“We present Parabola, the first-ever bottling of this barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Just 1,000 cases [22 oz. bottles] were produced. This bold beer features nuances of bourbon and tobacco aroma. Rich dark chocolate flavors meld with charred oak, dark cherry and espresso finishing smooth on the palate. Parabola is best enjoyed in moderation and is a perfect addition to chocolate desserts.”

Tobacco? Charred Oak?
Now dark cherry and espresso, I can understand. But will it make me swoon like Velvet Merkin does?

another Stone 3 Way

Just when you are sick and tired of hearing another collaboration story. Here comes another one to re-excite….

El Camino takes you on a drive from San Diego to San Francisco with a stop in Paso Robles. I have liked previous incarnations but I have one potential roadblock.

Figs! I didn’t like them in Monk’s Blood and I hope they don’t dominate this beer cause they ruin things for my palate. I am not scared off and won’t try it but I will be wary.

Quantum of…


Firestone-Walker has a new six-pack entering the world. A wheat beer. I am glad that they are moving in this direction. They have IPA’s and specialty releases in bottles but this marks a broadening of the portfolio. And I am all for that.

The York + Firestone/Walker =

where you need to be next week.

Here are the details:
“The incomparable Highland Park gastropub, The York will be hosting the second of what what will surely be a series of beer dinners on February 24th… with Firestone Walker Brewing Company!

Chef/bon vivant/all around good guy, Dimitri, will be announcing the full menu next week, but look for 5 courses, each paired with 5-6 oz. of Firestone’s beers. Beers lines up include Velvet Merkin, Union Jack and more…

The cost is $40 and includes all the food and beer.”

Jace from Firestone will be there to talk beer with the locals, and giving away some swag for the raffle.

Reservations available by calling (323) 255-9675 or

2010 collaborations

I have heard through the grapevine of the interwebs that there are two planned collaboration brews coming up this year so far from Stone Brewing: one at the end of this month with 21st Amendment and Firestone Walker (Camino Un-Real), and another coming up in March, with Dogfish Head and Victory.

At this point, I need a website that tracks all of these projects and what there status is at any given point in time. In the past, you could easily keep up with the few “brewing get togethers” that happened but 2009 was the tipping point and it appears the floodgates have opened.

Here is what I would like to see…..
Brewers involved – where brewed – bottled or tap only – where available – name of beer.

It might also be cool to have a list of mythical collaborations that never came to be.

Beer Premiere Night

Roll out the red carpet, LA. Forget the Oscars and the Grammys. Last night brought two new and highly anticipated beers to the City of Angels.

First at the Daily Pint was Life and Limb from Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada. Sadly, Limb and Life did not make it, yet. Now this a winter warmer. As I tried to explain it to people, this beer is a porter with Sierra Nevada hoppiness on one side and Dogfish Head alcohol warmth on the other. It worked for me but it like the other beer I had are sippers.


Then I drove back across town to Blue Palms for the unveiling of Firestone-Walker 13th Anniversary. Brian Lenzo had the foresight, nay genius, to start buying these beers years ago and has amassed quite the impressive collection. He had a sampler of 10, 11, 12 and 13. The 13 was nice. You may know me as the dark beer hater but 13 had a good balance. Some liquor aroma and bite but the beer was still there and it was smooth. Plus it was good to see celebrated Celebrator writer Tomm Carroll amongst all the familiar faces. Next years vertical flight should be killer.


Lucky 13 from Firestone-Walker

“Firestone Walker Brewing Company announced the release of their much anticipated anniversary beer, “13” today. This annual release will go on sale for the first time at noon on November, 14th at the Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles and the Firestone Walker Taproom Restaurant in Buellton.

Firestone’s anniversary series, a unique blend of barrel aged beers, has become quite a phenomenon each year as beer fans from all over the U.S. seek out this special limited release. In years past releases have sold out at the brewery in just a few weeks and these beers have garnered a hefty price tag in the market.

“These unique barrel aged beers have really changed the public’s perception of beer,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “The care and time that went into this blend is more akin to wine than beer,” he added.

Brynildson again enlisted the help of Paso Robles area wine makers to assist in the blending of several barrel-aged beers into the final product. Barley wines, imperial stouts and an imperial brown are just a few of the beers making up the final blend. Many of the component beers have spent over 2 years aging in a combination of retired bourbon, rye, and wine barrels. This process contributes unique and one-of-a kind flavors not typically found in beer.”


LA Beer Week – Oktoberfest @ the Verdugo

A blazing hot October day in the valley, but that didn’t stop beer lovers from coming out to sample some authentic German beer and to try some Firestone-Walker, Skyscraper and Shmalz Brewing as well.


Here is what I had….
Julius Echter Hefeweizen – a new entry to the SoCal market. This Hefe has the clove part down but could use some banana flavor upgrading. Very filling for a Hefe.

Firestone Oaktoberfest
– Orange brown in color. Had a little of everything. Malty, sparkly, alcoholic and sweet. Awesome for a colder day.

Skyscraper Backhoe Brown
– A very nice brown ale. At 6% alcohol it is not wimpy. Nicely balanced beer. Some browns are too sweet but this is not. I really like the seasonals from these guys.

Schneider Hopfen-Weiss – Second time trying this beer and I still can’t get it. Medicinal to me. The hops are weird, the weiss is strong. Not my favorite.

Kostritzer Pilsner – Pretty tasty pils. I liked it. Did not have the tinny taste of some that I have had. Perfect college football beer. Crisp and clean.

There was German music blaring and drinking contests and coaster building. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

P.S. I made a point to ask people what their favorite beer was and all gave me a different answer. That must mean a good selection across the board.