Inspired by the wine country that surrounds the brewery, Firestone Walker Rosalie debuts year-round this month.
Paso Robles, California, the home of Firestone Walker Brewing Company is known to the rest of the world as a premier wine region. The brewery was even constructed on the Firestone family winery. If that influence isn’t enough, local winemakers are always asked to assist in creating Firestone’s annual Anniversary blend.
The path to Rosalie started in September of 2018 when Castoro Winery harvested 200 tons of wine grapes for Firestone Walker. Grape varieties included Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Muscat Canelli, and Orange Muscat. Chardonnay grapes were tapped to take the flavor profile lead, but brewmaster Matt Brynildson wanted other varieties. “The Chardonnay provides these crowd-pleasing textures and flavors. But we also wanted to weave in the other grape varieties to lift the aromas and add complexity,” he says.
The goal with Firestone Walker Rosalie is to create a beer with the body of rosé wine. A cross-over creation, that blurs the line between beer and wine. The acid profile of a rosé can’t be achieved with normal yeast and malts, so the brewery used some souring techniques to achieve this.
A lightly hopped, pilsner malt heavy wort was created, and blended with pressed grape juice. By co-fermenting the wort with the grape juice, the brewery is essentially making beer and wine at the same time.
Where hops would have been added whirlpool step of the brewing process, Firestone Walker opted to use hibiscus petals. This gives Rosalie it’s pink, rosé wine style coloring, with an extra touch of citric acid which brightens up the palate beer. The result of this complicated brewing process? It would seem like one of the most cutting edge beer and wine hybrids created yet.
Look for Firestone Walker Rosalie in 12-ounce cans year-round this month. Draft will launch in April 2019.
Image: Firestone Walker