WEATHER »

Courtesy Photo

Firestone Walker Lager

Crisp but Malty Concoction Marks Return to Lighter Beer for Renowned Central Coast Brewery


Deep yellow in color with a refreshing nose, malty body, and just a hint of hops, Firestone Walker’s latest release is a straightforward lager, and it goes down easy. That’s quite a departure from a brewery that, at least in recent years, has made more headlines for exploring the frontiers of brewing: pungent wild and sour ales, luscious barrel-aged beauties, and ales heavy with heady hops.

But in fact, Firestone first released a lager in 2000, only to watch it die in the over-hopped IPA craze. Eighteen years later, the craft-brew customer is seeking all sorts of beers, and lager is starting to be back en vogue. And any honest brewmaster will admit that making a consistent lager — yes, including those like Budweiser we all like to hate on — is one of the harder challenges in the trade. “You’re working with this bright, transparent canvas that will reveal the smallest flaw,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson.

He updated the old recipe by moving toward more of a Munich Helles style, featuring both German pilsner and North American pale malts and noble German hops. It’s crisp and clean yet satisfyingly full, something those mass-produced lagers can’t quite claim — indeed, the brewery staff has taken to calling it a unicorn beer. It’s available in stark-white six-pack cans ($10) or on draft.

See firestonelager.com.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Volunteers in Policing Is Looking for 10 Good Men and Women

An eye-opening volunteer program at Santa Barbara Police Department.

Alvarado and Ford File for School Board

Mark M. Alvarado and Kate Ford registered to run for the Santa Barbara Unified school board.

Thousands Received DACA Relief After Lawsuits Filed

Renewal applications have totaled 117,446 since program suspension was overturned.

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

[Update] The suspect in the Goleta Rabobank robbery has been identified as Keith David Goodwin, believed to ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.