Jay Brooks has a secret to share: America’s most-decorated brewery is the Firestone Walker Brewing Company, in Paso Robles, California. Firestone Walker was named Brewery of the Year in the mid-size category in 2007, 2011, and 2013. It also won that title in 2003 for Nectar Ales, a label it acquired from the former Humboldt Brewing Company. And it won a fifth GABF award: it went to brewmaster Matt Brynildson when he was with SLO Brewing, which now bears the Firestone Walker name. And if that weren’t enough, Firestone Walker won five Brewery of the Year awards between 2004 and 2012 at the World Beer Cup.
The brewery is named for its founders, Adam Firestone and David Walker, whose operation uses a system of linked barrels based on traditional brewing methods in the English town of Burton-Upon-Trent. Firestone, who’s a member of the famous tire-making family, grew up in California’s Central Coast wine region, but he turned his attention to brewing. His homebrewing experiments led to Firestone Walker’s flagship beer, Double Barrel Ale. The Walker half of the operation is Firestone’s brother-in-law David Walker, a transplanted Englishman who wanted better beer choices.
Firestone Walker offers brewery tours, and has added a tasting room with a restaurant. There’s also a Firestone Walker restaurant, which serves all of their beers, in nearby Buellton.
You’ve seen them in the sports section, but power ratings for breweries? FoodRepublic.com has ranked the ten most influential craft breweries based on new product releases, critical reviews, and “general buzz within the industry.”
The top spot belongs to California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Company. This Anglophile brewery, which features a Burton Union oak-barrel fermenting system, is about to open a facility specializing in sour beers. Also coming soon: its highly-anticipated XVI Anniversary Ale.
Because it’s Ludwig’s job to keep you informed.
We begin in Whitefish, Montana, where the Black Star Brewery has launched its latest contest. Tell Black Star what you would barter to win a trip for two to Montana plus free beer for a year.
Watch out, Guinness. Camden Town Brewing, a London micro, wants to challenge Guinness Stout’s domination of the British stout market. Camden Town’s brew is called “Black Ink.”
Kai Olson-Sawyer of EcoCentric.com gives us two more reasons to “drink locally”: microbreweries strengthen communities, and have a positive impact on the environment as well.
The Mother Road Brewing Company of Flagstaff, Arizona, is not only located on an older alignment of Route 66, but three of beers’ names are inspired by the famous highway.
SeriousEats.com pays attention to an underappreciated style–namely, American Brown Ale. Nick Leiby says there are plenty of good versions to choose from.
Eric Asimov of the New York Times took note of the popularity of sour beers in America. He and his friends’ favorite was a Kriek ale from Cascade in Portland, Ore.
Finally, California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Company brews its flagship a pale ale using a brewing method based on the Burton Union fermentation system. Why? Because
Englishman David Walker is in charge of brewing.