Wine & Beer

Best summer beer in California? This national list names a winner

Take a look inside Firestone Walker’s new brewhouse in Paso Robles

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is putting the final touches on a two-year, $15 million expansion of its Paso Robles brewhouse and new visitor center.
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Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is putting the final touches on a two-year, $15 million expansion of its Paso Robles brewhouse and new visitor center.

A Firestone Walker beer has been crowned a best brew in California — and it might be one of the best in the world.

That's according to Popular Mechanics, which recently released its list of the best summertime beer from each state.

The San Luis Obispo County-based brewery was praised for its Pivo Pils, which the judges called "possibly the best pilsner in the world."

"You may weep upon tasting its perfection," the judge wrote.

Firestone Pivo Pils.jpg
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Pivo earned a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in October and has won gold multiple times in the past.

As well, Firestone Walker received three gold medals at the 2018 World Beer Cup in May, a biennial competition consisting of 2,515 breweries from 66 countries, according to a news release.

At the World Beer Cup, the Paso Robles brewery won for C-Hops pale ale, Firestone Walker DBA and STiVO Keller Pils, a collaboration with Russian River Brewing Co., according to the release.

Popular Mechanics said its list "contains mostly lighter beers fit for summertime consumption," which is why many darker beers weren't featured.

Runners-up in California were Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis and Alpine's Hoppy Birthday Session IPA.

Take a look inside Firestone Walker Brewing Co's main brewery in Paso Robles as co-founder David Walker talks about the beginnings of the business and the craft beer revolution in the United States.

Some other champs from across the West are:

  • Arizona: McFate Brewing Co.'s Hatch Chile Cream Ale

  • Oregon: Pelican Brewing's Kiwanda Cream Ale

  • Colorado: Bierstadt Lagerhaus' Bierstadt Helles

  • Idaho: Selkirk Abbey Brewing Co.'s Chapel Witbier

  • Washington: Bale Breaker's Field 41

  • Nevada: Brasserie Saint James' Daily Wages Farmhouse Ale

  • New Mexico: La Cumbre Brewing Co.'s BEER Lager

  • Utah: Uinta Brewing's Baba Black Lager

Firestone Walker, which was founded in Santa Barbara County in 1996, is undertaking a major expansion at its 88-acre Paso Robles brewery campus — adding six 1,500-barrel fermenters (pumping beer to the tanks in pipes 17 feet above the street) and constructing a new cold storage building adjacent to the Taproom Restaurant.

Firestone Walker combined its operations in 2015 with Belgium-based brewery Duvel Moortgat, which committed capital to help the California brewery grow.

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