Brewer: Firestone Walker Brewing
Style: Blonde Ale
When Firestone Walker introduced a crisp, easy-drinking blonde ale to the residents of its 805 area code, cofounder David Walker wasn't expecting much from it. "Then it took off and it started to scare us because we had spent so much effort making these hoppy beers. It wasn't like the beers we were known for." He swallowed his fear and made what he terms, "a grown-up decision" to expand distribution beyond the brewery's immediate vicinity.
805 is still sold only in California, where it's typically bought in quantity by drinkers looking for refreshment over complexity. Blonde, with a light body and understated grainy flavor and crisp finish, it's not hard to see the appeal.