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Release Firestone Walker Introduces The Leo v. Ursus Chronology

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by hutch98, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. hutch98

    hutch98 Initiate (128) Apr 17, 2014 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Edited to add official press release:

    Venice, CA and Paso Robles, CA
    : After celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is set to chart fresh ground with the launch of Leo v. Ursus, a new chronology of beers that begins with the pre-release of Fortem at all Firestone Walker locations on Saturday, February 25.

    Fortem, an unfiltered imperial IPA, will be officially released at the end of February in draft and 16-ounce can (four-pack) formats. Fortem will land in different Firestone Walker markets at variable times over the ensuing weeks (see www.leovursus.com for availability details). It will be available for a short period before yielding to the next quarterly one-off release in the Leo. v. Ursus Chronology.

    While diverse in style, each beer in the Leo v. Ursus Chronology will exhibit unifying threads—they will be bold, intense and often hoppy, but always with a native sense of balance. Many will also address “wish lists” expressed by loyal fans.

    Brewing Team Unleashed
    The Leo v. Ursus Chronology is born of a longing for high experimentation that was finally fulfilled by the recent launch of the Propagator, Firestone Walker’s pilot brewhouse in Venice, California.

    “To say that our brewing team is pumped about Leo v. Ursus would be an understatement,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Until the Propagator came along, our ability to experiment and go crazy with tiny batches was limited. The shackles are now off.”

    The Propagator is a state-of-the-art miniature brewery made by Kaspar Schulz of Germany. It is designed to brew small, nimble batches, enabling the brewing team to explore new ideas and tinker with the results—which can then be fine-tuned and scaled at the main brewery in Paso Robles.

    “Leo v. Ursus opens the door to increased creativity with new and exciting raw materials—namely, a host of new hop cultivars that do not fit into our established recipes,” Brynildson said. “We will also explore dark malts, experimental hops and alternative grains in this program.”

    Fortem Pre-Release

    Fortem (Latin for “The Strong”) is a new-age imperial IPA that draws upon a range of influences, all while exhibiting DNA from Firestone Walker’s own forays into the IPA style—including Double Jack and Luponic Distortion.

    The intent of Fortem is to achieve power through balance, delivering amped-up aromas and mouthfeel while keeping bitterness on a leash. It blends newer hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest and Hallertau, Germany along with pale malt, wheat malt and flaked oats for a full body and a rounded texture.

    Fresh Fortem (to be canned and kegged on February 24) will be unveiled for pre-release sampling and purchasing starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 25 at all Firestone Walker locations: the Brewery Emporium in Paso Robles, Taproom Restaurant in Buellton, and the Propagator Brewery Store in Venice.

    Nomenclature & Artwork
    The name Leo v. Ursus is a nod to the brewery’s distinctive culture of purposeful conflict, as embodied by founders Adam Firestone (The Bear) and David Walker (The Lion). Much in the way that Latin signifies a common root language, the Leo v. Ursus Chronology goes to the heart of Firestone Walker’s internal brewing identity—hence the use of Latin nomenclature.

    To reimagine the Lion and Bear for Leo v. Ursus, Firestone Walker worked with Venice-based artist Todd Francis, whose work is legendary in the skateboard industry. Francis’s localized aesthetic reflects the neighborhood culture surrounding the Propagator pilot brewhouse, making his work a natural fit for beers largely inspired by experimental brews conceived at this location.

    Along the way, Francis illustrated the Lion and Bear in a more aggressive stance, signifying the union of boldness and balance that one can expect from each beer released in the Leo v. Ursus Chronology.

    “This is a new chapter for us,” Brynildson said. “We will go to our graves wishing we had made the perfect beer—but we will give it our best shot with Leo v. Ursus.”

    Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a pioneering regional craft brewery founded in 1996 and located on the coast of California. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings. For more information: FirestoneBeer


    #1 hutch98, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2017
    HermitDan, TongoRad and estans2 like this.
  2. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

  3. Eamonn-Cummings3

    Eamonn-Cummings3 Meyvn (1,137) Jan 23, 2014 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'll be picking this up for sure.
    b-mc-g likes this.
  4. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (193) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Wonder what pricing/quality will be like vs. Stone's "Enjoy By". Looks like this is 16oz x 4 cans, which is my preferred format. I've been very happy with FW's offerings since we got distro in VT last year... at $12.99 it could be a win.

    CJNAPS Savant (979) Nov 3, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    No way I'm not grabbing this one....and a lot of it hahaha cheers
    b-mc-g likes this.
  6. BeerMeInStl

    BeerMeInStl Aspirant (202) Jan 26, 2013 Missouri

    Sounds like a winner to me. Can't wait to get some!
  7. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Fresh double jack was so great. Excited.
    Brolo75 likes this.
  8. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (399) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    What am I missing? I don't see a description of this beer on either link.
  9. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (170) Jan 8, 2015 California

    From the beer label, unfiltered imperial IPA weighting in at 8.2 percent.
    SammyJaxxxx and CJNAPS like this.
  10. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (399) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    That's a pretty generic description, I saw that I guess I just don't see why it warrants excitement.
  11. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (964) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I LOVE Firestone Walker so i'm absolutely getting this. Union Jack is one of my all time favorites
  12. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,093) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I can't wait to try it, but the name is a mouthful. Pun intended.
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  13. thuey

    thuey Aspirant (224) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Because it's their first unfiltered IPA.

    I talked to some folks at the XX Anniversary party who said it was killer so I'm totally in.
    b-mc-g, jakecattleco and ebin6 like this.
  14. thuey

    thuey Aspirant (224) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Whoops, let me rephrase since that was poorly worded.

    At the Firestone XX Anniversary Party, my wife and I were chatting it up with some guys wearing Firestone Walker shirts. Turns out they're distributors of their beers. Anyway, I was talking to them about how much I enjoyed their Luponic Distortion series and was lamenting the loss of Opal/Wookie Jack/Double Jack.

    The said they got to preview some of their upcoming beers, including an unfiltered IPA, and said it was really good. Point being... Firestone Walker may be putting some beers to rest for the time being, but they have their next tricks lined up. I'm glad to see the unfiltered IPA finally rear its head.

    The previous statement sounded like they were serving it at the XX Anniversary party. They didn't. (Although they did have the Chuck Silva / FW collab called Ten Buck Chuck, which was a bretted Luponic)
    b-mc-g and TongoRad like this.
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,028) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I follow their twitter feed, and last month they were installing a big honkin' centrifuge. Looks like they plan on making use of it right away :slight_smile:.
    zid likes this.
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,057) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Michael, do you think that Firestone Walker is going to switch from filtering to centrifuging their beers?

    Sierra Nevada made a decision a few years ago to no longer filter but centrifuge instead. Steve Dressler (SN head brewer) stated they did this because filtering stripped flavor(s) from the beer.

  17. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (399) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    What type of filter does a brewery use? Media bed?
  18. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Filtering with DE is also very dangerous.
  19. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Diatomaceous Earth, is one. DE.
  20. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    I'll give any firestone IPA a shot. I'm in.
  21. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,030) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    It's really quite simple. If filtering "strips out flavor," you simply build more flavor into the recipe and process pre-filtration. Just like you build in more grain to account for lower efficiency. If the resulting beer is where you want it, then all is well.
    moose1980, zid and TongoRad like this.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,057) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I am not a commercial brewer so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. It seems to be that the large(r) breweries use DE filters (which was previously discussed). There are other filter systems available. A brewpub local to me uses a series of paper elements for filtering. There are likely other filter systems that could be used.

  23. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,028) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    My best guess would be that it will be on a case by case basis, but that's only speculation. The tweet I saw had no real specifics in it.

    Maybe @bulletrain76 would be willing to expand a bit?
  24. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,028) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    It would all depend on the end product, but in the old days it would be DE for coarse filtration (keg product that still had to be kept cold) and then a sterile plate filter (.5 micron) for bottles. These days with finings and centrifuges, I'm not so sure anymore.
    herrburgess likes this.
  25. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,030) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    I have seen a lot of coarser filtration (with DE or even plate filters) followed by polish (with plate or lenticular). Also a lot of just one of those by itself. Pretty widespread use of biofine clear, as well. Needless to say, but centrifuges are pretty expensive.
    #25 herrburgess, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
    TongoRad likes this.
  26. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Unfiltered IPAs are SO HOT right now. Unfiltered IPAs....
    RBCBrams17 and zid like this.
  27. beardown2489

    beardown2489 Disciple (373) Oct 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I love where FW is going. I think they were smart to rethink how they attack the current market of craft beer.

    We know craft beer fans want new stuff all the time and I think FW is going to do very well with this new strategy.

    Firestone Walker is one of the absolute best breweries on the country and I hope this new strategy reminds craft beer fans of that
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  28. pro100

    pro100 Initiate (135) Oct 12, 2014 California

    I'm on it
  29. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    We are indeed installing a centrifuge right now, but this beer will be 100% unfined and unfiltered. There will be some protein/tannin haze but our yeast is quite flocculent and there will not be much in the finished beer. We are also installing a new DE filter which is much better than the one we have been using basically forever. Lots more automation control and bigger/faster. DE is the standard for bright beer with minimal flavor impact and there is still really no competition. A centrifuge can't give you stable bright beer on its own. Other breweries have decided that light haze is fine and that's how they roll. We may or may not move to that on some beers. Our flagship beer (805) is bright and will not deviate from that so our new clarification system is designed primarily to process that beer.
  30. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    I would clarify that handling DE improperly is dangerous because of the effect that is has on lung health over time if inhaled. New DE systems have very effective mechanisms to keep DE from going airborne and brewers should always wear proper respirators when handling DE.
    raynmoon likes this.
  31. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    I wish it were so simple. Filtration selectively catches some aromatic compounds more than others. It's not just a matter or more or less but of changing the composition. Tighter filtration does change hop aroma somewhat. Not necessarily of the worse and it really depends of variety and what aroma you are going for.

    I think the reality of filtration and the bad reputation it can have is that many breweries conduct filtration poorly and introduce large amounts of dissolved oxygen into the beer at this point in the process. If this is occurring, then of course the beer is probably going to be better if unfiltered. Many small breweries are better off skipping filtration because of this. It's just too risky. I wouldn't run a filter without dissolved oxygen meters to monitor the process. Lagering/fining is much safer and can be almost as effective for many beers as far as getting a reasonably clear product.
  32. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,030) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Agree about reputation owing to it being done poorly. We were lucky in that we have access to a DO meter (which can be crazy expensive). But, yes, the risk is certainly there. I would take slight issue with saying a brewery that can't afford a DO meter can resort to alternate methods that will be as good as filtration. If you have a centrifuge, good. But if you are using BioFine only or "just" cold crashing, I would argue you are not getting the desired resultant profile. For, say, a German Koelsch...a decent deal of that character owes itself directly to filtration -- and all its concomitant resulting flavors. Filtration has, in a sense, become "tradition" in beers like these.
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,057) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Sam, would you characterize Sierra Nevada beers as being non-bright?

  34. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    They are off-bright and the bottle conditioned beers have some yeast sediment in them. They still filter some beers that I would consider bright, like Summerfest or Nooner.
    JackHorzempa and herrburgess like this.
  35. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    I don't know about koelsch specifically but a local brewery here makes a great helles with biofine instead of filtration and you would never know it wasn't filtered. Put it in a bottle for a few months and I'm sure it would throw a haze but on tap at the brewery it's spot on.
    JackHorzempa and RBassSFHOPit2ME like this.
  36. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    I don't give a flying F____ if the beer is hazy / non-hazy, filtered or non-filtered. If it's good, I'll continue to buy it & drink it. So long as it doesn't have that chalky - flinstone vitamin mouthfeel so many west coast unfiltered style seem to have. On that note, I've never known Firestone to make a bad beer, so....
    ebin6, Brolo75, neurobot01 and 5 others like this.
  37. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,028) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    OMG- that's a great descriptor, and all too accurate. These days I seem to think that that's exactly what they are going for, because it's so common. Such a fine line between stupid and clever...sorry...chalky and juicy :wink::sunglasses:.
    ebin6, Brolo75, VAcrossr and 2 others like this.
  38. cosmicdebris

    cosmicdebris Disciple (351) Feb 8, 2008 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I just hope I can get this as fresh as possible in my distribution area in CT. Many Firestone Walker beers are already 4 to 6 weeks old by the time we see them in stores.
    Brolo75 and smutty33 like this.
  39. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (728) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Better than 3 month old double jack AT the brewery last summer. And for $17. Lol.
    Brolo75 and cosmicdebris like this.
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,057) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That is just crazy.

    I am a fan of the beers that Firestone Walker produces but there is something seriously amiss with their lack of ability to manage the freshness of their beers. I can't tell you how many times I have lifted Firestone Walkers beers off the shelve at my local beer stores to just put them back down due to the age of the beers. It is like lifting weights at the gym!?!:slight_frown:

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