I went to high school with this kid Drew who I didn’t like. In fact, over the years, I grew to hate him. Drew was good at everything. Everything. He was recruited by Division I schools in football, basketball, track, and baseball. He dated the prettiest girl and the coolest girl (two different girls; at the same time). He even got pretty decent grades. The bastard was just good at everything. So I hated him.
Having grown and matured I realize that I hated him mostly because I was jealous. I focused on all the things that he could do that I wanted to but couldn’t. He was also a prick, so some of my hate was justified, but mostly I just envied the hell out of him. Firestone Walker is the Drew of breweries for me; the drewery.
The worst Firestone beer that I’ve had was pretty good. If you’ve looked around this blog at all you know that my palate tends toward picky and unrefined. I drink Stone IPA with a “Does anybody else smell fart?” look on my face because I just don’t like it. I’m aware that it’s viewed as the benchmark of IPAs, and I can even identify the elements that everybody loves, but it doesn’t make me crave another one because it’s not for me. Firestone IS for me. I like their beers as much as I like italics tonight, and that’s a lot, apparently. Every beer that I’ve tried from Firestone is done so well, and 805 is simply the latest iteration.
805 is a blonde ale ringing in at a “I can drink them all day” 4.7% ABV. Taking a drink unleashes a cartoon bar fight of flavors on your tongue, all of which are pleasing. I pick up honey, citrus, and wheat flavors to go along with the wheat smell. It pours very clear with a thin head that quickly dissipates. It has a medium body and feels right in the middle of the spectrum between watery and chewy. It also has the uncanny ability to just throw itself down your throat because it’s a light, refreshing beer that tastes really, really good.
My slow and clumsy maturation has taught me to let go of things. I don’t hate Drew anymore. It helps that he washed out of the minor leagues and is balding, but I also realized that I do have, and always have had, things that I’m better at than he is. That thought gives me a little inner peace that helps me when I come across a drewery like Firestone. They’re so good at what they do that 17 year-old me would want them to fail, but 31 year-old me is content sitting here drinking too many delicious 805s. Keep cranking out the hits, Firestone.