PASO ROBLES, Calif. — With an infusion of freshly toasted coconuts and a touch of seasonal sorcery, Brewmaster Matt “Merlin” Brynildson has conjured up Coconut Merlin—a uniquely flavored brew for fall and winter.
Coconut Merlin is now available at all Firestone Walker locations and begins rolling out next week in draft and 12-ounce can (six pack) formats to all Firestone Walker markets as a limited seasonal release.
Coconut Merlin is the newest iteration of Firestone Walker’s signature “Merlin” milk stout. After rendering the beer as Mocha Merlin for the past two years, Brynildson and his team decided to change it up for 2019.
“Coconut and Merlin milk stout go together like peanut butter and chocolate,” Brynildson said. “Toasted coconut really complements the roasty, nutty character of this beer. It’s a perfect sipper for the fall season.”
The coconuts are procured, shredded and toasted in nearby Santa Barbara County. “The coconuts are freshly shredded and toasted for each batch we make, which keeps the flavors really vibrant in the can,” Brynildson said. “The toasting really brings out the best flavors from the coconut, much like toasted and roasted malts deliver rich, complex flavors.”
The coconut addition comes after fermentation, with the new beer circulating through the shredded coconuts prior to final clarification and canning. Meanwhile, the inclusion of milk sugar in the brewing process adds dimension to the mouthfeel and helps knit everything together on the palate.
Said Ali Razi, Firestone Walker’s longtime production director, “We did a trial run on this beer and it was unbelievable—that’s what sealed the deal and prompted us to make Coconut Merlin our seasonal stout release for 2019.”
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Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a pioneering regional craft brewery founded in 1996 and located on the coast of California. 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. For more information: FirestoneBeer.com.