As some of you may or may not know, Firestone Walker has been a big presence in the contract brewing scene. Outside of their own beers, they have been the brewery behind Nectar Ales, Mission Street, and almost every bar or restaurant house label beer in Los Angeles County. But with brewing, you can only brew as much beer as you can fit in your fermenters. So, in that line of thought, Firestone Walker has decided to end its contract brewing relationships.
I contacted David Walker and he told me that they never intended to be a contract brewery, but when they acquired SLO Brewing Co’s production facility in Paso Robles it came with some contracts that they continued to honor for many years. “We have now reached a spot where capacity has become an overwhelming daily issue and as such are cycling out of these relationships with the cooperation of these partners. They represent less than 10% of our total production so it only buys so much tank space; the impact on [specific product] reduction and brewing schedules is much greater than the minimal volume.”
What this means is more delicious Firestone Walker beer, but if you happen to be a fan of Mission Street IPA or Blue Palms Hefeweizen, you may see some changes in the near future. My source said that Firestone Walker is closely working on securing a new brewer for their current contract holders so that quality and availability is not an issue. I asked David Walker if there were any specific brewers that they were working with right now and he said “I think there are a number of brewers looking to pick up the slack. There will be plenty of great quality choices.”
Beer Guy LA