Back home from the FWIBF19 and here are a few photos that I posted to the ‘gram or Facebook or are seeing the light only here.
It is that time of the year. A beer fans Christmas. The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival.
Here is what happened in the drive up to Paso Robles (nothing, except that the 46 has been paved more) and what was drunk once I got there…
First stop after checking in was Silva Brewing. They had a beer and chocolate pairing in progress as well as new beers in fancy bottle packaging.
I tasted the Chuck-Amok with Chuck Silva himself nearby. Then I had the draft version of his Rose beer which really tasted great with some serious Chardonnay notes.
From there it was on to Firestone Walker for the annual tour to show off the new buildings and re-jiggering that has taken place. The campus is now around 18 acres and this coming next is a solar array to provide power for all of the buildings. The newest coming online is a massive cold building. It is too big to call just a box.
The end of the tour brought a tasting of the Anniversary beer amongst barrels from the “cocktail” series. Dark and Stormy, which I tasted back in March is part of that.
Then a brief respite before heading back for BBQ and music. I tried the latest Luponic Distortion and a Propagator beer, Patrick Hayes v2. I also filled my cup with OMG Hazy IPA from Garage Project.
I called it a day soon after.
I am going to be up front about this. Getting tickets to the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival is hard. But you should do your best to get them. It is the best.
Tickets for the 2018 version go on sale in two days! This Wednesday, February 7th at 7am.
General Admission: $85 (well worth it)
Early Admission: $200
Two ticket max purchase per person!
If you are lucky enough to snare tickets the 2018 FWIBF will be held Saturday, June 2nd and you should start looking for lodging immediately!
Days before I left for Paso Robles, I saw the Creature Comforts logo somewhere on the interwebs either about a new beer or a new to canned beer and I made a mental note to try to try their beer at the FWIBF.
Thankfully, I got a taste of their Tropicalia IPA at the Friday night party and was smitten with it. Which is hard to do in such a crowded category. I sampled some Tritonia the next day and was impressed by that as well.
With those two on board the taster tray, here are some others to try the next time you are in Georgia.
Bibo® – Pilsner
“Bibo® (pronounced bēbō) is a true pilsner with ingredients from five different countries that has a pronounced continental hop flavor and aroma in an incredibly well-balanced package. We use an enormous amount of the classic Czech Saaz and a touch of Motueka hops from New Zealand to put a new world twist on this beautiful old world style. Motueka offers a subtle pineapple note that underlies a harmony of the traditional black pepper, herbal, and cracker grain character pilsners are famous for. Bibo® is dry, quenching, and frankly amazingly delicious.”
Cucumber and Lime Tritonia – Gose
“With a touch of coriander and sea salt, you can say this beer was Triton-born. We made a Gose and we’re calling it Tritonia. This limited release offering was made with Cucumber and Lime and is available in kegs and serving at your favorite craft beer bars now.”
Automatic – Pale Ale
“We are bringing back our seasonal American Pale Ale, Automatic! Automatic is a modern pale ale with an ABV of 5.2-¬‐percent that features a prominent hop flavor and aroma. The beer appears hazy and straw colored with densely packed and persistent white foam. A mix of Mosaic and Crystal hops are used to create a delicate balance and give the beer an aroma that features a complex array of berry, citrus, herbal and pine notes.
The name Automatic is a nod to the community in which we are located – Athens, GA. It’s a reference to the slogan of a local restaurant, Weaver D’s that inspired one of REM’s most prolific albums – Automatic for the People.”
Reclaimed Rye® – Rye Amber aged on French Oak
“A uniquely complex and flavorful amber ale. French oak and rye malt lend to a well-rounded body with delicate undertones of toasted bread, spice, and subtle vanilla. We set out to show a new light onto the amber style with this beer, and to reclaim it back from the ordinary.”
Tropicália® – American IPA
“A balanced, soft, and juicy IPA. Ripe passion fruit and citrus hop aroma lead to a full, fruit-forward hop flavor that washes over the palate, ending with subtle bitterness. Some folks say they don’t like hoppy beers, and to that we say that hops do not equal bitterness. Hops offer a whole world of flavors, not just bitterness. In Tropicália®, they exude a luscious fruit journey your palate can enjoy over and over without fatigue.”
This month, I am taking stock of the breweries that were part of the festivities of the highly regarded Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest and we start in Australia of all places with Bridge Road Brewers and a list of what beers that I would have in my taster tray.
“A mid-strength IPA that has followed in the footsteps of our original IPA, Bling and its big brother the imperial IPA, Bling Bling.”
“A unique Australian Pilsner, brewed in Beechworth from Chestnuts grown locally in the Beechworth and Stanley hills. The Chestnut Pilsner also uses Galaxy hops from the Rostrevor Hop Garden in the nearby Ovens Valley.”
Fat Man Red Suit Big Sack Red IPA
“Originally brewed for export to Canada this red IPA showcases some of our Aussie Hops. Galaxy Topaz and Enigma.” (wonderful name for a Christmas beer!)
“This pilsner has been brewed as an Australian take on the craft pilsners of NZ, A light bodied lager heavily hopped with the Australian hop variety Enigma.”
Beechworth Pale Ale
“Often the yard stick of micro breweries, this beer is based on classic American styled Pale Ales, crisp and refreshing, a mouthful of aromatic hops.”