Colorado is a great state to live in if you enjoy craft beer, as the state has over 100 craft brewers and the number may be over 150. We also have some good distribution for notable craft brewers out of state and one that has recently came to Colorado is Firestone Walker. I had Double Barrel (5% ABV) earlier this year during a trip to Seattle and I had Union Jack a few weeks ago at a dinner at a friend’s home. Double Barrel is a British Pale Ale and took a silver at the 2010 GABF for the Ordinary or Special Bitter category. The website description is, “A British Pale Ale never tasted so fresh. We challenge our good friends across the pond to match this one. Can’t be done. We’ve honored the traditions of the great British Pale brewers of Burton-on-Trent using our patented Firestone Union oak barrels. You’re left with a mild blend of vanilla and toasted oak flavor touched with an elegant hint of English noble hops. DBA is the flagship of our company and wildly popular.” Double Barrel pours an orange / copper with a nice head. The hops used are classic English hop varieties and this is a really nice drinking beer.
Union Jack (7.5% ABV) pours lighter in color that Double Barrel and also has a nice head. There are 4 pounds of hops used per barrel and I have a home brew recipe for Union Jack that has the largest hop bill I have ever seen. Union Jack has won a number of awards and I can see, smell and taste why. It is in the top 10, maybe top 5 of IPAs that I have tasted. The website describes Union Jack as, “An instant classic, Union Jack is the recipient of numerous awards including back to back wins at the Great American Beer Festival. Union Jack is abound with hop aroma and character. In fact this well balanced, west coast IPA is dry hopped 3 separate times, each lot giving it more and more of the grapefruit citrus hop aroma and flavor it is known for. Overall it utilizes over 4 pounds of pacific northwest hops per barrel.” I will try more products from Firestone Walker and I am glad they are in Colorado.