Firestone Walker is the California brewery that made its bones on traditional West Coast IPAs, English ales, and thoughtful barrel-aged concoctions.
As the times have changed the brewery has evolved, largely fueled by 805 the easy drinking blonde ale that is available throughout the west coast and is responsible for most of the brewery’s output.
Mind Haze, the brewery’s New England-style IPA has also charged up the sales and volume ranks over the last few years in a testament to where current palates are sitting.
To further grow that share and to let the brewers experiment a bit more, Firestone Walker recently released three tiki-accented beers under the Mind Haze banner. These line extensions that rely on hops with tropical undertones, citrus, and other adjuncts even come decked out in tiki inspired art, where surfers have pineapple heads.
Here is what we experienced when tasting our way through this tropical inspired trio.
Tasting the Beers
Citrus Cyclone 6.2% ABV – Warm tangerine forward in the aroma, the citrus flavor kicks in on the palate with a touch of vanilla and earthy honey. Prickly and lively, the tangerine gets deeper with each sip brining on dried peel and pith which is still backed by a gentle sweetness. A light bitter hop kick on the end keeps the tastebuds interested and those of an older generation might conjure up memories of Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler.
Hopical Crush 6.2% ABV – While there are wafts of pineapple and tangerine, this juicy IPA seemly goes old school with dried grapefruit notes. It has that west coast DNA the brewery is known or dressed up with a hazy burnt orange colored package. With a dry hop finish that reveals a bit of mango juice, it brings balance to the variety pack, and is a good second hitter in the lineup.
Tiki Smash 6.2% ABV – Sweet dried coconut oil aromas gently rise from the beer and immediately bring a calming effect to the senses. This is smooth and silky with medium carbonation and a tingle that lasts on the tongue between sips. Complimented by stone fruit and light citrus peel, this isn’t a pina colada substitute, but might just inspire you to order one from the resort hotel bar.
All three are available in a 12-beer variety pack from the brewery and deliver on the tiki promise to bring a bit of tropical refreshment even to a suburban backyard.
If you have a suggestion for a Beer of the Moment email editor John Holl at JohnHoll@allaboutbeer.com