Monday, June 26, 2006


Had heard some positive things about the FIRESTONE WALKER BREWING Co. from Paso Robles, CA, but if this one's any indication of their dedication to making a top-end, special microbrew then all bets are off. Their FIRESTONE DOUBLE BARREL ALE is advertised as an American Amber, and that may be true, but I swear it tastes like a macrobrewery trying to "go micro" rather than the other way around. In other words, if you've ever tried concoctions like "Budweiser Hefeweizen" or "Coors Amber Bock" (making the names up, you know what I mean), this Firestone beer's in roughly the same class. It has a brownish-orange color and a sort of caramel-ish taste, but it truly tasted like a tarted-up Bud to me. No complexity, no hops, no future, baby. And look at that label - doesn't that look like something that every Tom, Dick & Harry would be hauling off the liquor store fridge shelves, right next to the "Keystone" and the "Rolling Rock". These fellas are going pro in a big way - and that's no sin, I will defend both Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada to my dying days -- but unless they've got some heavyweight beers hiding behind this marginal "American Amber" (come on!), I'm keeping a wary and distrusting eye on 'em. 4.5/10.


Anonymous said...

I bought this beer while on vacation in LA. The night before I had dined at Hamburger Hamlet in Hollywood. With my meal I ordered one of their hous beers - the "Hamlet Ale", which was absolutely delicious. After the meal I spoke with the bartender who informed me that the Hamlet Ale was brewed for them by Firestone. He wasn't sure, but thought that it was simply a re-label of one of Firestone's flagship brews.

I really, really enjoyed the beer and wanted to bring some home with me, so I visited a liquor store and figured that of the several beers they had on the shelf from Firestone, the Amber was probably it. So I purchased, packed in my suitcase, and flew the beer across the country only to pop one open a few days later and find that it was a much different, much sorrier brew than I could have imagined.

Sad, sad, sad.


Anonymous said...

All hamlet hamburger location are closed in CA along with the one in Hollywood. The only one left is in sherman oaks. Keep this one running hamlet!!!