Barrel aged beers immediately come to mind when I think of central California brewery Firestone Walker. Firestone Walker has been brewing since 2002 and managed to bring home two awards from the Great American Beer Festival in their first year. Since then, Firestone Walker continues to receive acclaim for their barrel aged beers, creative pale ales, and outstanding barleywines. Firestone Walker, who only recently entered the DC market, is one of the best breweries in America and will no doubt have a strong showing at this year’s SAVOR.

Location: Paso Robles, CA

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: Yes

Beer #1: Parabola (Imperial Stout, 13%)


Beer Advocate: A (262 Reviews) (Currently #11 of best Imperial Stouts in the World)
Rate Beer: 100 Overall, 97 Style

Notes: Loads of oak, chocolate, vanilla, and toffee with a slight alcohol warmth throughout the taste. You often hear us describe a beer as being “big.” This is one of those beers, and, at 13%, it needs to be enjoyed slowly to appreciate its complexity. It is being paired with Double Chocolate Bread Pudding…wow, that sounds like a perfect way to end the night.

Beer #2: Double Jack (Imperial IPA / 9.4 %)

Beer Advocate: A-  (417 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 100 Overall, 99 Style

Notes: Plenty of citrus hops but also slightly sweetened with what tastes like honey. Double Jack is big and hoppy but also balanced well without the hop “burn” some Imperial IPAs tend to bear. In the super competitive field of DIPAs, this one stands out and is occasionally available in our area.

My first eye opening experience to Firestone Walker came when I read the blend schedule for their newest anniversary release. Firestone Walker 14  consists of: 31% Double Barrel Ale, 29% Sticky Monkey, 27% Parabola, 7% Velvet Merkin, 3% Good Foot, 3% Black Xantus . That’s crazy and a good indication of how particular Firestone Walker is with their product.  These guys produce outstanding beer and seem to be sending more and more of it our way. Be sure to get some of it at SAVOR.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.