Firestone Walker is in this newly single midlife crisis of late. After being the craft beer darling in the mid-2000s, turning out genre defining strong ales in the early 2010’s, they got married to a Duvel of fine stock and set their sights on grocery story 805 purveyance and taking strokes off their Luponic Distortion game.
Now they are back in the club spilling 1942 wearing a viscose Celine button down swiping people on Raya at age 47. It’s not unwelcome, it’s just different.
The Brewmaster’s Collective [don’t you dare call it RESERVE otherwise you’ll draw a strongly worded Bruery letter] has been a fun society. It is FW entering a realm that they don’t need to. The results have been hits and strange misses, but it is a sticky $600 ride. Then they go and drop this absolute marvel: DREAMWOOD.
1pp, society exclusive, 15 year and 23 year pappy barrels, double barrel aged, no adjuncts, 120 cases, 16% abv. It’s the grizzled old stout detective pulled back in, THIS TIME THEY GOT YOUR CORN DAUGHTER. While those are all hype bromides, this beer surpasses hype and delivers to an intense degree on the cask pedigree.
I love when dudes 9 months into craft beer actively seek out a double barrel, extended casked stout and then complain about the heat on it, the very thing they are paying a premium for. The fusel is a Cowichan sweater fresh out of the dryer. It drags with a sweet peanut brittle heat that hits a warm tone like a fretless Warwick bass.
The body is Parabola, which sounds dicey as in the modern era that is now deemed svelte. The lack of sugar presents a nimble stripped down stout that bleeds oak presence, spice drops, butterscotch kisses, crackly lava cake, and peach hookah. A Porsche Taycan fueled by a cornwater generator. It is raw power.
It didn’t need to be this good and it will polarize tastes. The seltzer and haze segment have short attention spans, dangly cross earrings, Bass Pro Shop hats worn post-meta ironically. This isn’t for them. Firestone has presented a dignified, complex, salt and peppered air inviting you for a tour on their elegant bowrider. If cask heat is gatekeeping, genZ palates can seek solace elsewhere.