We went down to Paso Robles to see what was happening at the Firestone Walker Brewing Company since we’re about to stock their Anniversary Blend XVII. Many times I’ve passed the brewery and there are so many vehicles filling the parking lots that some are forced to line the frontage road along Highway 101.
Started by Adam Firestone and David Walker, Firestone Walker Brewing Company brewed its first beer in 1996. They were awarded the “Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year” award four times at the World Beer Cup. The tasting room offers 14 beers to taste, some only available at the brewery. There is also a nice brewpub that serves great pub food and has a warm atmosphere. I focused on tasting those available at Mollie Stone’s, and snuck a few extras in.
Anniversary Blend XVII (pictured below) is a very interesting dark beer with tastes of coconut, bourbon barrel and malt. At a cold temp it started out a bit harsh, but after warming up the tastes blend and it has nice flavors of chocolate and spice. The ABV is a shocking 13.3%, so it needs to be drank like a fine wine.
Everyone in our group liked the Pivo Pils. At 5.3% ABV, it’s pretty light for those who are wanting something without too much hops. With lightly toasted malt flavors and floral undertones, it has good carbonation and a light straw color.
Wookey Jack is an acquired taste. It’s an unfiltered black rye IPA that has an almost burnt taste, like roasted coffee. It has a great dry finish and a moderate amount of bitterness. Most of us at the tasting found it to be unique and delicious.
My personal favorite is still Double Jack which is somewhat surprising since I don’t usually prefer beers that are strong on hops (I mostly stick with maltiness). At 9.5% ABV, this IPA has a lot of citrus flavors such as tangerine, grapefruit and orange with bitter hoppiness at the finish. It tastes fantastic with pizza and other pub food.
Get all of your food staples at Mollie Stone’s Markets or order delivery to your door through Instacart.
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