Adam Firestone grew up in the vineyards and cellar of his family’s namesake winery in the Central Coast, yet he developed a thirst for brewing at an early age. He carried out his brewing experiments using converted winemaking equipment—and the results weren’t always great.
Undeterred, Firestone continued fiddling with beer recipes and trying to convince others to buy into his dream of opening a brewery. He finally found a willing partner in David Walker, his brother-in-law, and together they conspired to create a brewery that would combine Old World craft with California innovation. In 1996, they opened Firestone Walker in Paso Robles.
The duo’s first release, a cask-fermented English-style ale called DBA (Double Barrel Ale), has become a California classic.
Along with the Paso brewery, Firestone Walker has outlets in Buellton and Venice, each with its own focus. The main location produces the flagship beers and vintage barrel-aged brews, and offers brewery tours (kids as young as 12 are welcome to come along).
The Barrelworks facility in Buellton focuses on eccentric wild ales. The Propagator brewhouse in Venice specializes in experimental beers and limited local offerings. Beer tastings are offered at all three locations, and each has its own restaurant, all of which are family-friendly: Menu items include big burgers, house-made pretzels, fish-and-chips, and pizza.