FWIBF 2023 – The Day Before

When you go to the Firestone Walker Invitational, the day before can be a lot and if you sneak in a distillery visit, it becomes a day.

I drove up from June Gloom L.A. to bright and sunny Paso Robles and went to work with a stop at The Backyard for a beer (Wild Fields Cosmo Canyon Red) and a sandwich before heading to CalWise Spirits for a comprehensive tasting of their products, some of which were started at Firestone Walker. My favorite was the flagship gin with the orange liqueur second.

I moved north on Ramada Drive to pick up beers at the FW Emporium and then checked out the new barrel room and had some beers before taking a tour with scion Nick Firestone around some of the environmental initiatives at the brewery from solar panel fields to CO2 improvements,

From there, the Friday night water park dinner awaited where I nearly choked on some food before recovering to enjoy seeing luminaries like Bob from Highland Park and Henry from Monkish before crashing as I type this.