Firestone Walker & Russian River's STiVO returns, canned for the first time

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Jan 14, 2022 at 7:36 PM.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,558) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader


    “STiVO” Returns with Limited Small-Batch Release; Available in Cans for the First Time

    Venice, CA–California’s cult pilsner is back with the return of STiVO, a small-batch release from Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Russian River Brewing Company.

    STiVO is an immaculately conceived mashup of the breweries’ flagship pilsners, STS and Pivo. Previously released only in draft and last seen winning a gold medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup, STiVO is now available in cans (4-pack, 16-oz) for the first time ever.

    STiVO is available in cans and on draft for a limited time at all Firestone Walker locations; on draft at Russian River Brewing Company locations; and online at Direct shipping is available to nine states: CA, DC, KY, NE, NH, ND, VT , PA and VA.

    Respect & Friendship
    Brewed at Firestone Walker’s Propagator R&D brewhouse in Venice, California, this latest batch is once again a testament to the longtime friendship and mutual pilsner passions of Russian River Co-Owner/Brewer Vinnie Cilurzo and Firestone Walker Brewmaster Matt Brynildson.

    “Vinnie and I respect each other immensely as brewers, but more important, we’re good friends,” Brynildson said, noting that their collaborative connection spans more than 15 years.

    Brynildson recalls that when Cilurzo and his wife Natalie built their brewery, Cilurzo would call regularly seeking technical input. Conversely, when Firestone Walker established its Barrelworks wild ale facility, the brewing team leaned on Cilurzo for his expertise. Cilurzo even gifted his original bottling line to Barrelworks.

    In 2014, when Russian River was undergoing a brewhouse expansion, Firestone Walker temporarily brewed the brewery’s iconic Pliny the Elder to help keep the taps flowing—“That was the ultimate collaboration,” Brynildson said.

    Passion for Pilsner
    But it wasn’t until 2016 that Brynildson and Cilurzo decided to brew their first official collaboration beer, and there was no question as to what they would brew: a pilsner. By that time, Russian River had made its mark with its STS pilsner, and Firestone Walker had done the same with its Pivo pilsner.

    “We’re both mad about pilsner brewing,” Brynildson said. “We just love these types of beers and the simple recipes surrounding them.”

    The result was STiVO, a happily arranged marriage of the STS and Pivo recipes, which were already quite similar except for the hop bill. They ultimately split the hops down the middle between Pivo’s German Saphir hops and STS’s French Aramis hops, both of which belong to the new wave of European hop cultivars.

    After their initial batch in 2016, they perfected the recipe over a few additional batches, ratcheting down the ABV to 5.3 percent and brewing it in the unfiltered “Keller pils” style, ultimately snagging the lone gold medal in that style at the 2018 World Beer Cup.

    As a Keller pils, STiVO presents a hazy appearance. “We leave it unfiltered in the Keller style because we both love visiting breweries and drinking pilsner straight from the lagering tank,” Brynildson said. “This is a small non-production scaled brew, so we can afford to leave the beer this way.”

    For this latest batch, Cilurzo journeyed down to the Propagator for a memorable brew day and a celebration of pilsner fanaticism.

    “STiVO is everything Vinnie and I love about a new-age craft pilsner—clean and aromatic, with a subtle hop imprint,” Brynildson said. “It’s a true passion project.”

    Rug, Roguer, ChicagoJ and 4 others like this.
  2. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (887) Jul 15, 2007 California

    Had it a number of times on tap at their breweries, great beer. I'll be looking forward to seeing it available in cans.
    thuey, Rug and Roguer like this.
  3. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (887) Jul 15, 2007 California

    Just ordered some STiVO directly from Firestone, along with a 4 pack of Primal Elements. Also picked up a sixer of Welcome to LA lager this morning when I happened to come across some. Can't go wrong with anything FW makes.
  4. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (4,858) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    This is one of those releases that makes me wish they'd send a couple kegs or cases to their sister breweries, like Boulevard. I'd definitely pop into the Boulevard Beer Hall for a pour of this collaboration.

    Duvel, you listening?
  5. mmmbeerNY

    mmmbeerNY Devotee (468) Mar 5, 2014 New York

    I just clicked on link to check out pricing, says sold out. They don't ship to NY and I probably would not pay shipping, but sounds great.
    Definitely be would we enjoy trying
    Harrison8 and BrewsOverHoes like this.
  6. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Aspirant (222) Apr 9, 2015 California

    Good to know i can get a crowler of this at propagator
  7. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,189) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader

  8. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (887) Jul 15, 2007 California

    Wow! I was going to wait until tomorrow to order it, but decided at the last minute to just go ahead and order it today. Glad I did. I must have been one of the lucky last ones just before it sold out.
  9. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,352) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    Man, I would love to try that!
  10. G_Harn78

    G_Harn78 Initiate (17) Mar 13, 2020 California

    Hate to hear it’s sold out, but, selfishly makes me feel great about ordering online yesterday for delivery, which I never do. Actually woke up today feeling guilty about ordering since I did that after already stocking my fridge with various pilsners. It’s a really damn good beer and it’s been a few years since had it. Any word if Pivo will ever come back full time?
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,283) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I enjoyed drinking Pivo Pils when I could find it fresh (which was very, very rare). When Firestone Walker decided to discontinue Pivo Pils as a regularly produced beer my first reaction was "damn" but then I recalled I was unable to purchase this beer for several years (it was always old on my local beer retailers' shelves) and said to myself: that beer was already 'discontinued' for me so...


    P.S. I doubt that Firestone Walker will bring this beer back; it seems that producing more and more 805 is of higher priority.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  12. G_Harn78

    G_Harn78 Initiate (17) Mar 13, 2020 California

    Interestingly enough, it wasn’t always fresh here in SoCal so, I’d get it brewery in Venice about 30 mins from me…also, love Prima Pils, but that is never fresh here either. In fact store next to me always has, and it’s always past or very near Best By Date…
  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,947) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I thought we were gonna talk about fuji heavy industries...

    On another note I think it's pretty lame that California breweries are embracing shipping but only to California.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,283) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Are you an 805 drinker? Do they do a better job with this product as regards having fresh 805 at beer retailers?

  15. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (4,858) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    I blame our gubment. Seems like there are lots of restrictions on shipping inter-state, which is unfortunate. Tavour lost their MO carrier for a little bit, so we were unable to order.

    FWIW, I have been in CA for work a couple times in the past month. Considered having beer shipped to my hotel from all over, but most breweries won't ship unless you order a full case.

    Would love to see more nationwide direct-to-consumer beer shipping options though.
    BigIronH and SFACRKnight like this.
  16. G_Harn78

    G_Harn78 Initiate (17) Mar 13, 2020 California

    Not at all, but I’ll check that’d be interesting to see. Also, they seem to sell the lager at lots of joints here, and it’s ok-good, but nowhere near what Pivo was…
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,283) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And since you are traveling distance to the brewery you had the opportunity to buy Pivo fresh. This beer is indeed wonderful when fresh; something I posted in a past thread about my two experiences drinking Pivo fresh:

    · I attended a Smoked Beer festival at Yards Brewing (Philadelphia) and for some reason they had a keg of Pivo Pils there. That beer was OUTSTANDING! I went back at least four times for refills

    · I once found a six-pack that was less than a month old (about 6 years ago?) and hindsight being 20/20 I should have drank all 6 of those beers as soon as I brought that beer home. The first two beers of that six-pack were excellent and even though I immediately placed that six-pack in my refrigerator over a period of a week+ the aroma was notably diminished

  18. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (198) Jan 8, 2015 California

    When I was considering purchasing this beer yesterday I believe I saw a list of about 10 states/DC that it could be shipped to.
  19. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,947) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    That's an expansion from when wookie Jack dropped. There are other breweries in CA only doing CA still.
  20. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (198) Jan 8, 2015 California

    Apparently it's already sold out. I just have to wonder what the motivation is for small runs like this. Perhaps more for marketing than revenue which I think would be relatively small.
    jesskidden and G_Harn78 like this.
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,283) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I wonder what their marketing strategy would be here? The product sold out in a day(s) so how much advertising occurred over such a short span of time?

  22. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Initiate (198) Jan 8, 2015 California