Paso's Firestone Walker wins big at Great American Beer Festival

jrobillard@thetribunenews.comOctober 15, 2013 

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles

JENNIFER ROBILLARD — jrobillard@thetribunenews.com

The Great American Beer Festival is again cheering Firestone Walker Brewing Co., giving it the Mid-Size Brewing Company and Brewer of the Year award for the fourth time.

That’s not all: The Paso Robles company’s brews also won four medals this weekend at the Denver festival, considered the largest commercial beer competition in the world. Wookey Jack black rye IPA, Pivo Hoppy Pils and Taproom IPA earned gold medals. The Union Jack American-style IPA won silver against 251 beers in a category with the most entries.

“It’s a testament to how relentless our brewers are when it comes to quality,” co-owner Adam Firestone said in a news release.

The company previously won the midsize brewery award in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Matt Brynildson leads the brew team.

Also in the brewery’s trophy cabinet: The European Beer Star’s top award of Consumers’ Favourite in Gold for its Pale 31 ale. The competition was held last month in Germany. In addition, Firestone Walker holds the midsize brewery award for a record fourth time from the 2012 World Beer Cup, which is held every two years.

Firestone Walker, which operates a location in Buellton and plans to open a pilot brewery next year in Los Angeles, has been brewing in Paso Robles since 2001. It’s ranked No. 20 in the nation in craft beer sales by volume, according to the Brewers Association.

This year, 732 U.S. breweries participated in the 27th annual Great American Beer Festival competition. More than 4,800 beers were judged, and awards were given in more than 80 categories. Only one gold, silver and bronze is awarded in each category.

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