We all miss a good pale ale as we swim lost in a sea of endless IPA, right? Well, we got some cold, liquid gold, that also happens to be wrapped in gold, but we’ll get to that soon, that’s an absolute treasure sure to be hoarded by every weary drinker: XPA. 

XPA sits somewhere around the fringe of pale ale: extra hoppy, extra pale, but still refreshing and balanced like a pale ale should be. Do you want more details? Well, read on, because we got heaps of deets.

Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand paired with Mosaic Cryo in the dry hop add just the right amount of tropical, stone fruit, and citrusy flavors here. Those are then layered on top of a foundation of fruity Idaho 7 and Centennial in the whirlpool. For a round texture, a simple base of pale malt and a pinch of wheat keep things dry and clean in the finish. 

XPA is the number one craft beer style in Australia and it’s something we’re excited to champion here in the U.S.,” says Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “The appeal of XPAs is obvious–they offer everything you love in a good pale ale at a crushable ABV. We fell in love with the style during our travels to hop farms across Australia and New Zealand and we were inspired to make our own.”

Some other fun facts for you: XPA is a popular term for light-colored pale ales in Australia and New Zealand, and those same XPAs may have been a reference here. Maybe… who’s to say though. Also, the first batch of this beer (sold in our taprooms as “I’m sorry Pete Jackson”) won the bronze medal at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival in the international pale ale category.

Crisp, Hoppy, And Crushable

But now let’s get into the bits, bobs, and hops. Firestone XPA is built around New Zealand’s Nelson hop with its grapefruit and tropical Sauvignon Blanc qualities, all backed up with a dollop of classic Mosaic hops. The resulting beer offers a trifecta of drinkability: crisp, hoppy, and crushable. 

Firestone XPA also taps into Firestone Walker’s roots as a heritage brewer of California pale ales.

“Creating this beer brought a lot of joy to our production team, there was definitely some pent-up enthusiasm for pale ale brewing,” Brynildson continues. “We went all in to fine-tune several test batches and nail what we were after with this beer.”

He added, “We wanted to lead with the punchy tropical qualities of the Nelson hop, and we found that adding just the right amount of Mosaic makes the fruit flavors all the more lush and expansive.” 

“XPA is the predominant beer style in Australia for a reason,” says Firestone Walker Brand Director, Hannah Barnett. “I think it has the potential to take the U.S. by storm at some point, or at the very least become a fixture in the American pale ale landscape. We’d like to be part of making that happen.” 

A next-generation extra pale ale brewed with Southern Hemisphere hops and California style, Firestone XPA (5% ABV) is rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets in 12-oz six packs and limited draft formats for the duration of winter and through the spring season into June. Worried about needing help spotting it on the fridge shelf? You shouldn’t because we’re accepting only the gold standard here, as in each can is wrapped in gold. It’s easy to spot, easier to drink, and very easy to love.  

You can find the nearest case of, uh, tinnies by you with our Beer Finder now.