Passing along the following item culled from a recent press release, especially for my friend Stef who had recently asked about it.
Firestone Walker’s Bravo Imperial Brown Ale will be bottled for the first time and sold in 12-oz. bottles starting this month.
The first-ever bottled release of Bravo corresponds with the transition of all Firestone Walker Vintage Reserve beers – their line of barrel-aged beers – from 22-oz. bombers to individually boxed 12-oz. bottles in 2017.
The Vintage Reserve series includes well-regarded Parabola Imperial Stout, the annual Anniversary Ale, Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout, Stickee Monkey Central Coast Quad and Helldorado Blonde Barley Wine.
Brewmaster Matt Brynildson noted that the primary benefit of 12-oz. bottles is the ability to enjoy a high-gravity, barrel-aged beer without committing to consuming a full 22-ounce bottle.
He adds, “The per-bottle price point ($9.99) becomes more palatable, and we can spread the same amount of beer farther so that more people can try it. It also makes it easier to drink one now and age another for later. It’s just a lot more flexible.”
Bravo was the first beer aged in retired spirits barrels by Matt back in late 2004, during the experimental stages of what would become Firestone Walker’s inaugural Anniversary Ale.
Matt says, “At the time, most barrel-aged beers veered toward the sweeter side. We wanted to make something more dry and lean that would really allow the true bourbon barrel character to pop.”
Bravo has remained one of the driest beers in Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve series of barrel-aged beers, and since day one has been considered a vital component in the annual blending of the Anniversary Ale, balancing out some of the stickier components.
“Coming out of stainless steel, Bravo is pretty bracing. But when it goes into the barrel, it really mellows out, and the barrel character comes to the forefront.”
Another signature of Bravo is a lively malt quality that is maintained through Firestone Walker’s cold-storage of its barrel-aged beers. “It has this malt character that is surprisingly fresh. There’s a ton of barrel character, and a lot of toffee and caramel. It has the flavor of things sweet, but without being cloying or oxidative.”
Firestone Walker Night of Barrels
‘Firestone Walker Night of Barrels’ takes place on Thursday, Feb. at 6pm at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose (390 Saratoga Ave.). It’s an annual event during SF Beer Week.
Look for the following beers on tap:
- XX Anniversary
- XIX Anniversary
- Krieky Bones
- 2017 Bravo
- 2016 Parabola
- 2016 Stickee Monkee
- 2016 Helldorado
- 2016 Velvet Merkin