Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #75
Ranked #825
4.36 | pDev: 7.57%
Mar 14, 2022
Aug 10, 2009
Notes: We are fortunate to have great relationships with our local growers who provide us with superb fruit for our beers. Like last year, we had the opportunity to purchase fresh marionberries and boysenberries, both close cousins to the blackberry, so we pounced. For this vintage, fresh berries were added to Sour Opal, a beer matured up to 24 months in oak barrels, and then fermented using our proprietary blend of microflora for an additional 3 months. Bursting with ripe berries and brambles, as well as hints of jam, the fruit gives way to a rustic funk and soft oak flavors, finishing with a mouth-watering acidity.
View: More Beers
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.27 by shelby415 from Oregon

Mar 14, 2022
Rated: 3.85 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Jan 17, 2022
Rated: 4.08 by Lofreqwave from California

Feb 03, 2020
Rated: 4 by Birdlegs from Washington

Dec 01, 2019
Photo of Noah_Aimar
Reviewed by Noah_Aimar from Oregon

3.87/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Looks is awesome, looks exactly like berry juice
Smell is sort of underwhelming for a beer I was hoping would be bursting with berries.
Taste is a bit subtle, no wow factor coming through for the hints of berries although it is obvious this beer is well crafted.
Feel is ok, very foamy carbonation.

This barrelworks creation was a miss for me, maybe I just wasn't in the mood. Luckily its still a great beer and I have two more bottles to see if it grows on me!
Aug 07, 2019
Rated: 4.42 by Biggiekrock627 from Maryland

Jul 25, 2019
Rated: 3.49 by cmurphy7 from Massachusetts

Jun 23, 2019
Rated: 4.54 by davidsonte2 from Washington

Jun 20, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by Beer21 from Florida

May 07, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by schopenhauerale from Arizona

Mar 23, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by The_Beer_Guru from New York

Dec 11, 2018
Rated: 4.34 by BltByKrmn from New York

Oct 24, 2018
Rated: 4.63 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Oct 15, 2018
Photo of JamFuel
Reviewed by JamFuel from Sweden

4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Batch 003.

Pours a deep, vibrant red with some wispy head.

Smell is tart with nice rolling notes of raspberries and blackberries and a hint of vinegar and cherries.

Taste is right on the edge of sour with a hint of vinegar. Big notes of raspberries, blackberries and a hint of sloe on the long, dry finish. Complex and juicy.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium with bright carbonation.

Overall, a terrific sour with great balance and depth.
Oct 14, 2018
Rated: 4.33 by emerge077 from Illinois

Oct 14, 2018
Rated: 4.45 by stephenlee from England

Oct 10, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by MickeyHops from California

Aug 06, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by ajdemma from New York

Aug 05, 2018
Photo of kitch
Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A 375ml corked and caged bottle. Batch No. 003, bottled on 8th November 2016. Poured into a 3 Fonteinen stemmed glass.

Appearance: A clear ruby purple colour with a big two finger pinkish head that dissipated quickly while leaving only sparse to no lacing.

Aroma: Tart, blackberry, mixed berries, lightly jammy.

Taste: Sour, tart, blackberry, mixed berries, with a touch of oak and funk.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Very nice blackberry aroma and flavours. Enjoyable and easy to drink.
Jul 10, 2018
Rated: 4.46 by cd34 from Illinois

Jul 05, 2018
Photo of DefenCorps
Reviewed by DefenCorps from Oregon

4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
On tap at Apex. 2015 vintage.

Pink with a light pink head with good retention and lacing this looks great. The nose is jammy, bright and fruity, with a nice blend of seedless raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. A mild red wine note is present as well. The palate opens very fruity with the marionberry and boysenberry, noticeable in their lack of tannins, along with some strawberry. Jammy, moderately fatty to the detriment of the mouthfeel, this beer also has a nice vinous note. Red wine, vanilla, yogurt, a little lactic acid are present. Drying on the finish, this beer is medium light in body. Finish is a little lacking, maybe this beer was better fresh? The clean fruit expression is excellent, though.
Jun 18, 2018
Photo of Stevedore
Reviewed by Stevedore from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
375ml cork and caged bottle. Served in a wine glass. Pours a dark purple reddish body, light pink head measuring about one and half fingers, good retention, lots of lacing. Smell is tart blackberry, tannin, lactic acid, a bit of blackberry preserve, light lemon. Flavour follows; lemon, blackberry tartness, moderate lactic acidity, light tannin, a bit of red vinous character as well. Nice complexity, although the sourness itself is slightly one-note. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, slightly dry tart blackberry finish. A very nice wild ale with a good blackberry fruit presence.
Jun 13, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by Kurmaraja from California

Apr 09, 2018
Rated: 4.04 by mltobin from Connecticut

Feb 24, 2018
Rated: 4.4 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Feb 07, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by Gkruszewski from New York

Feb 02, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Have had this on tap a few times at the source, the high bottle price prevents me from taking any home, but on tap, good deal. Pours a color that is berry-esque, you get that light blue, purple, pink kind of blend of colors with this one and it even has a slight 1/4" head on it that is a lighter color than the body but in the same vein. Aroma was sour lemons and berries.

Taste is definitely pushed by the high degree of sourness to it. This is like an 8 or 9 on the 10 point scale. But it isn't a one trick pony, the berries are juicy and the oak is clean and impactful. They carbonate well and always seem fresh even if its an old batch. If you're looking for funky complexity this doesn't really do that, but it does do a very nice mix of sour and fruit with plenty of oak.
Jan 29, 2018
Photo of Chcshammonde
Reviewed by Chcshammonde from California

4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I was psyched to find this at the Propagator's walk-in fridge in the gift shop. That place is awesome. The beer has a ruby and blue color to it. The smell is mild berries, oak, funk, sharp lactic tones. Taste does have a bit of depth and complexity, but not as much as others have described below. The beer is quite tart and sour, but not overly so. The berries lend a nice flavor profile that's blended with the base beer, and the oak wine barrels lend a sharp presence at the finish. I enjoyed it.
Jan 29, 2018
Photo of StJamesGate
Reviewed by StJamesGate from New York

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Luminous raspberry. 4
Big balsamic + red fruit Pastilles. 4
Cherry cough drops, some wood, deep forest fruits, and milk funk. 4
Dry, snappy, light. 4

Boysenberry! Lots of fruit, low on tartness. I don’t know about anything lambic - could need time to get funky. But works fine as it is. 4
Jan 17, 2018
Rated: 4.49 by Shaneb818 from California

Dec 12, 2017
Rated: 4.02 by Sk8sean86 from Massachusetts

Dec 07, 2017
Rated: 3.83 by chippo33 from Vermont

Nov 28, 2017
Photo of andrewh995
Reviewed by andrewh995 from Arizona

4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours a clear deep purple with a small purple head. Smells of berries, funk, and some lactic acid. Tastes of blackberries, boysenberries, lactic acid, light vinegar, and acidity. Medium body with medium carbonation. Overall and incredible sour.
Nov 18, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by kdown from California

Nov 15, 2017
Rated: 5 by WadeBridgman from Illinois

Nov 09, 2017
Photo of NeilSilber1
Rated by NeilSilber1 from California

3.57/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Marionberries and boysenberry soul opal, a bit strong on the hibiscus and jammy fruitiness.
Nov 05, 2017
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Nov 03, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by oriolesfan4 from Maryland

Oct 24, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by SoCalBeerIdiot from California

Oct 20, 2017
Rated: 4.35 by snowmageddon from Massachusetts

Oct 14, 2017
SLOambic from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 340 ratings