The 2023 season of our Brewmaster’s Collective comes to a resounding conclusion with the Fall Classics collection, which is headlined by the next annual release of our iconic Anniversary Ale. This collection also features four additional barrel-aged beers, including two member exclusives.
Today, we turn the spotlight on the three beers that are available to everyone for a limited time, to be followed soon by a feature on the two exclusives. To purchase, visit our web store or any of our three brewery locations.
And if all of this gives you a case of FOMO, don’t worry—signups for the 2024 season of the Brewmaster’s Collective are now open!
XXVII Anniversary Ale
We have released a commemorative barrel-aged beer each year since our brewery’s 10th anniversary in the fall of 2006. Now comes XXVII, the 18th annual release in our storied Anniversary Ale series.
XXVII is a masterwork of flavor and complexity, blended from five distinct ales aged in bourbon barrels. It is rolling out now in limited quantities to all Firestone Walker markets. It is also available at each of our brewery locations and online at FirestoneBeer.com for a limited time.
“This beer was created with experience, passion and collaboration, sparing no expense to celebrate our brewery’s 27th anniversary,” says Brewmaster Matt Brynildson.
What makes the Anniversary Ale so unique is that it’s not just a single beer aged in spirits barrels, but rather a blend of very different barrel-aged component ales. This creates a tall order for Matt and his brewing team, which is why they always ask their local winemaker friends to stop by and help assemble the final blend.
“These winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, and it’s always amazing how they help us create a beer that is greater than the sum of its parts,” Matt says.
On that note, XXVII is composed of DDBA Batch 10k (Imperial Special Bitter; 33%), Dividing Time (Munich Wine Made in Collaboration with Private Press; 29%), Bravo (Imperial Brown Ale; 13%), Rip This Joint (Imperial Stout Made in Collaboration with Side Project; 13%) and Velvet Merkin (Milk Stout; 12%).
In Matt’s words, “The mouthfeel is smooth and silky with rich caramel flavors complemented by toasted nut, vanilla and coconut accents. There is a beautiful balance between a rich malt character, a top-shelf bourbon spirit and chocolate truffles. An absolutely stunning barrel-aged beer and a true testament to the winemakers’ skill in blending not only for aroma and flavor, but also for texture.”
Between Two Grahams
Gather ’round the proverbial campfire with Between Two Grahams—a s’mores-inspired stout aged in premium Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
The story of this beer began with a special selection of two Firestone Walker icons: Parabola imperial stout and Velvet Merkin milk stout. We blended both in equal measure, then accented the beer with Tahitian vanilla beans, Saigon cinnamon and cocoa nibs to cultivate a classic s’mores-style flavor experience.
The result is both balanced and stunning. Parabola’s rich intensity is complemented by Velvet Merkin’s softer textures, and a vivid bourbon character shines through the beer. So good, you’ll be coming back for s’more.
Balaton Bones is the latest creation from our “bones” series, which began eight years ago with the release of Krieky Bones, a Flanders-style Kriek beer made with fresh cherries at our Barrelworks wild ale cellar.
Now comes Balaton Bones as our next riff on the style, fermented and aged with fresh Balaton cherries at a ratio of three pounds of fruit per barrel for maximum flavor.
Balaton Bones began with a base beer of oak-aged saison, to which the fruit was added for secondary fermentation and seven weeks of barrel aging. The cherries came from the esteemed King Orchards in Central Lake, Michigan.
The Balaton cherry variety is known for its tart, delicious flavors, which are evident in every sip of this beer. The palate is flush with cherry fruit flavors accompanied by a Pinot Noir-style fruity and woody character, with low sweetness and mild sourness. In the glass, it shines ruby red with a soft pink foam—another reason to be mesmerized by this delicious wild ale.