After surviving inspections and approvals, Chino Valley Brewing opened their tasting room to the public on Friday, July 27th. We arrived 15 minutes early and the ‘open’ sign was already outside and six other people were inside tasting the brews on tap. Four beers were on tap – a blonde, English ale, porter and stout. If you bought a flight of the four, you got a logo pint glass with that signature Chino cow on the brewery logo.
The Butterfield Blonde was one of my favorites with good flavor and a surprising 6.3% ABV. Route 83 Ale brewed with English yeast was the strongest beer on tap at 7.9%. This brown has flavor reminiscent of ales found in English pubs. Another favorite was the Prado Porter at 5.5% with a licorice taste from the star anise used in brewing. The porter was available with regular carbonation or on nitro. The fourth beer for the opening was Foggy Morning Stout, a lighter stout at 5.2% served on nitro.
Matthew Maldonado and Ray Duran, co-owners were clearly excited to be open and seemed a little surprised at the turnout for the opening day. They spent time behind the bar and greeting family, friends and new customers. Matt talked about his next beer on tap, Mule Car IPA, a double IPA with a bit more hop presence.
Brewing on a small 2/3 bbl system has its advantages and disadvantages, but as they posted on Facebook, they’re looking to upgrade soon. Based on the beer poured that first night, they will need to! I also heard that growlers will be coming. So next time you’re on the 60 freeway in the Ontario area on a weekend, stop by and check them out!
On Thursday, July 19th 2012, Total Wine & More in Brea, CA was the host of a very special Firestone Walker Brewing event. There were some great Beers, good Pizza and a nice group of folks in attendance. It was a very well-received event which most likely is attributed to the host for the evening, Cofounder – David Walker! In addition, Jason from Firestone and Daphne from Total Wine was in attendance helping with the logistics and pouring.
The event was held in the Total Wine classroom off to the side for the store. The cost of the even was 15 dollars which covered the cost of the beer, glass and pizza that was brought in for the evening. There were approximately 15 people in attendance. Two of which were Pat C and her husband Richard. (Pat, as you know, does a good bit of writing for this Blog as well) There was a great range of knowledge levels within the group which made for some great sharing and interaction between David and the rest of the attendees.
I have personally been drinking Firestone Walker beer since their inception in 1996 when they were operating out of the Firestone Winery in Santa Ynez, CA! (I actually brought up to David Walker “Windsor Ale” which was the 2nd beer they released as a company but later retired in favor of the Pale 31!) They have obviously come a long way since those days, but the thing has not changed; their commitment to putting our excellent beer! This has been further confirmed by the industry at large with the amount of awards and accolades they continue to collect every year!
David is a fantastic host and beer ambassador. He makes it a point to come to events and sessions like these to not only promote the Firestone product, but Craft brewing in general. He has an impressive depth of knowledge that was great to experience first-hand. Firestone Walker Brewing and David himself both earn high marks for the work they do in this area.
The event started at 5:30 and unfortunately ended at 6:30. I think it was a bit too short and should have been more like 1:30 to 2 hours long. It seemed a bit rushed towards the end but I understand that David is pretty busy and any time spent listening to him is always valued!
The lineup for the evening included Double Barrel Ale (DBA), Pale 31 , Union Jack, Double Jack, Wookey Jack, Solace and then ending with Walker’s Reserve. (Unfortunately no surprise beers we brought for example, Double DBA) All of the beers were poured into Firestone Logo’s glasses that we were able to keep. Many of the beers have some amount of Barrel ageing that leads to a great uniqueness to the taste. David was great at explaining not only what goes into making these beers but also the origin and history of the classic examples these beers try to follow. I can’t even do this justice by trying to repeat all of the amazing facts and figures that he covered in a short amount of time… Needless to say David knows his stuff!
Thank You to Total Wine and More, Firestone Walker Brewing, and especially David Walker for this great event. I look forward to a Paso Robles trip and some in depth analysis of their lineup (Especially the beers that don’t leave the tasting room!) in the near future.
Here are a few pics myself and Pat took during the event.
Chino Valley Brewery located on Francis Street in Ontario, California has announced their grand opening on July 27, 2012. They will be open to the public on Friday from 4:30-9pm and Saturday from 1-9pm.
Craft beer drinkers in the Inland Empire have been waiting for this announcement as they watched the progress of construction and inspections over the last several weeks on Facebook and Twitter. Once the inspections were completed and approvals in place, the brewers began brewing beer in preparation for the opening. The website indicates that 5 beers are usually on tap, sold by taster or pint. From their Facebook page, it looks like they plan to have a blonde, porter, ale and stout. Stop in for a visit to see what else comes out those fermenters.