After some delay, last week Firestone Walker was able to get all their permits in order to have their beer distributed to Colorado. They’ve wasted no time rescheduling their launch parties in Denver, Ft. Collins, Longmont, and Colorado Springs. I’ve got all the information you’ll need for joining in the fun. Unfortunately us folks down in the Springs will have to wait a couple extra weeks for our big party. But it will be fun nonetheless. So, as I’ve mentioned we here at Focus on the Beer are pretty stinkin excited about being able to get Firestone beers. We’ve compiled a little guide to Firestone for you as we’ve been able to sample a good number of their beers. We’ve also put together a schedule of the release parties:
July 21st / Thursday / 5-7pm
Fall Rock in Denver / Meet with David Walker
July 22nd / Friday / All around Denver / 7-9pm
***Update*** A commenter told me that Freschcraft will not have the Anniversary or Parabola because they aren’t released yet. I’m just putting the information that I got from the FW sales rep, and she told me they will have it. My notes are confirmed on the Denver off the Wagon blog, they have the same information.
Firestone will have one beer in each location and then all the beers will be at Freshcraft.
– Falling Rock – DBA
– Euclid Hall – Union Jack
– Cheeky Monk – Double Jack
– Uptown Brothers – Solace
– Freshcraft – DBA, Union Jack, Double Jack, Solace, 14th Anniversary Draft & Parabola bottles
July 27th / Wednesday / 6-8pm
Choice City Butcher, Fort Collins
July 28th / Thursday / 6-8pm
Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids, Longmont
Aug 15th / Monday / 6-8pm
Subject to Change
Navajo Hogans, Colorado Springs
Aug 16th / Tuesday / 6-8pm
Subject to Change, check back
Trinity Brewing, Colorado Springs
Isaac and I were able to sample some of these beers together. The samples were free so we
will try to write unbiased descriptions. Ultimately though, most of the beers were really tasty and fantastic, Firestone Walker has managed to put out a killer line up of beers that will really please a range of taste preferences. The first thing I want to point out is that many of their beers have been ‘oak fermented,’ which means that a percentage of the beer you are drinking has been literally fermented in oak barrels for 6 days and then put back into the tank where it’s combined with an un-oaked version of the same beer to create a beer that has some wood notes to it. It’s a subtle but really wonderful flavor that comes through in the DBA and Pale 31…more prominent in the Porter, etc. Read on:
DBA – Double Barrel Ale
Sits at 5%, the aroma is slightly earthy and oaky with sweet malt notes. Mild bitterness, buscuit malt falvors, thin with lingering biscuit notes. This is a very exciting drink. I could have this all day long. This one is 25% oak fermented and those notes come through clearly. It’s really beautiful. This beer will be Firestone’s best seller in my opinion, for anyone who’s a fan of Fat Tire, 90 Schilling or Laughing Lab, this beer will be the go to beer, but it offers a little additional complexity that the above mentioned lack, while maintaining it’s drinkability.
Union Jack – IPA
We actually didn’t get to sample this one due to a mishap, so we can’t really talk about it. But from what we understand this is a good beer. It doesn’t have the oak notes but it’s a 7.5% American IPA with 9 different hops, a lot of NW hops for dry hopping to give a complex aroma and bitterness.
Double Jack – 2IPA
A big 9.5% beer with a huge citrus, grapefruit heavy nose with subtle crystal malt aroma. Very exciting aroma. The beer is heavy, a bit sweet and cloying at first but then a huge bitterness cuts through and fights back and forth with the malt. This will please the hop heads but may be a bit much for me. A year round beer, should have widespread availabiltiy.
Pale 31 – American Pale Ale
Sits at 4.8%. This was my favorite of the lineup and one of the best pale ales I’ve ever had. The beer is 5-15% oak fermented and there is a touch of that flavor that comes through. The aroma is light, very fresh with a mix of light spice and citrus hoppiness. The beer is light and crisp malt forward, moves to crisp hops and finishes with a slight crisp bitterness with Fuggle hops. There are notes of honey and light lemon. This beer is absolutely phenomenal, and will compete with Odell’s Lupilin, Ska’s Mexican Logger, and Boulevard’s Zon for my favorite summer beer. Unfortunately this beer will have limited availability. It’s not a huge seller for some really weird reason, so when you see it in stores, snatch it up right away because at least at first they don’t plan to have tons of it. That’s too bad.
Solace – Summer Wheat
My least favorite of the bunch. This is their summer seasonal so it will only be available part of the year. It’s a 6% beer so pretty heavy if you want to sip a few. Banana-clove nose, wheat, grassiness, light and somewhat refreshing aromas. 25% is fermented in Union oak barrels. The flavors didn’t quite live up to the aroma in my opinion and the Boulevard Zon does a much better job at pulling through flavorwise.
Walker’s Reserve Robust Porter
5.8% with 50% oak fermented. This is really a fantastic beer as well. I was immediately reminded of Black Butte Porter but with some extra vanilla notes. Chocolate, roast oak, vanilla aromas. Very smoothe from some of the oats. The head thins quickly. The tastes include some nuttiness, roast, oak, chocolate and vanilla, slightly thin mouthfeel but a lot of fun, complex but in no way an overbearing complexity. What a great beer, I can’t wait to drink more of this. Limited availability at first, but a year round beer.
And look out for these beers:
We did not get to try these yet
A 5.5% Oatmeal Stout with a portion aged in Bourbon barrels. Sounds tasty.
A 13% barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout that is highly sought after, it is boozy, heavy on bourbon, smoky, and complex. I believe I tried this at the Vail Big Beers Festival.
Firestone makes a bunch of barrel aged and special beers and mixes them together for their Anniversary edition beers. They sell out quickly, but it looks like maybe one or two of the launch parties will have the 14th edition. The 15th edition comes out in the Fall.