Barrelworks wasn't a goal of Firestone's ownership and it wasn't necessarily a welcome guest at the brewery either. The beautiful beers coming out of Buellton today come to us as a result of lots of hard work and a little bit of sneaking around on the part of Jim Crooks, now the master blender of what was almost a scrapped project. Thankfully his perseverance with the project and constant curiosity about the processes at work inside of his small collection of barrels led to a full time and recognized piece of the Firestone Walker brand. A piece of the brand that is only getting bigger and better.
Off on their island one hour and one half south of the Paso Robles facility, Barrelworks is exploring the realm of wild beer. No concerns about infecting any clean beers, no limits or boundaries, and full control over the production of the wildly complex (pun intended) ales leaving the facility on liberation days. With Jim at the helm, the crew is producing some of the most beautifully nuanced and complex beers around. Beer that give the most curious drinker something to think about while giving the novice craft beer and wild ale drinker a wonderfully balanced introduction to what wild ales should and can smell, taste, and feel like. Honestly. The beers are beautiful. The people are awesome. Jim is no exception. Listen in on our chat about all things Barrelworks, wild beer, and attempting to produce beers like these at home.