The Firestone Walker range at Brewdog Camden

BrewDog, those infamous brew-punks from the cold north, should be extended a great long arm of gratitude for their endeavour to put other breweries on tap in their pubs. Last Thursday, the 20th of September 2012, they featured an American brewery by the name of Firestone Walker from Paso Robles, California. They’ve been brewing since 2002 and picking up a fair few awards in the process. Their special thing is that they ferment their beer in a series of interlinked oak barrels, each holding 60 gallons (that’s about 272 liters for all you metric people). The question is, does all that messing about with barrels make a difference?

Well, it’s safe to say their beer is 100% delicious. At BrewDog they had three of their most popular brews on tap; the Union Jack IPA,  the Double Jack IPA and the Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA. I could end it here by saying they were all downright amazing. The end.

Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA

Ok, there’s more to it. All three brews had a basement of flavour, a certain weight to them, that reminded me of The Kernel Brewery. The IPA and the double IPA were pretty similar, with the double being a tad sweeter and punchier, although not any more alcoholic despite having 9.5% alcohol. These IPAs are up there with the best I’ve ever had. My personal favourite however was the Wookey Jack. I find that a lot of black IPAs often taste like someone has just added black food colouring to a regular IPA. Some of them might have a touch of something darker about them, but the Wookey is proper dark. The Wookey doesn’t mess about. It tastes like the bastard baby of a porter and an IPA  – a dark and fruity delicious little baby. I could drink that baby all night long.

This is where I tell you about our dear friend Adrian. It just so happens that he’s right now, as you read this with your eyes, breathing in the brewing fumes from Firestone Walker in Paso Robles. The lucky fucker. He’s down there visiting them and he’ll report back to this blog about his experience in the near future. So come back soon.

Until then, keep drinking the good stuff.

All drunk up at brewdog camden