The Propagator, our R&D brewhouse in Venice, sets the pace for what’s next from Firestone Walker. We’re excited to announce that our Brewing Manager, Sam Tierney, is at it again with our haziest, limited-release IPA yet. Here’s what Sam had to say about his latest Propagator beer:

Our newest Propagator can release is Elenna, a hazy IPA brewed with New Zealand-grown Nelson Sauvin and Riwaka hops, along with a healthy amount of malted oats. We have long been captivated by the unique aromatic qualities of New Zealand hop varieties, Nelson Sauvin and Riwaka in particular. Unfortunately, we have never been able to get enough of either hop to brew much beer in the past.

For the 2020 harvest, we were finally able to secure sufficient quantities of these varieties, along with several others. As soon as our hops made the voyage across the Pacific, we got to work trialing new recipes.

As soon as I was able to rub our samples of Nelson and Riwaka, I knew they would be the perfect combo for a new hazy IPA. Nelson has the tendency to get overly dank and oniony in some harvests, but our 2020 selection from Hop Revolution has a beautiful soft white grape and tropical fruit juice character that is one of the most agreeable aromas I have ever smelled in a hop. Our Riwaka from New Zealand Hops in contrast is brash and dank, with a gooseberry and tropical aroma that oozes personality.

We were approached several months ago by Proximity Malt about their new oat malt and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to work it into a new beer. Oat malt is unique because it is more efficient to brew with than flaked oats, allowing us to use it for 30% of the grain bill, over double the amount of oats that we normally use. This gives the beer an exceptionally silky texture and brooding haze. It also allows us to omit wheat which we use in our other hazy IPAs. The remainder of the malt bill is our standard 2-row pale malt from Rahr’s Alix malt house in Alberta, Canada, and just a pinch of Munich malt for a golden hue.

As a finished beer at 7.3% ABV, Elenna also shows off the expressive stone fruit and pineapple esters of our hazy yeast strain, affectionately called “Juicy” by our production team. The Juicy profile carries the white wine, tropical, and citrus zest of the hops, while the silky texture and flavor of the malted oats rounds everything off beautifully.

El Gran Tocayo makes a triumphant return on the label art after his acclaimed reimagining of the Wookey Jack label earlier this year. The label for Elenna is set in a mystical world inspired by the New Zealand countryside where the hops in this IPA originate. Some of our brewers, including myself, are big fans of the fantasy genre which led us to calling the beer Elenna, after the mystical island.

Elenna hazy IPA (7.3% ABV) is now available on tap at our three locations in Paso Robles, Venice and Buellton. 16oz 4-packs are available to purchase online now, shipping to CA-only, and will be available at our venues on Friday for a limited time. Buy online today before it sells out.