The third installment of our 2023 Brewmaster’s Collective is called “Legends Rise” for a reason—it reprises two Firestone Walker classics from our Proprietor’s Vintage barrel-aged program.
These beers are the much-anticipated return of Sucaba, as well as an amped-up edition of Bravo that we call Bravissimo. While both beers are featured in our latest beer club collection, they are also available for a limited time in our online beer store and brewery locations in Paso Robles, Buellton, and Venice.
Here’s the lowdown on the return of these two brewery stalwarts:
Sucaba was one of the first components created as part of our annual barrel-aged Anniversary Ale blend starting in 2006, and it ultimately became a cult favorite. Sucaba has ever since remained as part of our Proprietor’s Vintage family of barrel-aged beers, but sightings of it have been relatively rare in recent years—until now.
For this edition, we stayed true to the original recipe and, as always, aged it for a year in bourbon barrels. The beauty of Sucaba is that its English barleywine style offers a lighter textural canvas, allowing the barrel character to predominate.
“This base style isn’t thick, viscous or heavy on roasted malts, so you get these beautiful notes of bourbon and oak that shine through the beer,” says Brewmaster Matt Brynildson.
Longtime fans know Sucaba by its original name, which was undone by a two-bit legal challenge. It has been many years since we reversed course and changed the name to Sucaba, but who’s counting? (Hint: the original name is Sucaba spelled backwards)
Bravissimo lands as the alpha edition of our signature barrel-aged Bravo brown ale. The journey of this beer began when we brewed a special high-gravity variant Bravo at our Propagator R&D brewhouse in Venice, California.
After a year of maturation in bourbon barrels at our Paso Robles brewery, this small-batch barleywine was blended back into a lot of traditional barrel-aged Bravo. The final blend was 70 percent traditional Bravo and 30 percent high-gravity Bravo. A beautiful barrel character permeates the finished beer, while Bravo’s signature maple sap and chocolate flavors reach another level.
“Bravo is technically a brown ale so there are not a lot of highly kilned malts and sugars compared to a stout,” says Vintage Barrel Manager Jordan Ziegler. “But this edition is bigger and stickier, in the realm of a barleywine. It takes the original Bravo to a new and headier level that is simply delicious.”