Recently … ok, last week … I had the fortune of passing through Paso Robles California. Kind of funny — I lived in this town as a kid back in the late sixties/early seventies when my dad worked at Camp Roberts. What’s special about it besides that? :o)
It is the home of Firestone Walker Brewery.
Started by brothers-in-law 15 years ago (at the Firestone Vineyard), they’ve quickly made a name for themselves as Regional Craft Brewers winning several GABF and World Beer Awards. They also happen to make my favorite American beer: Union Jack IPA. This is a fantastic (award-winning) version of a West Coast IPA (but definitely balanced…so maybe not completely west-coast)!
But on to the brewery! My friend Bobby and I had the pleasure of “Tim’s” company as our tour guide walking around the brewery!
Tim did a great job–super nice guy, knowledgeable, and answered our 1 million geeky questions. We saw the inner-workings of the brewery … and, yes, they do use the double-barrel fermentation system … and keg it!
They have the same issues as other successful breweries — they are cramped for space — from fermentors, to lagering tanks, and places to store their wonderful firkins. I think Tim told us they would be expanding in the near future …
After the extensive tour, we retired to the tasting room where you can sample all of the beers they sell (plus some you can only get at the brewery). Can you pick out the beers on this sign you can only get at the brewery??
If you have the opportunity and are in the area, I highly recommend stopping in at Firestone Walker. All of the staff are super, the beers are great, and the location is excellent!