It’s hard to believe Firestone Walker is old enough to celebrate its very own quarter-life crisis, but the sturdy little brewery from Paso Robles has managed to age quite well and grow into quite the juggernaut of an award-winning company. To celebrate its quadricentennial, FW has packaged three of its most popular offerings into a 12-pack, four bottles each. Let’s give them each a fresh taste.
Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale – The beer which put Firestone Walker on the map back when people thought the Spice Girls and Los Del Rio were cool. But unlike those acts, this flagship beer has aged incredibly well and remains in good taste. The nose is light on malt and heavy on caramel notes with toffee, brown sugar, and a little bit of earthy hops towards the finish. It’s a consistent and well-balanced barrel finished ale with no overpowering oak influence. 5% abv. B+
Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA – Lots of tropical fruit on the nose here, with a bit of spice and honey, but nothing attempting to dominate. The palate is quite malt-heavy with a wave of pine resin and bitter hops towards the end. It’s a well balanced west coast IPA that never lets its guard down. And the kick up in abv is a most welcome one. 7% abv. A-
Firestone Walker Pivo Pils – Bready and malt on the nose with a mild trace of hops and spice. It’s slightly sweet on the palate with hints of melon and citrus up front and a wonderful blend of coriander and cracked pepper on the finish. Sharp but wonderfully pleasant. 5.3% abv. B+
$16 per 12-pack of 12 oz. bottles