Now that the Firestone Walker Invitational for 2022 is in the books along with my jealousy of all who got to go and experience that excellent festival, it is time to move onto what this years anniversary beer will look like…
XXVI will be in the 12oz bottles with the special box packaging and are not to be missed. I did an anniversary flight last November (a great time to visit I might add) and it was fun to see how four different years tasted.
If you are a fan of orange wine, then you will probably enjoy the latest beer/wine hybrid from Cellador Ales.
Orange Sunshine “features Falanghina grapes. It’s juicy and has lots of wine character, but also leans hard into the farmhouse/earthy/lambic part of the beer spectrum. We basically made an open-fermented orange wine (what you get when you leave a wine made from white grape varieties in contact with the skins for an extended period of time after pressing them) and blended it in to barrels a blend of base beers, before allowing it to continue aging for several months.”
I like the label with the daughter and dad surfing plus the flowers and orange/red colors. Part of the reason why I bought it on a recent visit to Kilokilo Brewing.
Pours a really light yellow color. Has a great tropical aroma meets grassy character. Quite light but not lacking in any character. Really interesting and almost wine like.
Three breweries. All first visits. All in one day on the Central Coast.
Starting in the middle in Atascadero with Wild Fields Brewing in a strip mall across from a movie theater. I like the post card flight info. Very cool. As you can see from the photo, I went across styles and all were solid and strong. I will look for more cans from them in LA.
Next is the amazing multi-layered California Coast Brewing in Paso Robles. A really cool reclaimed location. Great logo of a growling bear. The beer was at best, uneven. The best was a Belgian Strong ale.
Finally, down to SLO and There Does Not Exist. The beers were interesting with the Hazy DIPA being my favorite. The blended saison and farmhouse ale were a little strange and the signless space was a little cold.
Day 2 was wine day. Tin City then Thacher Winery on winding Vineyard Road. But I did find one brewery to be and one new (to me) brewery as well as a to-go stop at a reliable standby…
Silva Brewing was on a to-go only day, so I picked up their red ale 4-pack to take back to the hotel room to make up for the red ale from Hog Canyon….
…which was fine, made even better by the patio of the Paso Market complex on Spring Street.
Also on Spring Street is but on the southern end is the soon to arrive Paso Robles Brewing. For the next trip.
Fortuitously, Brandon from San Diego Beer News wrote a nice guide to Paso Robles and Atascadero breweries, check it HERE, just before my trip with Mom.
So now I am in the Central Coast drinking beer like a beer traveler!
First visit to Firestone’s main campus in two years and I got to try a flight of anniversary beers. 24 was my favorite.
First visit to Kilokilo Brewing just down the road from FW. Just had time for one beer, the award winning Milk Shaka POG IPA, it was heavy on the lactose and quite sweet. Bought a mixed four-pack of pale ale and IPA for further tasting.
You know you have reached Paso Robles when you see the massive silver fermentation tanks outside the ever growing Firestone Walker brewery complex.
Well, it just got bigger. Head HERE to watch a video about the six new tanks that will be put to good use.
I have been seeing quite a few social media posts of L.A. breweries welcoming in new equipment. Perhaps this is an early economic indicator.
Speaking of the Central Coast, I will be making a beer trip! (first since February 2020) and I will have some posts and photos in November.
Last Friday I just could not shake the feeling that something was off. It wasn’t anything to do with the my little cocoon or the batshit crazy and sad week this country went through.
It was the first time that I really felt the absence of the beer community.
I don’t normally gain energy from being around people. Harsh truth be told, I could live without 45% of this country who think (refuse to have thoughts) in a certain way. And yet, the crowds of people who make the trip to Paso Robles are both fun and fascinating.
The two or three days that I spend at Firestone Walker HQ is like floating on air. I take the tour most years to see how things have changed (always drastically), I find beer to bring back home from their shop, I visit a distillery or winery, enjoy BBQ the night before the fest, get some Negranti Ice Cream and Twisted and Glazed Donuts. My internal battery is charged.
The festival itself, as I have written in the past, is perversely hard to write about. It is so smoothly operated that the only lead some years is how hot it is. You basically just have to write about the beer that you personally drank because there is so much that it is hard to wrap your word arms around it.
I would write up excited posts before driving up the 5 and exhausted post some after driving back down the 101. I don’t know if 2021 will be changed or disrupted by the events of this year but next year, I will return. I need to.
That boost was really missed this year.
Tickets on sale: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 at 9am PST
Main event: Saturday, May 30, 2020 | 12pm-5pm (beer stops at 4pm) in lovely Paso Robles, CA
Play nice on ticket day please! Additional details can be found right HERE.
Usually, I am a gin guy or in a Rye Whiskey mood but when you see that Re:Find has already sold out their first two batches of bourbon, it makes you think they may have something there. Personally, I would like to get a set of 1/2 size bottles of the Rye and the Bourbon as a set.