Watch now as Brewmaster Matt Brynildson takes us behind the beer with the original Firestone beer, DBA.

DBA—a.k.a. Double Barrel Ale—was the first beer ever brewed by Adam Firestone and David Walker and it became an instant sensation. Today, DBA is regarded as an iconic California craft beer, and as an enduring tribute to traditional cask-fermented English ales.

Always malty, never bitter. A smooth mid-palate with ribbons of caramel, English toffee and toasted oak.

Behind DBA with the Brewmaster

DBA is our flagship beer, the original Firestone beer. This beer was conceived in 1996 when Adam and David started the brewery. David had a lot to do with the spirit of this beer. It truly is an English bitter or English pale ale. It’s so near and dear to our heart, we’ve been brewing this beer since the beginning.

They wanted to make barrel fermented ales, not barrel-aged beers, but barrel fermented ales and that’s a throwback to the Burton Union. Which at its time in mid-1800s, was state of the art in fermentation technology – simply fermenting beers cleanly in barrels.

Adam and David came from wine-making backgrounds, so using barrels seemed simple to them when thinking of wine, but it is quite difficult to ferment a beer in a barrel clean. Back in the 90s, no one was barrel-aging beers, there wasn’t a class on how to make a beer in a barrel when I was going to school – breweries had long gotten rid of wood out of breweries since it wasn’t very sanitary. So, Adam and David were ahead of their time when it came to using wood to make craft beer, and mind you that’s when the brewery was very small and only making beer for a small community on the central coast.

DBA is the beer that started it all for us back in 1996—an innovative British pale ale that still stands the test of time.

We brew this beer every week. We rack into medium toast American oak barrels just 12 hours into fermentation. We allow fermentation to finish in those barrels and those barrels are brand new so they’ve never been used for anything else, unlike our spirit barrels, so we get all that clean, pure oak character that those barrels can put out. 

There’s a little bit of vanilla and toast and it’s just the perfect vessel for making a beer like this. We use traditional yet gentle and noble varieties of hops. This beer is the perfect marriage of malt and hops.

The Beer that started it all

DBA is available in select markets throughout California and other states. Use the online Beer Finder to find DBA and other Firestone beers closest to you.