Friday, July 18, 2014

Firestone Walker’s Oaktoberfest Arrives on Shelves August 1

Paso Robles, CA: It’s time to dust off your stein and get a jump on German tradition as Firestone Walker Brewing Company is set to release Oaktoberfest in bottles, marking the first-ever packaged release of this “Paso Märzen Bier.”

“Oaktoberfest is a real quaffer,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “It’s mellow and rounded with this gorgeous autumn orange hue—it’s the kind of beer you should be drinking out of a liter mug.”

Oaktoberfest is a seasonal offering for late summer and fall, and will be available in six packs starting on August 1. Until now, the beer was exclusively a seasonal draft offering originally made for the brewery’s local Oaktoberfest celebration.

While the upcoming Oaktoberfest release is true to the brewery’s original version, it’s now slightly drier and hoppier to provide more balance with the sweeter malt character of the style.

“Oaktoberfest has always provided us an opportunity to play around with new German hop cultivars,” Brynildson said. “We’re now focusing on Hallertau Tradition, and we contracted directly with several German farmers to make sure we had enough to last. When visiting some of my favorite German lager breweries, I’ve seen a ton of Hallertau Tradition in their closets, and it proved to be a natural fit for Oaktoberfest.”

He added, “Nevertheless, this is not a hop-driven beer. It’s very traditional in style, incorporating equal amounts of Vienna malt and Pilsner malt, both from Germany. It all comes together to create this classic Märzen profile, with subtle honey-like aromas and hints of noble hop spice.”

The name Oaktoberfest is a nod to the brewery’s hometown of Paso Robles—Spanish for “Pass of The Oaks”—as well as the longtime presence of oak barrels as a central part of the Firestone Walker brewing operation. The checkered blue and white pattern on the label echoes the Bavarian flag and pays homage to the style.

The 2014 Madonna Inn Oktoberfest presented by Firestone Walker Brewing Company takes place on October 11. As always, Oaktoberfest will be racked to oak barrels and ceremonially tapped to punctuate the festivities.

“Tapping the barrels of Oaktoberfest has been an annual rite here for nearly a decade,” Brynildson said. “It’s a journey that has finally found its way into the bottle.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest aka My Favorite Beer Fest of the Year

When an event is in it's third year, as the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest was this year, you have to wonder, what are they going to do differently?  How will this year's event be better?  Many of the same elements were still in place this year, amazing food, live music, and of course, outstanding beers.  A few newer components this year, which only further enhanced the experience, included an area to purchase merchandise before the event as well as an opportunity to sample a beer prior to the fest start time.  Upon entering the fest waiting area, each person received a ticket to redeem Ol' Leghorn, a collaboration beer from 3 Floyds and Firestone Walker which was brewed for last year's FWIBF.  Even better than having a beer before an actual beer fest?  Having both Adam Firestone and David Walker on hand to pour the beer for their fans.

Just a few of the reasons FWIBF is my favorite beer event of the year include, but are not limited to:
You can tell that a lot of work goes into planning FWIBF.  All of the volunteers are extremely happy, friendly, and helpful.  The layout of the fest makes it easy to find the beers you are looking for as well as the food you want to sample.
The food that is available throughout the event has something to please everyone.  And it is plentiful!
Live music during a fest always enhances the experience, in my opinion.
Each brewery had at least one brewer on hand, some more than one, available to chat about their beers. Being able to hear about the specifics of a beer from the person who actually created it is pretty cool.
The variety of beer available at FWIBF is really amazing.  I love having the opportunity to try beers that I've never heard of and also to try old favorites.  My favorite beer this year was from Germany's Braufactum.
Due to the limited number of attendees, and manageable lines, this event is a great place to catch up with old friends and also visit with new ones too!
The last two years were Africa hot days for FWIBF.  This year, Firestone Walker made sure that the weather cooperated.  I mean, not only do they make amazing beer and put together a world-class event but they make sure the weather is enjoyable too?

Once again, Firestone Walker put together an amazing event.  And once again, I'm counting down the days until next year's FWIBF.

Created with flickr slideshow.