life as a Flanders Red style beer aged 24 months in a 2200 gallon French oak foeder. Sour Montmorency cherries are added and allowed a secondary fermentation. The aroma is of cherry pie complete with flavors of pie crust and spicy notes. Vienna malt notes give way to an assertive acidity, and a bright carbonation. A santé!”

Random: This is aged on 100% French oak.

This beer poured with a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a reddish-brown color with a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose was filled with oak and sour cherries. It had some yeast as well. The taste also had a lot of oak and vanilla and sour cherries. Yeast was present along with some white vinegar. The body was medium thick with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with tartness and cherries. I enjoyed this beer, but I thought it would have a lot more depth.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

After I landed, Val and I headed out to our local bar for a late lunch. They have a decent tap list and I hadn’t tried this one yet. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 13.2%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Part of the adventure of aging beer in retired spirits barrels is the synergistic interaction of different malt flavors with the oak and spirit flavors from the barrel. Darker beers like stouts and darker barley wines have typically been the favored candidates for barrel-aging, due to their deeper caramel and roasted flavors. Helldorado breaks that mold with a deep golden color from being brewed solely with English and American pale malts. The bready, honeyed flavors of pale malts pull out rich wildflower honey, vanilla and coconut notes from the oak, creating an overall flavor evocative of bourbon-glazed graham crackers that stands as singularly unique in our Vintage lineup. Helldorado may be lighter in color but it is a full-bodied and densely concentrated sipper at 11.8% ABV.”

Random: I’d be curious to give this one a shot with a few years on it.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a golden-orange with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was really sweet with candi sugar, honey and vanilla with some toasted oak. The taste was also sweet, but complemented with toasted oak. The booze was present, but not overwhelming. The body was thick with a decent amount of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with sugar. I enjoyed this beer a lot, although given the ABV, I wouldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Val is knocked out on the couch while I get through some of this backlog on the blog. Tonight’s beer is one that I was excited to try since I love Firestone Walker beers.


ABV: 5%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by our home town of Paso Robles (Pass of the Oaks). A proper German Märzen bier. Traditional imported malts offer subtle honey-like aromas with hints of Noble hop spice. The stars of this brew are the imported Pilsner and Vienna malts that offer malty sweetness that carry through to the end. German Hallertau hops add rich Noble hop character to balance this exceptional Marzen. True to Oktoberfest custom, this beer only makes its debut in September and October to celebrate the age-old German tradition.”

Random: My knee is really sore. Anytime it rains, it gets creaky.

The beer poured with a two finger, off white head. It went away quickly, but still left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright orange with medium carbonation visible. The nose has warm notes of caramel and toasted mixed nuts. It had a bread crust note as well. The taste had a metal note up front, but it quickly went away. It also had burnt caramel. Bread crust came through next along with a touch of toasted oak. The nuttiness was there as well. It had a light body with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with nuts and oak. A pounder of this was $2.50, which came to $.16 per ounce. This beer was really drinkable and had nice flavor. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I am incredibly sad that “Downton Abbey” is over. I need to find another period drama to replace it. Val said that there is another series on Netflix that is by the same creator as “Downton” and should be good, so I assume we will start it soon. Anyways, beer time.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Originally called Velvet Merkin until we got a case of cold feet, this beer was renamed Velvet Merlin in honor of Bremaster Matt ‘Merlin’ Brynildson, who earned the nickname because of his magical ability to rack up top honors at prestigious beer competitions. Velvet Merlin is a decadent oatmeal stout that will warm your innards on a cold winter night. It offers robust cocoa and espresso aromas with subtle American hop nuances. Rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors accentuate a creamy mouthfeel and dry finish to create perfect balance in this full-bodied stout. ”

Random: This is a Winter seasonal.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black with lots of carbonation visible, despite the color. The nose was filled with milk chocolate and oatmeal. It had some bitterness, but it was also incredibly balanced. There was also some vanilla. The taste was even better. There was milk chocolate and smoke and oatmeal. The vanilla was present as well with toasted almonds. Despite the low ABV, it had an incredibly thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with milk chocolate and oatmeal. A bottle of this was $1.83, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I only have about 6 hours or so before it is officially the weekend. Mine isn’t 3 days, but I definitely need the time away from work. I’m even considering leaving my laptop at work. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewmaster Matt Brynildson went to the mountain and returned with a vision for a different kind of Session IPA, one that would be brewed and dry hopped with a globetrotting selection of new hop varieties from Europe, New Zealand and North America. He foresaw a beer that would deliver massive hop aromas, a signature malt balance and an empty glass before you knew what hit you. And so the newest member of our Jack IPA family was born.”

Random: That’s two Firestone Walker beers in a row.

This beer poured with a thick, three finger, pure-white head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow color with seltzer-like carbonation. The nose was incredibly fragrant with tropical fruit notes. I picked up mango, pineapple and peach along with citrus. Grass was there for the ride. The taste also had a lot of tropical fruit. There was more peach than was in the nose. Mango came through as well, but I didn’t get much pineapple. Earthiness from the grassy hops came through along with sweet, caramel malt. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with tropical fruit and malt. For $2.25 a bottle, this broke down to $.19 per ounce. This is a well-priced, incredibly flavorful session beer. This will be making an appearance in my cooler for the Summer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

After a 14 hour day, I definitely need a beer while I’m waiting for our pizza to heat up. This is one that Val picked up for me that I’ve wanted to try for a long time.


ABV: 5.3%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.”

Random: The Salt-n-Pepa episode of “Lip Sync Battle” was very disappointing. It could be the worst episode by far.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also left a quarter-inch of crown on top of the clear, straw yellow body with heavy carbonation. The nose had floral hoppy notes with some clean malt. There was also a metallic note, which I’ve come to expect from the style. The taste was really clean with lemon hops, biscuit and pilsener malt. There was also grass present with floral notes. The metallic note wasn’t there, which I appreciated. The body was thin with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grassy hops and light malt. This was $2.25 a bottle, which broke down to $.19 per ounce. Regardless of price, this was an outstanding beer and one of the best of the style that I’ve had. I’m not a fan of the style, but I could drink this beer all day long and would search it out. I’ll be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0