Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Double Barrel Ale

Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Double Barrel Ale

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Double Barrel Ale

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-52° F
  • Malts:

    Premium 2-Row, Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Crystal, Caramel, Chocolate Malt
  • Hops:

    Magnum, East Kent Golding, Styrian Golding, UK Target
An ale of distinction, right down to its uniquely shaped brown bottle, this beer has brought the Firestone Walker B.C. its share of medals: Silver Medal at the 2004 World Beer Cup, Gold in 2002 as well as Gold Medals at the 2002 & 2003 World Beer Championships. The English (East Kent Golding) and Slovenian (Styrian Golding) hops impart a clean, balanced bitterness and a fragrant, spicy aroma, while their use of an English ale yeast lends a fruity nose. The flavor possess a peppery quality that mingles with the spicy hops—but peppery and spicy are strong words—the effect is subtle and restrained. Lightly toasted malt and grains mingle with lightly floral hops and slightly fruity tones (with a note of bitter grapefruit juice). The finish is quite bitter, long lasting and very dry. Look also for the slight oaken flavor in the background of the finish. Overall, an exceptionally clean, well-balanced and unique interpretation of a British Ale and a great beer to wash down some chicken wings.
As a member of a well-known family of Santa Barbara County California winemakers, Adam Firestone stood out a bit. When gathering for family dinners, he’d be the only one who had a bottle of beer at the table. When his sister Polly married David Walker, a fellow beer lover with a keen awareness of British beer styles, the brothers-in-law started talking about getting a microbrewery founded. Their venture into beer brewing was spurred on by their area’s shortage of grapes in 1995. They used what winery supplies they had available to brew their first batch, which was made in old Chardonnay barrels. Sadly, the residue from the wine contaminated their first batch, but after switching to new American Oak barrels in a closed system based on the old British brewing method called the Burton Union system (which is rarely used today), the Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system was born… Instead of using stainless steel tanks, Firestone Walker uses individual 60-gallon oak wine barrels for fermentation and conditioning. The improved palate, hop maturity, unique flavors and aromas imparted by the oak barrels all add up to beers of intriguing complexity. This unique process, which links winemaking and beer brewing techniques, makes them the only American Brewery that selectively ferments its ales in oak barrels. Here are a few of their very impressive brewery accolades and distinctions (in addition to the medals won by their fine beers—some of which are listed in the beer reviews below). Both the brewery and their head brewer Matt Brynildson were named “World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster” for the category of Mid-Size Brewing Company (which spans all breweries with an annual production between 15,000 and 2 million barrels) at the 2004 World Beer Cup. The award follows a similar distinction at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival at which Firestone Walker B.C. was named “Mid-Size Brewing Company of The Year” while Brynildson was named “Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewmaster of The Year.” These days, Adam’s younger brother Andrew Firestone has joined the family team in the capacity of Sales Manager. Andrew combines a similar passion for fine beer with broad experience in institutional finance, adding a new dimension to Firestone Walker Fine Ales. Some of you might recognize his name for another reason besides the well known surname of ‘Firestone’. Andrew was the star of ABC’s popular Reality TV show “The Bachelor” (season 3). For more information about the brewery or scheduled tours, call (805) 238-2556, or visit their website at
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