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Double Barrel Ale is a double vessel fermented, British Style Ale brewed with a combination of two-row Pale, Munich, Caramel, Crystal, and British pale malts. The brewery uses East Kent Golding (England), Styrian Golding (Slovenia) and Magnum (Yakima Valley) hops as one way to balance this beers malty profile. An English Ale Yeast strain is used with Carranza Mesa Groundwater.
Immediately note a dark maltiness and fruitiness in the nose. Look for great head retention in this filtered, very amber, medium-bodied beer. Double Barrel Ale starts with dark caramel flavors which carry through to a more roasted and bitter finish. Also note the slight oaky flavor in the background of the finish. Overall, an exceptionally clean, well-balanced and unique interpretation of a British Ale.
This month, you’re in for a triple treat of three very unusual products, the first of which is produced by a family of vintners that have ventured into the brewing industry using a brewing process that has all but been abandoned to produce an exceptional beer. The Firestone family first pioneered wine-making in Santa Barbara County in the early 1970’s. In the mid-1990’s the unlikely combination of a vintner, a British ex-patriot and an adventuresome brewer proved just right for resurrecting an ancient brewing system which would reestablish the old connection between brewing and winemakeing.Instead of using stainless steel tanks, Firestone Walker uses individual 60-gallon oak wine barrels for fermentation and conditioning. Why go through all the bother? The improved palate, hop maturity, unique flavors and aromas imparted by the oak barrels all add up to a beer of intriguing complexity. The technical advantages of the Double Barrel Union process are the bright beer, stable, consistent fermentations, good attenuation, and excellent, healthy pitching yeast. Firestone Walker uses a 40 barrel Brewhouse and a custom designed linked oak barrel fermentation system to brew Double Barrel Ale. Brewmaster Jeffers Hazen Richardson studied at UC Davis and assumed the role of Brewmaster at four different California breweries prior to joining Firestone Walker.For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (805) 688-3940 or check out their web site at www.firestonewalker.com.
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