FIRESTONE WALKER BREWING COMPANY
“Founded in 1996 by Adam Firestone (aka the Bear) & David Walker (aka the Lion), Firestone Walker Brewing Company began as a small brewery with roots in wine country on California’s Central Coast. Now a regional brewery, our singular purpose remains – to craft ever better beer. Passionately in pursuit of the perfect beer…and never satisfied.”
- 805 (78 Points)
- DBA (88 Points)
- Double Jack (100 Points)
- Easy Jack (89 Points)
- Pale 31 (90 Points)
- Pivo (97 Points)
- Union Jack (96 Points)
- Wookey Jack (98 Points)
805: 78 Points
This Blonde Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A beer crafted for the coast. 805 is a light, approachable brew. Born from an all malt recipe and finished with a touch of hops, it’s slightly sweet with a clean finish. 805 is the perfect followup to that ultimate surf session or to reward a hard day’s work.”
My Description: 805 is an everyday chugging beer with its low ABV and simple flavors. It pours a good sized, bright white colored head that hangs around for a good while and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is fairly standard with some bready malt notes and some light yeast notes; really there is not much going on in the aroma. 805 is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is similar to the aroma in that not much is going on, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. Sometimes you just want a clean and easy drinking beer. This beer is definitely on the sweeter side with some honey notes and bready sweetness. The aftertaste is hardly bitter at all and some grassy hop notes can be detected. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with just about anything.
ABV: 4.7% Color: Gold Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
DBA: 88 Points
This ESB has an IBU of 30 and is available year-round 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Our flagship brew highlights barrel-fermented batches from our patented Firestone Union blended with beer fermented in stainless steel. It opens with a biscuity toasted malt aroma and a hint of oak and vanilla. Pale malts create a smooth malty middle with ribbons of caramel, English toffee and toasted oak. A tribute to English pales traditionally fermented in cask.”
My Description: Firestone Walker keeps true to the style by not overly hopping this ESB, making it drink similar to their English counterparts. It pours a decent sized, light tan colored head that fades rather quickly to a thin film that holds for some time leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is faint and modest with notes of herbal hops and caramel. DBA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is well balanced and tasty. Upfront, there are notes of caramel malt, toffee, light roasted notes, hints of vanilla, and woodsy hops. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with an herbal flair to it. Overall, this is a good ESB that easy drinking and not aggressive. it is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with fried fish, tofu stir-fry, or light creamy cheeses.
ABV: 5% Color: Amber/Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3/10
DOUBLE JACK: 100 Points
This Imperial IPA has an IBU of 85 and is generally available year-round in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A dangerously drinkable Double IPA. Double Jack opens up with bright grapefruit and tangerine American hop aromas. Beautifully crafted undertones of stone fruit are revealed upon first sip, followed by the essence of blue basil and pine. A sturdy pale and crystal malt backbone brings balance to high hop intensity. Complex and aggressively hopped, and flawlessly balanced.”
My Description: Flawlessly balanced indeed, this Imperial IPA has a strong malt backbone and a clean bitter finish making this beer so easy to drink. It begins with a large, white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind some lacing. The aroma is bold and inviting with notes of pine hops, citrus hops, and some caramel malt. I think juicy is a good term to describe the aroma, so fresh and strong. Double Jack is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is malty upfront with caramel notes and some earthiness along with big pine hop notes and a some citrus hints. This transitions beautifully into a moderately bitter aftertaste that lingers. Some stone fruit notes appear from time to time and the alcohol is nicely hidden. This is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with strong cheeses, grilled filet medallions, or your favorite cigar.
ABV: 9.5% Color: Copper/Gold Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 6.5/10
EASY JACK: 89 Points
This Session IPA has an IBU of ~45 and is released seasonally in the Spring in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Brewmaster Matt Brynildson went to the mountain and returned with a vision for a different kind of Session IPA, one that would be brewed and dry hopped with a globetrotting selection of new hop varieties from Europe, New Zealand and North America. He foresaw a beer that would deliver massive hop aromas, a signature malt balance and an empty glass before you knew what hit you. And so the newest member of our Jack IPA family was born.”
My Description: Easy Jack is a pleasure to drink and a six pack is an easy purchase. I just wish it had more intensity, the flavors are great but the bitterness is a little low for my liking. This is a session IPA, not a session ale, categorically speaking. It pours a good sized, white colored head that fades to a film and leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is strong and welcoming with tangerine hops, tropical hops, and a touch of pine hops. I feel that the aroma is the best part of this beer, it is very aromatic and smells fresh. Easy Jack is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. An apparent malt backbone with notes of caramel malt holds up an array of hop flavors including: tropical hops, grapefruit hops, and some pine notes as well. This transitions cleanly into a slightly bitter finish that is refreshing and enjoyable. It is best served with Hawaiian pizza, salads, or grilled fish.
ABV: 4.5% Color: Golden Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
PALE 31: 90 Points
This American Pale Ale has an IBU of 38 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A tribute to our home state of California – the 31st to be added to the Union. Beautiful floral and citrus hop aromas greet the nose with undertones of lightly toasted malt. Crisp pale and crystal malts offer a hint of sweetness. Subtle hop bitterness offers a refreshing finish. Perfect for a sunny California day at the beach or BBQ with friends, Pale 31 represents the bold yet approachable spirit that embodies our state.”
My Description: A delicious and inviting pale ale, Firestone has created a great everyday beer that is crisp, easy drinking, and perfect for any occasion. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that holds nicely the whole way and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of pale malts, bread, citrus hops, tangerine, and some grassy notes. Pale 31 is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Very refreshing, the flavor profile delivers with well balanced and approachable flavors. Upfront, grassy hops and bready notes are detected along with some crystal malts and a touch of sweetness. This transitions cleanly into a minimally bitter aftertaste with some herbal hop notes. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with just about anything.
ABV: 4.9% Color: Pale Gold Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
PIVO: 97 Points
This Pilsner has an IBU of 40 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.”
My Description: Pilsners are known for being easy drinking and refreshing but this is on a whole new level. It begins with a good sized, white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is inviting and clean with noble hops delivering a grassy and herbal scent accompanied by notes of minerals and a slight hint of lemon peel. Pivo is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. I cannot comment on how smooth and quaffable this beer is. A quiet yet noticeable pale malt backbone delivers a hint of bready sweetness and holds up the harmony of hop flavors. Spicy, floral, and herbal hop notes please the palate and there is nothing sharp about them. A touch of lemon peel adds to the complexity and the aftertaste is slightly bitter. This beer only lasted a few minutes in my glass so you better get a six pack. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with your favorite burger, tofu stir-fry, or seafood pasta.
ABV: 5.3% Color: Straw Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
UNION JACK: 96 Points
This American IPA is an IBU of 70 and is available year-round in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “An aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA. Union Jack showcases exceptional dry hop character with stunning pineapple, citrus and piney aromas on the nose accompanied by honey-like malt aromatics. Double dry hopping brings bold grapefruit, tangerine and citrus flavors that are contrasted by pale malt sweetness to balance this intense brew. A true tribute to the style that put the West Coast on the craft beer map.”
My Description: Smooth and very clean, this West Coast IPA is more than just a bitter beer. Malty upfront, this IPA has body and delivers some sweet notes while the complex array of hops add to the aroma and delicious flavors. It begins a large, white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is where this beer begins to become addicting. Delicate and modest, the aroma showcases notes of bready malt, citrus hops, some tropical hints, and deep pine hop notes that delight the senses. Union Jack is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A well balanced flavor profile allows the many different hop flavors to shine through including citrus hops and pine hops. Caramel malt can also be tasted and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but not overly aggressive with some lingering hop notes. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Thai noodles, Cajun shrimp, or a vegetable pizza.
ABV: 7.5% Color: Dark Gold Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
WOOKEY JACK: 98 Points
This Black IPA/American Black Ale has an IBU of 80 and is released randomly in 22 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A unique twist on the Cascadian Dark Ale style. Wookey Jack offers true hop aroma to rival most IPAs, with pungent citrus and herbal hop nuances, a hint of peppery rye and earthiness on the nose. Big roasty malt flavors with balanced hop bitterness and spicy rye offer a full and complex texture with a refined bittered finish. A truly different IPA for dark beer fans.”
My Description: It’s easy to fall in love with this beer; it’s clean, the flavor profile is addicting, and it serves to both hop and malt lovers. It begins with a huge, beige colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a wall of lacing, very nice. The aroma smells great. A woodsy and earthy presence hold up potent notes of pine hops mixed with citrus hops. I could smell this beer all day. Wookey Jack is full bodied with a lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is not as bitter as the aroma would indicate, it is more moderate than aggressive giving the other flavors a chance to shine through. Dark malts and roasted notes upfront give way to pine hops and grapefruit hops. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the rye spice adds a great flavor component and complexity. The aftertaste is the best part of this beer, smooth with lingering hop and rye notes. I love the balance and the body in this beer, instant favorite. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with dry rubbed ribs, bean stew, or potent cheeses.
ABV: 8.3% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10