Firestone Walker Launches XXIII Anniversary Ale Blended with Local Winemakers

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — Just as the harvest season was getting underway in the Paso Robles wine country, a boisterous group of local winemakers convened with the Firestone Walker brewing team on September 10 for an annual late-summer rite—the blending of the brewery’s next anniversary ale.

The result is “XXIII”—a limited barrel-aged release that is rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets starting this week.

“Winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, which is why we have sought their involvement ever since making our first Anniversary Ale in 2006,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “XXIII is super elegant and seamless. The component beers just flow together in a way which no single beer could have accomplished.”

Blended to Perfection

XXIII is a blend of six distinct beers aged in spirits barrels, including bourbon and tequila barrels—resulting in a smooth, bold and remarkably complex drinking experience.

To create XXIII, the winemakers were divided into teams for a friendly but spirited contest. Each team was presented with numerous different component beers and tasked with creating the ultimate blend. Hard work and smack talk ensued.

When the session concluded, all of the individual team blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite. The winning blend became the basis for XXIII, commemorating Firestone Walker’s 23rd year on California’s Central Coast.

For the second year in a row, the winning team included Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery, as well as Will Freeman and Phil LaMontagne of TH Estate Wines. They all walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are accorded to the winners each year.

XXIII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee aged in Bourbon Barrels (28%)

Central Coastal Quad

Parabola aged in Bourbon Barrels (28%)

Russian Imperial Stout

Bravo aged in Bourbon Barrels (20%)

Imperial Brown Ale

Bourbon Barrel Helldorado aged in Bourbon Barrels (15%)

Blonde Barley Wine

Velvet Merkin Aged in Bourbon Barrels (5%)

Milk Stout

Tequila Barrel Helldorado aged in Tequila Barrels (4%)

Blonde Barley Wine

About Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker is an innovative California beer company founded in 1996. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings. Firestone Walker is also the force behind the cultural phenomenon known as 805. More at FirestoneBeer.com.

Brewbound Job Board

The leading job board for the beer industry. Featuring hundreds of jobs from leading breweries and associated companies.

Brewbound Marketplace Listing

The Brewbound Marketplace features listings for equipment, services, and more. Post a listing today.

Brewbound's Database of Breweries

Brewbound's database of breweries includes thousands of breweries from around the world.


Beer Events Calendar

A public calendar of events that are happening in the beer industry

View calendar | Post Event
Brewbound Live Winter 2019

Santa Monica, CA ● Dec. 4 + 5, 2019

Register Now
Cannabis Forum Winter 2019

Santa Monica, CA ● December 6th, 2019

Register Now
Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.