Any quick online glance will reveal numerous beer of the month offers or brewery-specific clubs, all promising their members access to some of the best brews they have ever had. But most tend to fall short. Instead, they deliver a few interesting beers interspersed with more humdrum offerings. People tend to drop their memberships almost as quickly as they signed up and head to their local shop searching for something better.
Well, that’s not a problem for anyone who signs up for the 4th annual edition of the Brewmaster’s Collective Club from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. No, in fact, drinkers will be hard-pressed to find a better collection of beers available on the market.
Founded in 1996 in the Santa Ynez Valley in the heart of California’s Central Coast, the team at Firestone Walker has raked in a dizzying array of awards. It was awarded Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year honors at the 2003, 2007, and 2011 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), where it has taken home more than 55 medals. It also was named Champion Mid-Sized Brewery at the 2004, 2006, 2010, and 2012 World Beer Cup.
At the heart of its operation is its brewmaster, Matt Brynildson, who has been working his magic there since 2001. A lover of all things hops and a passionate believer in experimentation, he has pushed the envelope with many of his creations. His brilliance has been recognized as he has been named Brewer of the Year six times at the GABF.
Barrel-aging beers is one of the most significant areas Brynildson and Firestone Walker have delved into over the last decade. Their Barrelworks facility in Buellton, California, is a mecca for lovers of big, bold beers. Home to one the most extensive barrel-aging programs in the country, it houses over 1,500 barrels, many from local wineries, well-known distillers, and others.
It’s from their extensive library of barrel-aged beers that the 2024 Brewmaster’s Collective Club was culled. Featuring 21 small-batch barrel-aged beers, members will be treated to quarterly deliveries of some fantastic beers. Nine of the beers are member exclusives, four of which are one-time-only collaboration projects. The breweries they partnered with were Weldworks Brewing from Colorado, Revolution Brewing from Chicago, Frau Gruber from Germany, and Omnipollo from Sweden.
“The focus of the 2024 season is diving deeper than ever into our mastery of barrel-aged beers that push the envelope of aroma and flavor,” said Brynildson. “The club has become a powerful point of connection with our most passionate fans. Bottom line, if you’re into barrel-aged beers, you’re going to love what we have in store for you.”
The 2024 Brewmaster’s Collective ships in quarterly curated collections, including custom merchandise and pairing experiences. The annual prepaid membership cost is just $399 plus tax and shipping (or $425 in installments), with optional pickup available at Firestone Walker’s locations in Paso Robles, Buellton, and Venice. Members also gain access to member tasting and events at their brewery locations, plus their library of beers and earlier Brewmaster Collective exclusives, and a 15% discount on purchases.
Open enrollment is happening at FirestoneBeer.com and will continue until capacity is reached. Besides Californians, it is also available to residents in Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington DC.
If you are a lover of rare and flavorful beers, this is one beer club that is worth checking out. Or you can blow the mind of your favorite beer nerd. The first beers ship in January, and then the goodness keeps coming.