You asked for it, and the Wookey answered the call…
“The Wookey never dies – it just hibernates,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “We’ve produced periodic small-batch runs over the years, and people keep asking for more. It’s time to release it back into the wild.”
This is our way of announcing that, for the first time in six years, our mythic Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA is back on the big stage with a new release for the winter season.
Wookey Jack now reclaims its title as Firestone Walker’s wildest and wooliest IPA, offering big, toasty malted rye flavors with a balanced bite on the finish. It is, in Brynildson’s words, “gnarly on the outside, yet refined on the inside.”
This latest edition of Wookey Jack remains faithful to the original recipe, which includes loads of pearled dark malts with rye adding a rustic grain element. The hops are dank, sticky Citra and pungent Amarillo, both of which are incorporated into a massive dry-hop regimen.
Wookey Jack is now available at our three locations and is rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets in six-pack (12-ounce can) and draft formats for a limited time, adding to the legend of this three-time gold medalist at the Great American Beer Festival.
We first released Wookey Jack back in 2012. For Matt, it was a beer designed to quiet the naysayers.
“At the time, there were a few beer geeks out there saying that Firestone Walker still had yet to really make a truly over-the-top hoppy IPA,” Matt recalled. “We took that as a challenge and Wookey Jack was going to be the answer. We dug into the hop closet and pulled out the stickiest and most pungent hops available. We found a blend that really popped and applied it liberally to the brew.”
The resulting beer was an immediate sensation that helped drive the black IPA movement, and that endured for five years before succumbing to cooling demand for the style.
Over the past year, however, there has been a resurgence of appreciation for the black IPA style, which Matt feels best lends itself to a seasonal format. “It may not be the type of beer people want to drink year-round, but it just seems right for fall and winter,” he said.
The new Wookey Jack also marks the first time the beer has been packaged in a six pack 12-ounce can format. And gone is the staid look of the original Wookey Jack, which has been replaced with a primeval new design that reflects Matt’s affinity for live music and concert poster art, as rendered by artist Juan Marente.
“We didn’t mess with the liquid, but we’ve evolved everything else, which to me makes this the best Wookey Jack ever,” Matt said.