Firestone Brewery Pleases, Teases Wake and Wander

The Brewery in Paso Robles.

Something I forgot to mention earlier that adds a bit of humor to the idea of getting a flat tire at Firestone Brewery: You know Firestone Tire? Same family.

Flat tire? No problem. Buy a beer while we fix it up.

Awfully nice business plan.

Yesterday, before the tire change, I was talking to my future brother-in-law about his upcoming trip to Argentina, and we got to chatting about the weekend. He mentioned he tried Firestone Abacus at the Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. (named after the Canadian gift to T. Roosevelt in 1904).

The world is a strange place. On Sunday I was essentially begging the reps at Firestone to sell me some of that very same Abacus (an after-dinner sipper I first tasted at the Brew Master’s dinner preview) – but it’s produced in small quantities and it’s very difficult to get your hands on.

That’s how it goes with a lot of Firestone beers, I’m finding. They have accessible and good-tasting everyday beers – Pale 31, Union Jack, Double Barrel Ale – but the speciality and seasonal beers are what encourage me to hop on their website every now and then, see what’s brewing.

I’m not sure what it was about the night at Father’s Office in Santa Monica, but ever since I’ve been high on bold, strong beers that change flavor as they warm up.

Tasting Option at the Brewery or Tap Room (only $6.50, and you get a pint glass to keep).

The Double Double tastes like coconut, the Abacus is rich in toffee. They are served in small glasses (usually a snifter) and have high alcohol content (they would only serve me a 4 or 6 ounce glass at the brewery, although I suppose I understand).

The only thing that truly makes me hesitate – that keeps me from writing the words “make it a point to visit the Brewery in Paso or the Tap Room in Buellton” – is the gigantic fact that when you show up, it is quite possible that none of the speciality beers I’m talking about will be available.

For example, the entire tour my guide talked up the Parabola, and then when we looped around to the tasting room they were out.

That’s frustrating – and for that reason I say do some research or place a call before you dedicate a day to it. I am not saying it won’t be worth the trip regardless, I’m just saying, don’t set yourself up for disappointment if you have your heart set on a specific beer.

At the very least, though, keep your eye out and try a pint of Firestone next time you see it on tap and let me know what you think. They are the only brewery to win the World Beer Cup more than once (they’ve won three times).

But you’ll be the judge of that, right?

P.S. The Tap Room in Buellton is fun – a great place for lunch when tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, very reasonably priced beers ($5 for a 20-ounce) and good food.

You can’t get a 12-ounce light beer in Santa Barbara for $5 these days.

Firestone Tap Room in Buellton, California.

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