Here comes Ol’ Leghorn, a swaggering rooster of a beer made by Nick Floyd of 3 Floyds Brewing Co. and Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, old friends of nearly 20 years who both cut their brewing teeth in the mid 1990s Chicago craft beer scene.
Ol’ Leghorn was initially brewed by Floyd and Brynildson during last year’s Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest. In a shout-out to Firestone Walker’s and Nick Floyd’s mutual English heritage, this blonde barleywine was brewed with traditional English ale malting varieties—Golden Promise and Optic base malts—with no specialty malt added.
The beer was then racked to a combination of retired bourbon barrels and new American oak wine barrels for aging at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. In fearless 3 Floyds fashion, another batch of dry-hopped Ol’ Leghorn was recently brewed for blending into the aged beer, to add a fresh, hoppy layer to the more intense spirits barrel and oaky character of the initial batch.
The result is a staggeringly hoppy blonde barleywine that will first be unveiled at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest in Paso Robles on Saturday, May 31. Additionally, 22-ounce bottles will be available for purchase (six bottle limit per customer) at Firestone Walker’s Brewery Store on Sunday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m., with very limited market release later in the month. Ol’ Leghorn is meant to be consumed fresh in its youth, and vigilantly cold stored in the meantime.
The name Ol’ Leghorn is a nod to Old Foghorn, the original iconic American barleywine made by Anchor Brewing, by way of Foghorn Leghorn, the wisecracking Looney Toons rooster.