Firestone Walker Brewing Company

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Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1996
Headquarters Paso Robles, CA
United States
Products Beer
Owner Adam Firestone, David Walker

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a brewery in Paso Robles, Central Coast California, and Buellton, California. The company utilizes a patented variation of the Burton Union system developed in England in the 1800s in its oak barrel fermentation process.[1] Firestone Walker is California’s fourth-largest craft brewery and is known for producing hoppy ales.[2][3] Firestone Walker, which was World Beer Cup Champion Brewery for mid-sized breweries in 2004, 2006, 2010, and 2012, was the sixteenth largest craft brewery in the U.S. in beer sales volume in 2014.[4][5]


Firestone Walker Brewing Company was formed in 1996 in Santa Barbara County by Adam Firestone, son of Brooks Firestone and great-great grandson of Harvey Firestone who started the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and his brother-in-law David Walker.[6][7] The brewery started on the Firestone family vineyard in Los Olivos, California and moved to Paso Robles in 2001. The company has expanded twice in six years.[6][5] In 2001, Firestone Walker purchased former SLO Brewing Company located in Paso Robles and added 17 interior fermenters, four 500bbl exterior fermenters, a KHS keg line, and Krones bottling line.[8][6] Firestone Walker later acquired Humboldt Brewing Company and changed the name to Nectar Ales in 2005.[9] In 2006, its Firestone Pale Ale was named "Best Beer in America" by Men's Journal and in 2008, the company released Union Jack, an India Pale Ale.[10][4] Firestone Walker began the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival in 2011, which brings together select breweries from around the United States and other countries that do not distribute to the West Coast.[11][12][13] In 2012, the company sold Nectar Ales to Total Beverage Solution.[9]

In 2015, Firestone Walker partnered with Duvel Moortgat Brewery, a Belgium operated brewery known for their Belgian strong pale ale.[14][1] The partnership allows Firestone Walker to operate independently and manufacture their own beers while expanding its production and distribution.[5] Firestone Walker began canning beer in 2015, using a German-engineered KHS canning line built on the Paso Robles brewery campus that can produce and fill 400 cans per minute.[15][16]


Firestone Walker Brewing Company is one of two brewers in the world to maintain a variation of the commercial-sized Burton Union system, a system of fermentation in oaken barrels.[17] The beers "oaky" taste is attributed to the use of 60-gallon (227 liter) oaken casks for fermentation in the early days of production.[6] Firestone Walker opened a separate wild ale facility in Buellton, California in 2013, and formed a wild ale program, Barrelworks, which ferments and ages beer in used wine barrels from Paso Robles and bourbon, brandy and tequila as well as used barrels from Firestone Walker’s barrel-aged beer program.[18] In 2014, Firestone Walker produced 151,000 barrels.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Todd Haefer (January 26, 2014). "Firestone Walker gets it right with Sucaba". USA Today. Retrieved September 15, 2015.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "usa" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ John Verive (September 6, 2013). "Firestone Walker Brewery details plans for Venice location". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Brewer Brynildson thrives on abundant wine connections at Firestone Walker Brewing Company". Wine Country Beer People. 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Awards and Press at Firestone Walker, Firestone Walker Company, 2014
  5. ^ a b c Cynthia Lambert and Jennifer Robillard (July 16, 2014). "Firestone Walker Brewing Co. to combine with Belgium-based brewery Duvel". The Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Tom Acitelli (1 May 2013). The Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution. Chicago Review Press. pp. 301–. ISBN 978-1-61374-388-1. 
  7. ^ The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club: Past Newsletters: Vol. 11 No. 10
  8. ^ Pale Tales and Exploits, Firestone Walker Company, 2014
  9. ^ a b Bradley, Ian, Cashing in on Humboldt’s name: Humboldt Brewing Company absent from local store shelves, The Lumberjack, Humboldt State University Newspaper, November 3, 2013, accessed December 16, 2014
  10. ^ GAB Honors 2007, Firestone Walker Company, 2014
  11. ^ Jim Vorel and John Verive (June 2, 2015). "10 memorable beers from the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival (2015)". Paste Magazine. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ Erika Bolden (February 6, 2015). "Tickets go on sale Sunday for Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest 2015". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  13. ^ Erika Bolden (June 4, 2014). "6 reasons the Firestone Walker Invitational is the ultimate beer fest". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Reid Ramsay (January 28, 2015). "Firestone Walker readies first cans". Beer Street Journal. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ Jennifer Robillard (March 28, 2014). "Firestone Walker to start selling beer in cans". The Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. 9 September 2011. pp. 196–. ISBN 978-0-19-991210-0. 
  18. ^ Bo McMillan (August 6, 2015). "Untamed flavors as 'wild' ale catches on in growing craft beer market". The Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ Jon Katz (April 3, 2014). "The Brewers Association releases top 50 list of U.S. breweries". Food Republic. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 

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