Re-Cap – The Propagator’s 3rd Anniversary

On the last weekend of this month, I took in the sights and sounds and beers from the 3rd Anniversary of The Propagator.

Here is the re-cap: It was a strangely slow early morning at the Venice adjacent Firestone Walker location. This despite the high quality and higher creativity beers on tap. Haven’t had Rosalie, it was there. A Watermelon kettle sour, yup as well as many hoppy treats on hand. Plus the deal was great. (2) beers a side and a cup for one price. I assume that as the day wore on, that it got more crowded.

For my two beers, I started big with the Gen 3, triple IPA. Double digit ABV and for me, a return to those big bruiser Imperials from back in the day. Lots of malt and caramel and boozy. I backed down for the second and had the Eichenkeller because Keller beers are always an attraction. This did not disappoint. Super malty and bubbly with a nice minerality versus hops.

And I got to talk with some grand folk in the beer writing community as well as Merlin himself.

Beer Media Propagation at FW-Venice

The newly re-branded L.A. Beer Media had their first meeting of 2019 and thanks to the generosity (excellent as usual) of Firestone Walker, we learned quite a bit about the creation of the newest year round beer that the brewery will be releasing, Rosalie.

The company is branding this as Beer Rose and after remarks from the Lion himself, David Walker, Evan Partridge the Propagator brewer and the soon departing Rob Emery from what I will just call “the lab” gave us the full rundown of how this beer came to be.

They started with (3) components that they wanted the finished beer to have:

  1. Acidity – light but noticeable
  2. Color – a reddish hue
  3. Wine – to connect with the wine region of Paso Robles

The process started back in January of 2018 and Partridge and Emery walked us through acid spiked versions of the Firestone Walker lager to show what they were looking for in component # 1, then we tasted a mixture of water and hibiscus to show the color aspect and then lastly, they gave us a sample of wine/grape juice as well as a sample of wine created with the grape blend that they filled a silo with.

Firestone Walker had teamed with Castoro Cellars to provide them with a blend that included Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Viognier.  Once the grapes were in place the recipe honing process could begin.  We tasted four of the steps along the way as well as the finished product and it was fascinating to see how the blend went from tart to less tart but still wine forward, to pilsner with hibiscus, to finally a blend that truly mixed beer and wine AND had the right color.

Rosalie comes in the Sixpoint 12oz skinny can and I found it to be tilted to the wine side of the fence but the acidity comes through just enough to make this unique.  Plus it actually looks Rose and not just red.  It really worked for me.

Considering last year’s Terroir event that was a blend of wine and beer hybrids and the fact the BarrelWorks has been toying with it as well with ZinSkin among other creations, this seems like a no-brainer, gateway hybrid that will draw those curious as to how wine and beer mingle. And using Paso Robles grapes as part of the equation really makes it unique as the Rose style becomes more Brut sized.

Now Actually Propagating

The Propagator in Venice, the Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s SoCal brewhouse is finally brewing with in-company hire brewer Ben Maushardt manning the kettles.

The Propagator pilot brewhouse was supposed to be online the same time as the restaurant and store and be the spot for experimental beers. The small scale German Kaspar Schulz equipment just recently started brewing this month.

Maushardt has been with Firestone Walker for more than two years, and he will be “testing new recipes or running hop, malt and yeast trials for the Paso Robles brewery, he will be producing small batches of wort for our Barrelworks team and making killer Venice-only beers for local patrons.”