Since founding our brewery in 1996, we have specialized in the rare art of brewing beer in oak barrels. In the fall of 2006, we released a limited edition oak-aged strong ale called 10 to commemorate our 10th anniversary. The experience was greater than any one of us could have ever imagined. We now present XX, our 11th release in what has become an annual autumn rite at our brewery.
The Vision Behind Our Barrel Aging and Blending Program Is Still the Same!
The Goal: To create complexity centering on oak, in a multitude of forms, by brewing high gravity beers in complementary styles, aging them in different barrel formats and then blending them together to achieve harmonious new flavors.
The Puzzle: To blend these various components to create a synergistic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is done with the help of a few of our neighboring Paso Robles winemakers who are practicing experts in the art of blending.
The Inspiration: Firestone Walker’s oak brewing tradition and our connection with winemaking. Of course until the advent of stainless steel, brewing was intimately linked to wood barrels and vessels. Brewing has a deeply rooted history in the alchemy of blending.
The individual lots were aged in oak barrels, many of which were hand selected from premium Kentucky spirits producers by Tom Griffin, who is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about bourbon barrels and beer. Each barrel lends its own unique influence to the final blend.
The Aging Cellar – The Components
We blended together 250 oak barrels containing five different beers creating something rich, complex and 100% original.
Following are descriptions of key components with their names:
Parabola (13% ABV) Aged in New Oak and Bourbon Barrels (40% of final blend)
Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout
OG=30P FG=7.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Magnum, Styrian Golding and Hallertau Tradition
Stickee Monkee (12.3% ABV) Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels (20% of final blend)
English Barley Wine
OG=27P FG=5.4P IBU=45 Color=34 / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Turbinado (Brown) sugar
Velvet Merkin (8.5% ABV) Aged in Bourbon barrels (17.5% of final blend)
Traditional Oatmeal Stout
OG=15+P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Black / 15% Oats / Hopped with 100% US grown Willamette
Bravo (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon barrels (12.5% of final blend)
Imperial Brown Ale
OG=26.5 FG=3.7 IBU=35 Color=32 / Hopped with Bravo and Styrian Goldings
Helldorado (13.5% ABV) Aged in Bourbon (10% of final blend)
Blonde Barley Wine
OG=15+P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Black / 15% Oats / Hopped with German Tradition