The Vision Behind Our Anniversary Ale Program
The Goal: To create complexity centering on oak, in a multitude of forms, by brewing high-gravity beers in complementary styles, aging them in different barrel formats and then blending them together to achieve harmonious new flavors.
The Puzzle: To blend these various components (or lots) to create a synergistic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is done with the help of a few of our neighboring Paso Robles winemakers who are practicing experts in the art of blending.
The Inspiration: Firestone Walker’s oak brewing tradition and our connection with winemaking. Of course, until the advent of stainless steel, brewing was intimately linked to wood barrels and vessels. Brewing has a deeply rooted history in the alchemy of blending.
The Barrels: The individual lots were aged in oak barrels, many of which were hand selected from premium Kentucky spirits producers by Tom Griffin, who is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about Bourbon barrels and beer. Each barrel lends its own unique influence to the final blend.
XVII - The Components: To create XVII, we blended together 220 oak barrels and 7 different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.
Following are descriptions of key components with their original code names: Final Blend %
Bravo (13.6% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Brandy barrels
-Imperial Brown Ale (30% of the final blend)
OG=26.5 FG=7.7 IBU=35 Color=32 / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles
Stickee Monkee (15.3% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey barrels
-English Barley Wine (25% of the final blend)
OG=27P FG=5.4P IBU=45 Color=28 / Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (brown) sugar
Velvet Merkin (8.7% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon barrels
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout (15% of the final blend)
OG= 15P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color= Black / 15% Oats / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles
Parabola (12.8% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon barrels
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout (15% of the final blend)
OG=31P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Magnum, Styrian Golding and East Kent Golding
Double Double Barrel Ale (12.0% ABV) - Aged in retired Firestone Union barrels
-Double strength English Pale Ale (8.0% of the final blend)
OG=25.0P FG=5.1P IBU=30 Color=16 / A double version of our flagship beer created by Ali Razi
Helldorado (11.5% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Brandy barrels
-Blonde Barley Wine (4.0% of the final blend)
OG=24.7P FG=4.5P IBU=24 Color = 8 / Brewed with Buckwheat honey and 100% El Dorado hops
Wookey Jack (8.3% ABV) - 100% Fresh, dank and hoppy, stainless steel fermentation
-Black Rye India Pale Ale (3.0% of the final blend)
OG= 18P FG = 3.0P IBU = 80 Color =black / Extremely hoppy double dry-hopped BIPA – Citra & Amarillo blend