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 10thanniversary. The experience was greater than any one of us could have ever imagined. We now present XXII, our thirteenth release in what has become an annual autumn rite at our brewery.


About The Blending

Every August, right before the wine harvest gets rolling, our local winemaker friends come to the brewery to help blend our annual Anniversary Ale. Winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, and we realized early on that they could provide invaluable input for creating a seamless beer out of numerous barrel-aged component ales. The winemakers come for both the challenge and the camaraderie. They split up into small teams and create their own preferred blends from the provided components. Each of the resulting trials is then blind tasted by the entire group, and votes are cast for the winning blend. The victorious team walks away with bragging rights—and with a set of coveted cardboard crowns. 

Final Blend

44% of final blend  
Stickee Monkee (12.9% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels  
Central Coast Quad
OG=27P FG=6.5 IBU=45 Color=Deep Brown / Brewed with Belgian Candi Sugar and Mexican Brown Sugar

22% of final blend  
Parabola (13.7% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout
OG=30P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Columbus, East Kent Golding

22% of final blend  
Bravo (13.6% ABV) Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Imperial Brown Ale
OG=26.5P FG=3.0 IBU=35 Color=Deep Brown / Hopped with Bravo and Columbus

7% of final blend  
Rum Barrel Helldorado (14.5% ABV) Aged in Rum Barrels
Blonde Barley Wine
OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding           

5% of final blend  
Gin Barrel Helldorado (11.4% ABV) Aged in Gin Barrels
Blonde Barley Wine
OG=21P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color=Deep Gold / Hopped with Styrian Golding

30 Distinguished Winemakers and friends who came together for the 2018 blend

Terry Hoage & Phil Lamontagne – TH Estate Wines (Winning Blend)

Sherman Thacher & Daniel Callan – Thacher Winery (Winning Blend)

Arie Litman – Bread maker and friend (Winning Blend)

Kyle Juri & Pete Turrone – Booker Vineyards

Jordan Fiorentini & Kyle Gingras – Epoch Estate Wines

Joe Barton – Grey Wolf Winery

Kevin Sass & Molly Lonborg – Halter Ranch

Soren Christensen – Hearst Ranch

Russell From & Cameron Stoffel– Herman Story

Mark Adams – Ledge Vineyards

Matt Trevisan & Neil Losey – Linne Calodo

Marin Wolgamott – Marin’s Vineyard

Justin Smith – Saxum Vineyards

Bastien Leduc – Seven Oxen Estate Wines

Chelsea Franchi & Craig Hamm – Tablas Creek Vineyard

Chris Cherry, Camille Cherry, Elio Merono & Brett Curran – Villa Creek

Bobby Fox – Friend

Todd Alström – Beer Advocate

A Note from Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

This brewer and winemaker collaboration blend is a celebration of 22 years of making beer in oak barrels!  It is an absolute pleasure to be able share a little piece of our oak aging cellar with you and it is even more exciting that it was blended together by some of the best winemakers from the Central Coast of California.  Every time we make this blend, I reminisce about the early days.  When I joined Firestone Walker in 2001, I first sat down with the founders, Adam Firestone and David Walker, who are also winegrowers. They explained to me the Firestone Union and their unique way of fermenting the Firestone Walker flagship beer, Double Barrel Ale.  Coming from the winemaking and grape-growing world, it made perfect sense to them.  It was a beer born in wine country, employing the centuries-old tools of a winemaker: oak barrels.  To be honest, I thought it was all smoke and mirrors. I could see it, but I just didn’t believe it.  After rounds of questions and doubting it could be done, Adam and David simply said, “It’s a non-negotiable way we make our beer.”  We then drank a pint of Unfiltered DBA and the clouds parted. I was shown the light, I learned the process and never looked back.  From the very first beer brewed back in 1996, this brewery has incorporated oak barrels into the process of making beer.  Wood is in our DNA and every brewery employee that has joined the team ends up with oak in their blood.  Fermenting beers in barrels led to aging beer in oak spirits barrels (Bourbon, Rum, Tequila and Brandy), which resulted in this Anniversary series and a whole host of exciting and groundbreaking barrel aged beers.  We spent a lot of time with winemakers, soaking up their knowledge and learning first hand their barrel aging techniques.  The more we communed with winemakers, the more we were inspired, and so we launched a third barrel project back in 2012 called Barrelworks. Our Quality Control Manager at that time, Jim Crooks, joined forces with our original brewmaster, Jeffers Richardson, who was back from a stint in the olive oil business. They conceived a number of amazing beers that express the terroir of the Central Coast wine region through aging beers, with and without fruit, in retired wine barrels.  These complex beers, along with the rest of our family of beautiful ales and lagers, have been recognized by beer judges and beer lovers around the world.  This year, Barrelworks was awarded two medals at the GABF including a gold for Feral Brut, as well as a silver medal at the World Beer Cup for Krieky Bones!  Added to this, Barrelworks was awarded the “International Revelation Trophy” and a gold medal at the Brussels Beer Challenge for Feral Vinifera in late 2017.  Being recognized by the judges in Brussels for a beer inspired by the great Belgian Lambic brewers, the true masters of barrel aging beer, is an amazing feeling! It is our sincere hope and goal to continue to improve our barrel aging art and uphold that sacred tradition here in the Central Coast for many years to come.  Cheers!!

In 2018 we changed the format of our Anniversary blending session up a little bit.  We asked winemakers to combine forces with other wineries and work in collaborative groups.  That wasn’t a popular request at first, but it was a lot of fun to watch these good friends come together and work through the exercise.  In the end,Sherman Thacher & Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery and Terry Hoage & PhilLamontagne of TH Estate Wines, along with our good friend Arie Litman, put together the winning blend.


The Blend

This beer is all about the barrels.  Bourbon, Rum and Gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard.  I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend.  I will let you discover the rest.  This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XXII is best poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making and I truly hope you enjoy our 13th oak-aged blend!  The journey continues.

This beer is dedicated to the Barrelworks team for an amazing year of beautiful beers and great success!  


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Beer Information

ABV: 12.7

IBU: 32


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12 oz bottle

Very limited draft

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