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Firestone Walker's co-founder calls Fort Collins the future of beer

coloradoan.com - Jul 25, 2012

Fort Collins’ beer scene is the “future,” according to a noted brewer who visited The Mayor of Old Town on Tuesday to tap a special 15th anniversary beer.

David Walker, co-founder of the famed brewery Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, Calif., took a moment on his visit to Fort Collins to reflect on the brewing culture and how his own beers have fared in the suds-soaked market.

A year ago, Walker introduced beers into Colorado’s market, and sales already are meeting projected goals, with Fort Collins being one of the best selling markets.

A British expatriate and co-owner Adam Firestone’s brother-in-law, Walker is known for creating beers such as Union Jack and Velvet Merlin. The brewery uses the Firestone Union oak-barrel brewing system. The Firestone Union incorporates 65-gallon, medium and heavy toast American oak barrels. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has been named the “Mid Size Brewery of the Year” at the World Beer Cup four times.

Tuesday, after pausing at the Tap and Handle for a pint, Walker made his way to The Mayor Of Old Town in Fort Collins, where he tapped Firestone Walker’s 15th Anniversary Ale in honor of The Mayor’s one-year anniversary and his year mark in Colorado.

Walker said Fort Collins’ beer scene has played an important role in developing craft beer on the West Coast. While there are areas of beer innovation around the country, such as Bend, Ore., Fort Collins’ combination of macro and craft brewers is unique.

“Fort Collins is an incubator for small brewers, along with a macrobrewery — that’s unique,” Walker said. “(Fort Collins’ beer scene) is what everywhere should be like.”

Walker said the reason Firestone’s beers have been so well accepted in Fort Collins is because there are already so many good breweries here. He noted that brewers have been educating beer drinkers here for years so they are more apt to try his brews.

Compared to Colorado, Walker said California is behind the curve when it comes to craft beer, but said the state is gaining ground with areas such as San Diego thriving. When Firestone started in Paso Robles, it was the only brewery there and they had to battle Fosters for tap space. Now there are four breweries, and Walker is thrilled to see how far the industry as a whole has come.

Elizabeth Kagan, Firestone Walker sales manager for the region, said Boulder and Fort Collins are two of the best places in Colorado for sales. She said Wilburs Total Beverage and The Mayor of old Town are often their top accounts in the state.

Kevin Bolin, co-owner of The Mayor, said they always have between three to five Firestone Walker beers on tap, which are some of the bars’ best sellers.

Double Jack was the top-selling beer at The Mayor, which has 100 beers on tap.
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The Moleskine Beer Journal Help You Remember Your Favorite Brews

TRENDHUNTER - Nov 22, 2012

The Moleskine Beer Journal Help You Remember Your Favorite Brews

For the beer connoisseur or the occasional drinker, the Molskine beer journal can help you keep tabs on your favorite brewed finds.

Each page is designed to encourage the drinker to write down some of their notes while trying a new libation. It’s the perfect way to help remember what you’re drinking and how you liked it before you get too tipsy to recall. The journal also features a glossary for quickly finding your notes, advice on how to perform the perfect pour, types of glasses to use and how to analyze a new brew. In addition, the Moleskine beer journal features handy tips for homebrewing your own beer with space to jot down recipes and addresses. When you’re using the Moleskine beer journal, be sure to write in your thoughts quickly before the brew begins to cloud your judgement.

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