It’s been way too long since I’ve revisited Firestone’s excellent line of beers. Before moving to Las Vegas in 2003, I lived on California’s Central Coast, and was just a quick drive from Firestone’s original brewery in Buellton (they’ve since relocated the operation to Paso Robles).
Back in California, I lived for Firestone, but was in for an unkind reality when I arrived in Vegas—in 2003, you could not get Firestone here. Crestfallen, I moved onto other beers, and after a while I got over it.
Times always change, and not only did Firestone become available across the Valley, the company’s lineup of products dramatically increased. When I enjoyed it, there were only a handful of products available, including the Double Barrel Ale, a lager and the Walker’s Reserve porter. Now, the Firestone line includes no fewer than three dozen beers.
In other words, I’ve now got my work cut out for me. And my journey starts with Firestone Pils, an absolutely beautiful example of the well-worn pilsner style.
To begin with, Firestone decided to give their pilsner a hoppy character. Before you sigh and complain that hops are too overused in the craft beer world, let me put your mind at ease: It’s a master stroke that puts this beer at the top of my pilsner list. No joke.
Firestone Pils looks lovely in the glass, with a yellowish golden hue and a nice, sudsy head. You can barely smell the hops in the nose, but you definitely get some floral notes and a bit of malt. The taste just crackles on the tongue. It’s as crisp a beer as I’ve ever had, and the slight hoppiness creeps in toward the end. My eyebrows were raised in full attention on the first—and second—sip. And at 5.3 ABV, it’s extremely easy to drink.
I’ll be reviewing other Firestone products in the near future, but with Firestone Pils, the bar has already been set ridiculously high. Go buy a six-pack. Now.