Firestone Lager has been a part of Firestone Walker’s beer line up for a while. The making of it is a true labor of love. Not only is the brewing process incredibly technical, but the beer’s gone through several different iterations since we first introduced it back in 2001.

As lagers don’t have bold hop flavors and aromas that cover up or hide defects, the execution must be perfect, and there is little margin for error. According to Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, a lager is naked in this regard. Wort must be clean, not husky; yeast in top shape and not brothy; fermentation on point not fruity or sulfur; and finishing touches need to be made with a delicate hand. The beer won’t withstand bruising or rough handling. A good beer can be destroyed in the final transfer if not done gently and free from oxygen exposure.

It is also cold fermented at nine degrees Celsius, instead of ales, which are fermented at 19 degrees Celsius. That means the yeast needs to be in perfect shape. It must be fed the perfect wort and pitched at the right amount to complete its job.

Firestone Lager is a beer you can drink on any occasion and drink all day.

— Matt Brynildson

Despite the complex brewing process, Matt Brynildson decided to pursue brewing a lager to join Firestone Walker’s line up. In 2001 when our brewing operations moved North from Buellton to Paso Robles and reformulated an earlier “cold lagered” beer to be a true lager.

It quickly gained recognition, winning the silver medal at Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in 2002 for Muchner-Style Helles. It then won bronze in the 2007 GABF for low ABV lager beers.

After some tweaking and minor recipe changes, we re-released Lager in 2017. Brynildson was inspired by what he had learned from some time spent in Europe. He updated the hopping program but kept the bones of the beer the same to maintain its origins.

Once the beer was re-released, it started to take on international competitions, which resulted in a couple of Champion beer awards including the Australian International “Best European Style Lager” award in 2018 and gold again in 2019. Lager also received the small pack (bottled) Lager Competition Champion’s Trophy at the Brewing Industry International Awards in London in 2019.

The beer is modeled after some of Brynildson’s favorite Helles style lager beers from Germany. It’s all about balance and drinkability. Crisp and refreshing all-malt lager beer with enough hop character to make it exciting but not stick out.

Lager is award-winning, crisp and has maximum drinkability. Don’t believe us? Give Lager a try this Labor Day Weekend (or any day for that matter) and taste the difference. Use our beer finder to stock up.