In 1996, Firestone Walker Brewing Company was born in a humble shed on the back-forty of Adam Firestone and David Walker’s family vineyard in Los Olivos, CA. It wasn’t until operations moved to Paso Robles in July of 2001 that the team started recording batches. And now, almost 21 years to the day since we brewed that first recorded batch, our 10,000th batch has arrived.
The Brewing Team reached this exciting milestone on June 29, and the resulting beer – a special batch of Double DBA – will be ready for drinking in 2023.
While ideating on what this monumental batch should be, the team felt it was important to revisit our roots while continuing to explore the future of craft brewing and of Firestone Walker.
The first beer David and Adam brewed together was DBA, and it was also our first recorded batch at the Paso Robles brewhouse.
Our earliest milestone batch, #1000, was brewed in 2005. This 100% oak-fermented Unfiltered DBA marked the first bottle-release of this beer. It was also our first boxed beer, something that has since become a standard for many of our speciality releases.
Given the history of celebrating our milestones with DBA, the team decided a batch of DDBA was the perfect choice for batch #10000.
We spoke with Dustin Kral, Head Brewer at Firestone Walker, to learn more about what makes this batch so special.
“This batch is the creation of our Production Manager Ali Razi who, like Matt and me, has been with the company for around 20 years,” Dustin explained.
Many members of the Firestone Walker team have been around since the ‘early days,’ and this milestone batch is a testament to their passion, hard work, and pursuit of the perfect beer.
“Batch 10,000 means a lot to me personally,” he told us. “I started my career with Firestone Walker in 2001 and, at the time, we were brewing batches in the low 100s.”
But it’s about more than just checking off another accomplishment for our brewers – it’s about the community and relationships it takes to reach such an accomplishment.
“In 2001, we made our footprints on the Central Coast of California, and now we have a trail of friends and family that walk alongside us,” Dustin said. “For me, the job is an adventure, my colleagues are pioneers, and our customers are our guides.”
— Dustin Kral, Head Brewer at Firestone Walker
“It amazes me to think of the pints our local community and surrounding communities needed to consumer to brew 10,000 batches of beer. Yet at times, I feel like we can’t brew fast enough.”
DDBA Batch 10,000 is, essentially, a double-strength version of DBA.
“This beer is a complex English Barley Wine,” Dustin told us, that consists of a variety of rich and flavorful malts, which add a rich amber hue, a deep, sturdy mouthfeel, and a balanced nutty, toasty, caramel flavor.”
We added another layer of complexity by complementing the malt sugars with brown sugar, further enhancing the beer’s characteristics. Once fermentation is complete, we’ll transfer the beer to Elijah Craig Straight Rye barrels to age, which will add vanilla, toasted notes, wood characters, and hints of the spirit.