The 2015 Vintage of §ucaba brewed by Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Paso Robles,
Brewing Company is set to release its first Proprietor’s Vintage Series beer
of 2015 with the return of §ucaba—and Brewmaster Matt Brynildson is now
spilling a few secrets on the tongue-twisting, barrel-aged barleywine that
has been a brewery staple since 2006.
“We’ve never talked about it, but §ucaba is actually a blend of two separate
beers,” Brynildson said. “The base beer is what you would call §ucaba, but
each year the final blend also includes around 10 percent of another
barrel-aged beer, which gives it this chocolaty, dark cherry dimension.”
Brynildson wouldn’t reveal the identity of the other component beer, but he
did share some insights into the name §ucaba.
“Back in my early brewing days at Goose Island, I had this massive handheld
calculator,” Brynildson said. “I would break it out when we were doing brewing
calculations, and the guys would laugh at me and say, ‘Uh, oh, Brynildson’s
firing up his abacus again.’ I always liked the word, and finally got to use it
as a name for this beer.”
Alas, that original name was later undone by a legal challenge, and so the
brewing team simply reversed it to §ucaba as a defiant yet virtually
unpronounceable way to maintain the beer’s lineage.
So what’s the official pronunciation? “There is none,” Brynildson said.
“SUC-a-buh, SOO-cah-ba, SOO-cab-uh, you hear it all, so it’s kind of fun. But in
the brewhouse, we still call it by its original name.”
ABV: 13.5% IBU: 42 Color: 36 (Dark Ruby)
Malts: Pale Ale Malt, Maris Otter, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Chocolate
Hops: Magnum (bittering), East Kent and Styrian Golding (late kettle)
Aging: Barrel-aged for one year on average in retired Bourbon barrels
Production: 3,500 cases (22-ounce bottles)
Retail: $16.99 (22-ounce bottle). Available while supplies last in select
markets across the United States.
Big, boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combine with soft chocolate malty
undertones. Complex malt flavors are framed in oak with hints of dark chocolate,
vanilla, tobacco, coconut and just a touch of dark cherry.
§ucaba is built to last and will reward careful cellaring (ideal aging
temperature: 45F) for years to come. We recommend counting the years with an
History of Firestone Walker Brewing Company
It began innocently enough: a couple of brothers-in-law sitting around debating
the subject of good and bad beer. Instead, their search for a decent ale to led
them to brew their own. Given Mr. Firestone’s winemaking bias and Mr. Walker’s
complete lack of fermentation experience, they believed 60-gallon oak barrels
were the appropriate vehicle in which to create their perfect elixir.
OK, so initial attempts were forgettable. But like so many great ideas, out of
that disaster was born a handy invention – the Firestone Union. Based on classic
brewing traditions from Burton-Upon Trent, this bizarre and unlikely system of
linked barrels has the ability to produce rich and complex ales. In 1996 the
accidental duo shelved their endless discussion on better beers and settled for
building a world-class brewery that bore their names on California’s Central
Coast……the debate was now over..
Firestone Walker Brewing Company continues to grow as the palates of Americans
migrate to craft beer. Our brew staff have picked up “Mid Size Brewery of the
Year” at the World Beer Cup an unmatched three times.