Firestone Fieldtrip

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and quite honestly, my only excuse is laziness.  I’ve got a few things to catch up on, starting with a trip to Firestone brewery in Paso Robles.

Last month I found myself in Atascadero, CA with Beersoaked Guido.  Atascadero is next door to Paso Robles, which is home to Firestone brewery, and Firestone brewery is home to some of the finest beer I’ve ever had.  We were lucky enough to enjoy a four course pairing in their Taproom restaurant, and this is a summary of it.

First course; salad paired with Pale 31.  The salad was artsy; beets, fennel, goat cheese, you get the point.  It was tossed with a Union Jack vinaigrette, but I honestly couldn’t tell.  It was my first time drinking a Pale 31, and I didn’t have high expectations given my hophead habit.  I was pleasantly surprised as this beer is very good for such a low ABV.  Beautiful golden color, surprising hop up front, well-balanced malt in the middle and a dry finish.  A really good beer and a pleasant surprise.  4 out 5 beer caps.

Second Course; clams, shallots and garlic steamed with 805 blonde ale and paired with Solace.  The clams were fantastic and I was able to get a little of the 805 flavor it was steamed in.  Unfortunately, Solace is my least favorite Firestone brew.  Solace is their summer seasonal brew and its main flavors are banana and clove; two flavors I don’t care for on their own, let alone in a beer.  Beersoaked Guido enjoyed it though, so take that for what it’s worth.  5 beer caps for the clams, 2 for the solace.

Third course; pork chop brined and prepared with DBA mustard demi-glaze, with caramelized apples and brussel sprout slaw and paired with Double Barrel Ale.  The chop and slaw were fantastic, and it paired well with the DBA.  DBA sees a frequent rotation in my man fridge so I’m pretty familiar with it.  A fantastic dark golden color and one of the best balanced strong English style beers you can have. If you’ve never had the pleasure, you need to.  5 caps for both the plate and the DBA.

Fourth course; Velvet Merlin bread pudding with coffee whipped cream and salted caramel sauce, paired with Velvet Merkin.  Whether intended or not, they saved the best for last.  While the bread pudding was a little dry for my taste, the flavors were fantastic. Merlin made himself known immediately, and I can’t imagine what it would have tasted like without the coffee whip.  As good as that was, the pairing with the Merkin was where it was at.  It was my first time having the Merkin, and it was one of those memorable culinary moments I’ll never forget.  Velvet Merkin is an oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels.  WOW.  The bourbon is in your face, as is the chocolate, with notes of coffee and cherry.  I honestly can’t remember EVER having a beer like this.  A fantastic beer made even better by its paring.  5 caps for both the plate and the brew.

A final word about Firestone before I end this lengthy post.  I’ve been a long time fan of their DBA, Union Jack and Double Jack.  While there, I was lucky enough to also have their Hef, Parabola, Wookey Jack, and Unfiltered DBA.  I’ll cover those in a later post, but I urge you to not wait for that.  If you are lucky enough to be in the vicinity of Paso Robles, You MUST pay a visit to Firestone.  You will not regret it.  Cheers.

Firestone Walker TapRoom Restaurant
1400 Ramada Dr.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
For info call (805) 225-5911 ext. 800
http://www.firestonebeer.com/tap-room-restaurant/paso-robles.php

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