The style that helped launch the craft movement has been on the back burner—but the next evolution of American pale ale is underway. Here, brewers Matt Brynildson and Sam Tierney review Firestone Walker’s pale ale journey—and reveal its next destination.
“This refreshingly crisp cold IPA takes inspiration from our friend and former Firestone Walker brewer Kevin Davey,” Sam Tierney says. “It can be brewed two ways: one with rice adjunct to lighten the body, or another with a lower-FAN, extra-pale German pilsner malt for similar effect.”
The popularity of cold IPA has blown the cover off a quiet yet long-running practice in commercial brewing: using lager yeast to make beer sold as ale. Sam Tierney, brewing manager at the Firestone Walker Propagator brewery in Los Angeles, offers some perspective.
Firestone Walker beers have twice won Best in Beer nods from our editors, and they always rank high among Readers’ Choice picks. We asked Sam Tierney, innovation brewer at the Propagator in Venice Beach, to ponder what it means to strive for “the best.”
Sam Tierney, head brewer at The Propagator—Firestone Walker’s innovation brewhouse in Venice, California—separates conventional wisdom from cool science when it comes to brewing great lager. Proper technique is the key.