FW Invitational – 2 Weeks Out

It is dangerously easy to miss out on Firestone Walker beers when you are at the Invitational. They are usually inside what I call the “Fort” near the music stage.

But you best look for it because BarrelWorks has some fruit forward beers that aren’t easily found and should be tasted. They are certainly on my list (if they don’t get bumped for other wild ales)

1. UnderCurrants (from the press release)
“We have been toying around with the idea of a currant-infused beer for several years now,” said Barrelworks’ Master Blender Jim Crooks. “We finally decided to strike when we were able to score beautiful whole black currants from a farmer in Poland, which is renowned as one of the world’s finest currant-growing regions.”

Crooks and his team blended the currants with 150 barrels of Agrestic Ale (Barrelworks’ wild iteration of Firestone Walker’s signature DBA pale ale) that had been aging for 12 to 48 months. The currant-infused Agrestic blend was then inoculated with Barrelworks’ proprietary Brettanomyces yeast and aged for an additional four months in oak foeders.

Lastly, more Agrestic Ale was added back into the blend to achieve an optimal balance of currant flavor and texture. “The intensity of the currant flavors was out of this world,” Crooks said. “By cutting more Agrestic into the final blend, we were able to dial everything into perfect balance.”

2. Pixie Dusted (from the FW website)

“We welcomed the team from The Publican in Chicago, and specifically Beer Director Adam Vavrick, into our lair to add his mark to this truly collaborative creation. Armed with an idea to use citrus in a blend, we by chance landed in the arms of Friend’s Ranches of Ojai, who offered us the beautifully grown Pixie Tangerine. By adding the juice and zest from the tangerines to the Publican’s proprietary barrel blend, we have created a liquid expression of an idea.”