Firestone Walker Planning For Expansion in 2012

There is a reason why Firestone Walker was named the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival — these guys can innovate.

While their core offerings like Pale 31, DBA and Union Jack are all excellent examples of hand-crafted ales, it’s their Proprietors Reserve series that makes beer geeks giddy.

And in 2012, the brewery has a few new additions that should give the connoisseurs something to talk about.

The beer formerly known as Abacus will be re-released under a the clever ┬ºucaba name — Abacus backwards.

“It’s our tongue and cheek way of making light of the situation,” said brewery spokesperson Tim Miller.

The ‘situation’ occurred back in April, when Firestone Walker was asked to change the name after ZD Wines approached them about a trademark for a wine with the same title.

Two new beers will also see the light of day — Double DBA, which was created specifically to blend in the most recent Anniversary offering (XV) will make an appearance in 22 ounce bottle.

“It’s a beer that we started making three years ago and was actually created by our Cellar Master Ali Razi,” said Miller. “It’s similar to the DBA recipe with a lot more of the ingredients and the alcohol is higher.”

Double DBA checks in over 10 percent and will hit shelves on July 15th of 2012.

Firestone will also be releasing a new beer, Wookey Jack. Miller was unsure on the release date but did confirm that the beer is an unfiltered black rye IPA.

“Matt (Brynildson) wanted to do a little twist on the Black IPA,” said Miller. “People have been wanting us to create a black IPA and he had been wanting to brew a rye IPA. We thought it would be an interesting take on both styles.”

For fans that just can’t wait to get their hands on these new brews, Miller also confirmed that Velvet Merkin, which is the 100 percent bourbon barrel-aged version of Velvet Merlin, will be released as soon as keg labels are approved. This beer will be available on draught only in very limited amounts.

The brewery is also in the process of building a new restaurant, in addition to their existing location in Buellton, CA. The buildout is projected to be finished sometime in April will begin an expansion.

“The expansion will be on the brewhouse itself,” explains Miller. “We will be adding to it to make it more efficient.”

I guess being the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year has its perks.

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