A beer lover like me always looks for new beer experiences. I try new beers and only occasionally look back to revisit a highlight. My quest in flavor is balance. I love a hoppy IPA but many of them lack balance and right now there are so many of them. It’s really hard to find a true gem with balance in the jungle of IPA:s, PA:s and specialty beers.

Co-Founder and Owner Mr. David Walker (to the right)

When I lived on the East Coast, a beer from Firestone Walker was a rare treat and it was even a more rare treat in Sweden. My wife brought me a beer from Firestone Walker to Sweden after one of here trips to California. I was the king in our beer community! It was just as if she had brought me the Holy Grail! This week I had the opportunity to visit Firestone Walker Brewing Company at their brewery in Paso Robles. This visit made me re-think my beer drinking strategy. In my tireless  focus on what’s next, I have forgotten to look back and revisit some of the experiences I have already had.  I’m realizing that I because of my continued education, a look back may be warranted and may also reap some new rewards.  The balance I’m looking for is there every day right under my nose in Firestone Walker’s beers.

Firestone Walker Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

The visit to Firestone Walker was an educational trip for Beer Specialists at Whole Foods Market LA stores. We had the pleasure to be guided the whole day by co-founder and owner Mr. David Walker. When he talked about his brewery I could feel the passion, excitement, and love for what he does. I have seen the same passion at many breweries but he has been doing this for 15 years and he and his company still keep it up with the same passion. But I have to say that I have never seen so much energy and passion when talking about beer as Firestone Walker’s Brew Master Matt Brynildson AND he makes great beers! When I managed the World Beer Festival for All About Beer Magazine I felt the same. That is what I like about the beer community and beer business: people in it, love to be apart of it.

During our visit to Firestone Walker we participated in the brewing of their first Black IPA (or actually Black Ray IPA), Wookey Jack AND I got to try it! Well, not the finished product, but the wort. From what I tasted it looks really promising.

This week I have learned that it’s not always what’s ahead of you that is inspiring. It’s also remembering to revisit where I’ve been and see what’s new there too.  I will start looking back more on great beers I have had and Firestone Walker beers will be a part of that.