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Paso Robles, CA
—Beer inflation appears to be outpacing rising gas prices as the last remaining 22-ounce bottles of “10” by Firestone Walker Fine Ales are now selling for as much as ten times its suggested retail price.


The brewery first learned about the phenomenon earlier this year when someone reported seeing a bottle of “10” priced at $50 at an independent liquor store. Since then, people have reported the beer selling for $100 at other independent retail outlets.


“It’s not something that we encourage or condone,” said Proprietor Adam Firestone. “However, once the beers leave the brewery, there is little we can do regarding price. This speaks not only to the uniqueness and quality of ‘10,’ but also to the fact that craft beer is increasingly rivaling wine in terms of being embraced as a complex and sophisticated beverage.”


Firestone Walker’s “10” was released last fall as a limited-edition oak-aged strong ale commemorating the brewery’s 10th anniversary. It was composed of 10 separate batches brewed and aged over a 10-month period. Brewmaster Matt Brynildson sought input from local winemakers in developing the final blend. Only 500 retail cases were produced at a suggested retail price of $9.99 per bottle. The beer sold out almost immediately.  


Rumors persist about Firestone Walker’s next specialty brew release, and expectant customers are seeking official and unofficial channels to learn what the brewery might have in production. Firestone Walker is secretive about its developing products but recognizes a need to ensure maximum availability of specialty brews. “We may enact a mail list or waitlist in order to ensure that the maximum number of customers have access to our future specialty beers,” Firestone said.


Firestone Walker Fine Ales specializes in oak barrel-fermented ales. The brewery’s Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system is a variation on the classic Burton Union brewing method, which originated in 19th century Britain. Firestone Walker Fine Ales today remains the only American brewery to employ the union oak barrel brewing method, which brings a distinctive quality and dimension to its ales.

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