Paso Robles, Calif. — In the tradition of innovation in brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. created their “Anniversary Series” to make and blend a variety of barrel aged beers. The program saw its first finished product in 2006 with the release of ’10’, which marked the company’s 10th anniversary.
Now Firestone presents ‘14’ and the process remains much the same; Brewmaster Matt Brynildson and a handpicked panel of winemakers and industry experts sit down together to taste and blend 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.”
The winemakers included returning champions Matt Trevisan ofLinne Calodo, Brock Waterman of Brochelle Vineyards, Steve Martell of Kaleidos and Eric Jensen of Booker Wines. Newcomer to the panel, Kevin Sass of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, joined them.
Joining the talented stable of local winemakers Justin Crossley, of the Brewing Network, Tom Griffin, who provides many of the bourbon barrels used by Firestone Walker and Ari Litman sat in on the blending. Co-owners Adam Firestone and David Walker also joined Matt and the winemakers for the first time to get a look at the process.
To put together 14, the blenders had their pick from Firestone favorites like Parabola and Velvet Merkin as well as rarer beers like Bravo and Double Double Barrel Ale. They also tried and used two new barley wines, Good Foot and 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.”
The anniversary beer tops off an incredible year for the brewery, which won six medals at the Great American Beer Festival and was named mid-sized brewery of the year, for the third time, at the World Beer Cup.
14 will be available in 22oz bottles and very limited draft starting the 6th of November in select markets across the country. Production is limited so get it while it lasts.
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.