Brewer: Firestone Walker Brewing
Style: Berliner Weisse
When a brewery begins a sour beer program, one of the biggest concerns is avoiding cross contamination with their conventional beers. Firestone Walker took no chances, aging its sour brews at a second facility in Buelton, California, some 105 miles south of the production brewery in Paso Robles.
The location and the beers they make are sold under the name Firestone Walker Barrelworks. The facility is purely a fermentation and barrel-aging operation, all the beer is shipped down from the Paso Robles brewery by truck before it meets the wild yeast and bacteria that sparks its transformation.
One of our favorite beers to emerge from Barrelworks is Bretta Weiss, a lightly acidic beer that's aged for eight months in giant French oak barrels called foedres. The beer is loosely brewed in the Berliner Weisse style. At 4.9 percent alcohol, Bretta Weiss is still highly refreshing with a light wheat flavor and a touch of tartness to go along with gentle funk.