Release Firestone Walker: "BRAVO" Finally Takes A Bow

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by rfgetz, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. rfgetz

    rfgetz Poo-Bah (2,295) Nov 14, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    "BRAVO" Finally Takes A Bow
    JANUARY 23, 2017

    Paso Robles, CA: For the first time since its brewing inception more than a dozen years ago, Firestone Walker’s “Bravo” imperial brown ale is finally finding its way into the bottle, with a limited release set for early February across all Firestone Walker markets.

    Along the way, Bravo ($9.99) launches the transition of all Firestone Walker Vintage Reserve barrel-aged beers from 22-ounce bombers to individually boxed 12-ounce bottles in 2017, to include longtime stalwarts such as Parabola and the annual Anniversary Ale.

    Bravo: Back to The Future

    Bravo was the first beer matured in retired spirits barrels by Brewmaster Matt Brynildson in 2004, during the experimental stages of what would become Firestone Walker’s inaugural Anniversary Ale.

    From day one, Bravo has epitomized Firestone Walker’s approach to barrel-aged beers. “At the time, most barrel-aged beers veered toward the sweeter side,” Brynildson said. “We wanted to make something more dry and lean that would really allow the true bourbon barrel character to pop.”

    Bravo has remained one of the driest beers in Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve series of barrel-aged beers, and since day one has been considered a vital component in the annual blending of the Anniversary Ale, balancing out some of the stickier components.

    “Coming out of stainless steel, Bravo is pretty bracing,” Brynildson said. “But when it goes into the barrel, it really mellows out, and the barrel character comes to the forefront.”

    Another signature of Bravo is a lively malt quality that is maintained through Firestone Walker’s cold-storage of its barrel-aged beers. “It has this malt character that is surprisingly fresh,” he said. “There’s a ton of barrel character, and a lot of toffee and caramel. It has the flavor of things sweet, but without being cloying or oxidative.”

    The Upside of Downsizing

    Henceforth, all beers from Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve line of barrel aged beers will be bottled in the 12-ounce format, although total production of each beer remains the same.

    “We’ve been thinking about doing this for a while now,” Brynildson said. “It’s something that a lot of people have been clamoring for, and we decided to finally pull the trigger.”

    Brynildson noted that the primary benefit is the ability to enjoy a high-gravity, barrel-aged beer without committing to consuming a full 22-ounce bottle.

    “With beers like this, a 12-ounce bottle is perfect for two reasonable servings,” he said.

    He added, “The per-bottle price point becomes more palatable, and we can spread the same amount of beer farther so that more people can try it. It also makes it easier to drink one now and age another for later. It’s just a lot more flexible.”
    Texasfan549, cjgiant, mecmd and 4 others like this.
  2. NewmansOwn

    NewmansOwn Disciple (314) Jun 25, 2016 New York

  3. Dando274

    Dando274 Initiate (155) Jan 12, 2016 Pennsylvania

    I love it. 12oz is a dramatically better serving size than a bomber for these high abv beers.
    Texasfan549, Lucular, ebin6 and 3 others like this.
  4. KBlodorn

    KBlodorn Disciple (329) Oct 3, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Bravo to FW (pardon the pun), but this is awesome news. With not many friends that share the same enthusiasm for craft beer as me, I find myself sitting on bombers for extended periods of time, as I don't want to drink that much at once. With 12 oz. bottles, though, I'll have no problem with that. Love the transition!
  5. NewmansOwn

    NewmansOwn Disciple (314) Jun 25, 2016 New York

    So NYC will now get 12 bottles instead of 6 right?
    ceeg, smi69, JordonHoltzman and 5 others like this.
  6. Patches826

    Patches826 Crusader (757) Aug 28, 2013 Massachusetts
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    That's a weird quote to include. Even at high ABV, who the hell drinks 6oz of beer at a time?
  7. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,457) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Actually, you'll get 11 :wink:
    Fox82791 and NewmansOwn like this.
  8. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (165) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Do people really have a problem drinking a bomber of beer? While the smaller format might be nice to have one now and cellar another, i feel like a lot of stores will put a 1pp limit on them.
    Also i actually enjoy having a bombers worth of these beers to share with friends or have myself. I cant really share a 12oz bottle aside from pouring myself a glass and passing it around to some friends to have a sip. Getting 2 12oz bottles is also more expensive than the bomber typically is in my area ($18? if i remember) so overall i guess i prefer the bomber format.

    On a side note, are there any other 12oz beers that come in single boxes like this? It seems like a strange move to change the format but keep the packaging.
    BWood and masterplanman like this.
  9. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    To the people complaining about the price per ounce: Under this format, a bomber would be $18.26. Which is not too far off from what people were paying last year for the 22oz.

    With the old price per ounce, the 12oz would cost $9.27.

    Stop bitching, basically.
    DonicBoom, croush, CanadaBoy and 5 others like this.
  10. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (5,497) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
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    Will be on the lookout for it.

  11. CJNAPS

    CJNAPS Meyvn (1,029) Nov 3, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Really looking forward to this one, never had Bravo.
  12. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (165) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Was this directed at me? Sorry if i'm "bitching", I was just saying how i feel about the format change, though i'm sure that can come off as too negative and thus "bitching". I'm also not complaining about price per ounce, it's more that if I want 2 glasses of this beer it's going to cost me $2 more than it usually would, if I can even get 2 bottles.
  13. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    No, this wasn't directed at anyone one person in general, but just for those who are upset about the price being 74 cents more than "it should." But I see what you mean about the having to buy two.
    ebin6 likes this.
  14. BWood

    BWood Crusader (727) Jan 4, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    Not a fan. To me a 22oz is the perfect size. FW beers are 12-14%. That's not ridiculously high compared to the Bruery who regularly puts 16-20% beers in 750s. If they keep the price per ounce the same I will not mind that much. But I have a feeling there will be a increase eventually. More glass bought. More labels produced. More space taken for shipping. I have to say I am a little disheartened by this. A bomber fills the glass twice. So you get to taste the beer in several different stages (cold-warm). Just my personal opinion.
    cser, rightcoast7, Wasatch and 3 others like this.
  15. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (250) Jun 4, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    I say get rid of the box and put this bad boy in four packs. I would definitely pay $40 for that :grinning:
    Webbbeer, Brolo75 and ebin6 like this.
  16. KBlodorn

    KBlodorn Disciple (329) Oct 3, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Completely agree
  17. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (311) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Yes, for a lot of people 22 oz of 10-15% abv beer is too much for most occasions. I'm sure I can do it, but I would almost never want to. Besides the alcohol, with such a rich flavor I've usually had more than enough after 6-8 oz.
  18. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (5,497) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I should have said something probably sooner, but bombers are very nice, 750ml are the way to go though. For me, pretty easy to drink, been doing it for years. Also like 12 oz. brew's, all high ABV.:slight_smile:

  19. ebin6

    ebin6 Disciple (348) Jun 11, 2009 California

    I'd imagine they're referring to the standard drink servings. A bomber of that stuff is like 5.5 standard drinks. This is much more reasonable.

    I, for one, will be much more likely to pick one up now. Bombers of this type of beer, in my opinion, are way too much to solo. Also, since the price point is essentially the same, it's a good value compared to many other barrel-aged beers.
    StoutElk_92 likes this.
  20. Abstractual

    Abstractual Initiate (136) Mar 6, 2015 New York
    Beer Trader

    Pour 6oz at a time and allow the beer some space to breathe, 12oz of a beer like this is easily good for a couple hours of drinking.
    ebin6 likes this.
  21. BWood

    BWood Crusader (727) Jan 4, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    Unfortunately for me I am not that slow a drinker. There is no way I could make 12oz last a couple hours.
    MjBrewhouse, 1Sundown2C and raynmoon like this.
  22. bgold86

    bgold86 Meyvn (1,041) Apr 1, 2015 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    This will still be one pp round these neck of the woods and will not be 9.99, guessing between 12-14 per.
    1Sundown2C and Dan_K like this.
  23. jageraholic

    jageraholic Devotee (412) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I enjoy the bomber format for splitting or for drinking over the course of 2 hours by a fire. 6 oz doesn't seem like enough and this could end up with me only getting one 12 oz bottle vs one 22 oz bottle with how scarce these beers are. The price change is a bit more than highlighted above as well. The bombers were $15.99 a bottle here so the price change for a bomber would be $6. That said, I'm sure FW sees the crazy prices people pay for Bourbon County without hesitation so why not raise it. There is demand.
    ebin6 likes this.
  24. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (386) Apr 29, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    A single boxed 12oz bottle...for $10? I kind of hoped they would have opted for a $25-$30 4 pack, but keeping the boxed format is classy...if not a little "dinky" for a 12oz bottle.

    Firestone boxed 22oz beers (Sucaba, Parabola, etc.) are $14-$16 here, but somehow I get the feeling that while there will be more volume of special releases to go around in the new format, I will ultimately choose to purchase fewer bottles in total.
  25. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (386) Apr 29, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    True. But this move seems more like..."pay less, get less." It's strikes me akin to a 7.5 oz can of Coke. Sometimes there are ramifications beyond price changes. Maybe people choose to buy fewer bottles, not more. The boxed beers have always been nice gifts to give, whereas now they feel more like a "stocking stuffer."

    Your finest wine shouldn't be put into half-bottles...just sayin'.
    #25 TriggerFingers, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    BWood and TruePerception like this.
  26. jageraholic

    jageraholic Devotee (412) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I don't disagree at all. I was a fan of the bombers for the intent of either sharing or spending a couple hours drinking myself. And the price was better before.
  27. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (688) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Is a box really needed? All of this will sell w/o a box. I would think no box could lower the cost .50 cents a bottle. Is $9.49 not a good price point? Just putting it out there.

    For me I'm not buying either version as $ is too steep for me right now. I am trying to drink my stash and stay at under $35 a case.

  28. BeerMeInStl

    BeerMeInStl Aspirant (205) Jan 26, 2013 Missouri

    I agree. I'm usually not sharing my beer with anyone else and one serving of a high gravity beer is enough for me. It's not that I can't drink it, I just don't want to. It's one of the reasons why I don't frequently buy BA beers any more. 12oz would be perfect for me.
  29. xxbassplayerxx

    xxbassplayerxx Initiate (173) Mar 16, 2016 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    While I love polishing off a big BA 750 by myself :stuck_out_tongue:
    Leebo likes this.
  30. Pisthetaerus

    Pisthetaerus Aspirant (202) Dec 3, 2014 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    If only those kinds of price increases actually translated like that at all retailers :/
  31. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (346) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    I think ya'll are completely crazy. 12oz of any of those beers is perfect for doming or splitting with spouse/buddy. I for one would WAY prefer splitting 2 different FW VR series beers with someone over an evening, vs over splitting one. This fits with just about everything FW "stands for" like comparing vintages, blending beers in another glass, etc.

    $10 is a solid price for a quality BA beer in 2017, I wish it was cheaper but the ones that are cheaper don't overlap with quality, USUALLY.
    ebin6, StoutElk_92 and harbinger like this.
  32. TruePerception

    TruePerception Defender (636) Aug 30, 2013 California

    I really don't understand all the "split a 12 oz." talk. Who drinks the equivalent of 1 drink on the DMV's scale, and calls it quits? Unless you are literally "doming" it; in which case, why are using high end beer purely for getting fucked up?! Grab a 22, and enjoy it over the next 30 to 120 minutes. If you want to just get wasted, a bottle of vodka will do just fine.
    BWood and QuakeAttack like this.
  33. Lucular

    Lucular Poo-Bah (1,601) Jun 20, 2014 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I thought you were going to say sober-drunk.
  34. BWood

    BWood Crusader (727) Jan 4, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    Lol. Yea that could be put in too. Unfortunately for me 22oz of FW box beers doesn't get me drunk.
    Prince_Casual, VABA and raynmoon like this.
  35. JayORear

    JayORear Savant (962) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    More of us than you'd think, especially on a weeknight.
    CFCforlife, johnInLA and DLang713 like this.
  36. TruePerception

    TruePerception Defender (636) Aug 30, 2013 California

    Eh. I typically drink when I don't work the next day. I have to get up early, and I tend to sleep extra if I drink, but don't get drunk. That, mixed with my penchant for giving myself 6 hours (or less) to sleep, causes me to oversleep more often. No bueno.

    Oddly enough, if I do get drunk, and go immediately to sleep, I tend to sleep less, and wake up more refreshed. Which seems weird to me. Maybe dimming the noise in my head helps me focus on recuperating.
  37. RogelioRodriguez

    RogelioRodriguez Initiate (150) Nov 7, 2015 California

    In other words, the price per ounce increases...Everybody is doing it. But for the love of god...10$ for a single bottle, screw that.

    The crass consumerism of barrel aged beers never ceases to amaze me...Its just beer, aged in a second hand vessel...Big woop.

    Now here's the kicker, add 1/3 ounces of bourbon to any beer and viola! same taste.
    tjmodica likes this.
  38. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    El oh el
  39. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (165) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Yea, i never buy bourbon, i just get some whiskey and throw some chunks of oak in the glass when i drink it.
    DonicBoom likes this.
  40. Dan_K

    Dan_K Devotee (443) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I split 12oz bottles all the time, sometimes 3 ways. I almost never solo a 22 oz bottle. Maybe 3x in my life.
    ebin6 and Harrison8 like this.