Thursday, April 10, 2014

Firestone Walker tap takeover at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder

Wednesday of the Craft Beer Conference was a tap takeover of Firestone Walker Brewing Co rare beers at Backcountry Pizza and Tap House in Boulder. The tapping of beers was at 6pm sharp with everyone behind the hustling to make sure all the taps were working correctly, all went well and we were able to preorder while seating at the bar. 
The line up for Wednesday:
2012, 2013, 2014 Parabola
2012, 2013 Double DBA
2013 Velvet Merkin
2013, 2014 Sucaba
2013 Stickee Monkey
16th Anniversary
17th Anniversary
Lil' Mikkel
Pivo Pilsner
Union Jack and Easy Jack

I had the 2102 Parabola, a 13% ABV bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout that even at 2 years old, it was still very boozy to me. Boozy on the nose and front-end but fell out at the finish.
Jordan, bartender hustles to pour Firestone
Walker rare beers.
I really liked the 2013 Merkin, a 8.5% ABV bourbon barrel-aged oatmeal stout. It had a subtle bourbon nose but was creamy smooth in the mouth with sweet chocolate notes and a slight bourbon burn in the throat. 

I had the pleasure of meeting David Walker, co-founder of the brewery. I was surprised that he is British, I don't know why but I assume all American brewers are from here. But he is a pleasant man who was readily open to conversation. Some brewers/owners of breweries can be put off because of the onslaught of  beer fans approaching them.  I asked him why he doesn't brew in the English Style and he said that he did with their first beer, DBA.   DBA is a double barrel ale that is an English Special Bitter.
David Walker, co-founder of Firestone Walker and me.
I went searching for information about the DBA and came across some about the process of brewing this beer. It is brewed in the Burton Union system that was developed in England in 1840. Firestone Walker patented this system of that "incorporates 60-gallon heavy or medium toast American oak barrels into a brewing process that yields beers of extraordinary character and complexity."(Firestone Walker website) The wort is aged in these barrels for 6 days then transferred to stainless steel for secondary fermentation. 20% of the oaked fermented beer is then blended with beer fermented in stainless steel. Pretty impressive!

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