Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks is back with another release—Peachy Bones, a barrel-aged farmhouse saison made with 10,000 pounds of specially selected peaches grown in California’s Central Valley.
“Peachy Bones is a perfect early fall sipper,” said Barrelworks’ Master Blender Jim Crooks. “It’s our most delicate beer of the year, and it’s all about conveying these subtle fresh peach qualities within the construct of a classic wild saison.”
The 2018 release of Peachy Bones begins rolling out this week to all Firestone Walker markets in limited draft and 375-ml bottle formats. It is the fourth of five bottled Barrelworks wild ale releases slated for 2018.
The making of the 2018 Peachy Bones began last summer when Crooks and his team secured a 10,000-pound shipment of freshly picked peaches from a farm in Sanger, California. Here, in the heart of the Central Valley, peaches are a staple in one of the nation’s most prolific agricultural growing regions. The peaches were halved and pitted at the farm, then flash frozen to keep them fresh for thawing this spring.
“This technology is amazing—you don’t lose any of the flavors or aromas of the fruit,” Crooks said. “It’s like they were picked yesterday.”
Once thawed, the peach halves—skins and all—were painstakingly dumped into oak foeders. The foeders were then filled with a selection of four-month barrel-aged Lil’ Opal base beer and inoculated with a house strain of brettanomyces for secondary fermentation. The beer was then aged for an additional four months before being racked off the now-pulpy fruit.
The result is a saison marvel, offering subtle white peach flavors, spicy yeast aromas, soft acidity and a firm carbonation that lends pop to the sensory experience.
“The idea was to have this fresh-tasting, peachy saison fully matured and ready for bottling by late summer, which is the end of the peach growing season,” Crooks said. “This beer is made to be enjoyed with the moods and foods of autumn.”
Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a pioneering regional craft brewery founded in 1996 and located on the coast of California. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings.