Traditional recipes

Firestone Walker XVIII Anniversary Ale Release

Firestone Walker XVIII Anniversary Ale Release

Crack open those pocketbooks as the annual release of Firestone Walker’s XVIII Anniversary Ale is upon us. Trust me, you DO want to spend a few bucks to put some of these bottles into your cellar as they have been among the best aging and complex sippers we here at The New School have experienced. Pasa Robles, California based Firestone Walker takes the annual opportunity to team up with the winemakers in the valley they make home. XVIII—a barrel-aged blend composed of nine distinct component beers, as determined by a friendly yet fiercely competitive blending session attended by 14 winemakers (see full list below). XVIII will be available in select markets across the United States starting in November.

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual rite, with Brewmaster Matt Brynildson enlisting his closest friends in the local winemaking community to help create a beer that is greater than the sum of its parts.

“These winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, so it makes perfect sense to seek their counsel,” Brynildson said. “It’s like bringing in the ninjas.”

The winemakers are paired off and presented with numerous different component beers spanning an array of styles. The pairs are tasked with creating their own preferred blends from among the components. The preferred blends are then presented to the entire group and blind tasted. Individual votes are cast, and the blend with the most votes becomes the basis for the next Anniversary Ale. Russell From and Philip Muzzy of Herman Story Wines are credited with creating the winning blend that became XVIII, granting them possession of the coveted cardboard crown that is awarded to the winning team each year.

“It got pretty competitive this year,” Brynildson said. “There was a lot of smack talk leading up to the session. A few of the winemaker teams were caught stuffing the ballot by creating more than one blend, and there were accusations of performance enhancers leveled against the winners, but it didn’t result in any arrests or suspensions.”

Most of the component beers spent an average of a year maturing in retired bourbon, brandy and whiskey barrels, including two collaboration beers that Brynildson said “we probably won’t see again,” specifically: Ol’ Leghorn, a blonde barleywine brewed with 3 Floyds and aged in new American oak barrels; and Hydra Cuvée, a hoppy hybrid dark ale brewed with Flying Dog and aged in bourbon barrels.

In the end, Brynildson noted that “we got back to a stout-dominated blend this year,” with Parabola and Velvet Merkin constituting more than 40 percent of the final blend. At the same time, several other components layer in a subtle hoppy quality that Brynildson described as “really integrated and balanced.”

THE FINAL BLEND

We blended together 227 oak barrels and nine different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.”– Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 38% of Final Blend

-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 16% of Final Blend

-Blonde Barleywine Brewed with Buckwheat Honey

Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 16% of Final Blend

-Imperial Brown Ale

Stickee Monkee / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 14% of Final Blend

-Central Coast Quad Brewed with Belgian Candi and Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 5% of Final Blend

-Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Hydra Cuvée / Aged in Bourbon Barrels; collaboration with Flying Dog / 4% of Final Blend

-Hoppy Hybrid Dark Ale

Wookey Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 3% of Final Blend

-Black Rye India Pale Ale

Ol’ Leghorn / Aged in new American oak barrels; collaboration with 3 Floyds / 2% of Final Blend

-Blonde Barleywine

Double Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 2% of Final Blend

-Double India Pale Ale

XVIII ABV: 13%

ORIGINS & AVAILABILITY

XVIII is the ninth release in Firestone Walker’s anniversary series, dating back to the release of the inaugural anniversary release called “Ten” in 2006. Over the ensuing years, Firestone Walker has developed one of the craft beer industry’s most extensive barrel aging programs, spanning upwards of 1,500 barrels. Brewing beer with oak barrels has been a pioneering focal point for the brewery since its founding in 1996.

XVIII will be available in select markets across the United States starting in November. The suggested retail price is $23.99 for an individually boxed 22-ounce bottle.

BREWMASTER’S NOTES

“As a finished beer, XVIII is a dark and complex brew full of malt and barrel derived flavors, with Parabola leading the brew into the rich darkness. The beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XVIII is best enjoyed poured carefully into a half filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. As the beer sits and breathes in the glass, rich dark chocolate, toasted oak and dark fruit qualities are revealed, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. I suspect that this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come.”

PARTICIPATING WINEMAKERS

“These are my friends and brothers in fermentation science, and practicing experts in the art of blending.”–Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

· Neil Collins – Tablas Creek, Lone Madrone

· Chelsea Franchi – Tablas Creek

· Justin Smith– Saxum

· Mark Adams – Ledge

· Kevin Sass – Halter Ranch

· Molly Longborg – Halter Ranch

· Russell From – Herman Story

· Philip Muzzy – Herman Story

· Matt Trevisan – Linne Calodo

· Sherman Thacher – Thacher

· Terry Hoage – Terry Hoage Vineyards

· Steve Martell – Kaleidos

· Eric Jensen – Booker

· Brock Waterman – Brochelle

Also thanks to friends Arie Litman and Bobby Fox for lending their expertise to the blending session.

The post Firestone Walker XVIII Anniversary Ale Release appeared first on New School Beer.


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”


Firestone Walker to Release XXII Anniversary Ale

PASO ROBLES, Calif. — A late grape harvest in the Paso Robles wine country this year paved the way for a boisterous group of winemakers to help blend “XXII”—Firestone Walker’s latest barrel-aged anniversary ale.

“Usually by late summer the stress of the impending harvest starts bearing down on our winemaker friends, and some of them can’t make it to our blending session,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Not this year—and the result was one hell of a blend created by one of our largest groups ever.”

He added, “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.”

The Anniversary Ale blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 participants in attendance. The outcome is XXII, signifying the Firestone Walker’s 22nd year on California’s Central Coast.

XXII will be released to all Firestone Walker markets in single boxed 12-ounce bottles for a limited time starting next week. It will debut at all Firestone Walker locations this weekend, starting at the annual Anniversary Party in Paso Robles on November 3. Tickets to the party may be purchased at FirestoneBeer.com.

XXII is a blend of four distinct beers aged in spirits barrels: Stickee Monkee (Central Coast quad, 44%), Parabola (Russian imperial oatmeal stout, 22%), Bravo (imperial brown ale, 22%) and Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 12%).

The primary twist this year is the inclusion of Helldorado aged in rum barrels and gin barrels.

“Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer,” Brynildson said. “It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.”

A unique synergy also emerged in the final blend of XXII. “There’s this distinct marzipan-meets-cherry note that comes from just the right amount of Parabola blended with Stickee Monkee and Bravo,” Brynildson said. “We saw that in ‘10’, our very first Anniversary Ale. That’s the magic of blending—drawing out these flavors that have nothing to do with any individual component.”

To create this beer, the winemakers were divided into teams. Each team created their own preferred blend from numerous components, and then all of the blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite—which became the basis for XXII.

This year, the winning team was helmed by Terry Hoage and Phil Lamontagne of TH Estate Wines Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and longtime brewery friend and master bread baker Arie Litman. This team walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are passed along each year.

XXII: The Final Blend

Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (44%)

OG=27P FG=6.5P IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels (22%)

OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels (7%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels (5%)

OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

“This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, rum and gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making. The journey continues.”