For 12 years, Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson has been taking advantage of his brewery’s Pasa Robles, Calif., location to make Firestone’s most special beer.
Brynildson gathers local winemakers — experts in blending their own drink — and tasks them with helping to create the final blend of Firestone Walker Anniversary Ale, now in its 21st iteration.
Like blending wine, combining beers of different origins and vintages is unscientific, adhering to guidelines that have worked in the past but also leaving room for artistry. The group blending Firestone’s anniversary ale breaks off into teams, with the winning blend voted on by a blind taste test of the entire group.
Firestone Walker’s XXI Anniversary Ale is a blend of some of the company’s most distinctive beers: Velvet Merkin (8.5 percent ABV) and Parabola (13.8 percent ABV) are oatmeal stouts aged in bourbon barrels. Bravo (13.5 percent ABV) is an imperial brown ale, while Helldorado (13.5 percent ABV) and Stickee Monkey (12.5 percent ABV) are a blonde barleywine and quad, respectively.
There’s nothing light about the final product, which leans on the soft chocolate character of the Velvet Merkin while incorporating the island spice and molasses of the Helldorado, aged in rum barrels. It tastes like a stout but better. Allow the beer to warm slightly and serve in a snifter glass to maximize the experience.
This Lexington Shingle-style house was designed by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern and is currently owned by the dean of Harvard Business School and his wife.Continue reading »
As he has done in the past, Brady advocates eating “real foods” and achieving balance — almost to an extreme.Continue reading »
It’s hard to know unless it carries the USDA’s organic seal.Continue reading »
Local foodies react to the fairy tale-like film “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”Continue reading »
A version of the ancient utensils are made in Duluth, Minn., by a company known for producing wood composite cutting boards.Continue reading »
Every sightseeing firm contacted by the Globe has made or is mulling changes to deal with endless rush hour.Continue reading »
From the moment you arrive in Seattle you can be on the move, whether you are exploring the city by foot, kayak, or even by air.Continue reading »
We’ve come to expect things so quickly in every corner of our lives that experts caution it’s making us less patient.Continue reading »
What’s more American than a ballgame and some live music? How about a good two-for-one bargain?Continue reading »