Firestone Walker Brewing Compay: PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout

Firestone Walker Brewing Compay: PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout

A few years ago, while in San Diego for Thanksgiving, we stumbled across Toronado, a beer bar with an impressive beer list. While there, Sheryl grabbed a bottle of PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout, a rare beer that is only available in a handful of bars worldwide. The bottle wasn’t cheap, but we all really enjoyed it. A great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Earlier this week, while packing for an upcoming move, I stumbled across the bottle. Most Firestone Walker beers also come with a box, and some with paperwork explaining the beer including a note from the brewmaster. We decided to toss the box and bottle, but I wanted to make sure the note lived on forever. So, below is what the note said.

Once upon a time, there were six beer bar owners or “Publicans”, to use the vernacular, and they thought they were all alone. Then they started reading about each other in Brewspapers like the Celebrator Beer News and realized they they were not alone in their love of great beer and passionate way of going about business, so they started to seek each other out. After many drunken nights and extensive rambling discussions (many leading absolutely nowhere), an idea coalesced; “We should form a group, a collective of similarly minded beer bar owners, dedicated to hanging out together, making outrageous beers with the greatest brewers on the planet (after all, we knew those kinds of people and they actually liked us {no account for taste!})”

We would become The Publican National Committee. Our founding members; Don Younger from Portland, Oregon’s Horse Brass Pub (the Granddaddy of all draught beer bars), David Keene of San Francisco’s Toronado, Tom Peters and Fergus Carey of Philadelphia’s Monk’s Cafe, Chris Black of the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver, and the ‘Matts’; Matt Bonney and Matt Vandenberghe of Seattle’s Brouwer’s Cafe, unanimously elected Don Younger as our “President for Life”. Whole our new leader was outside on a smoke break, Don immediately requested an impeachment vote, he was denied. We added to new members in 2010, Jesse McCann of Apex in Portland and Ian Black of the San Diego Toronado.

In 2011 we lost our fearless leader Don, when he moved on to the great pub in the sky. What you hold here in your hands is the third collaborative brew; PNC3 with yet another on of the most award winning breweries in the word; California’s Firestone Walker. PNC, was a component of Firestone Walker’s XVI blend (released in 2012) and now it is finally ready for release on its own, we’d like to dedicate his beer to Don Younger, the “Tavern Rat”. So join us in a toast when you drink this by gathering a friend or two, pouring this nectar into an appropriate vessel and saying: “To the Tavern Rat!”

A Note from Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

This bold and deliciously complex beer is an Imperial Buckwheat Stout aged in Tequila barrels for 13 months. Only a collection of pioneering, well seasoned, extensively traveled passionate pub owners could come up with such a notion. A massive grain bill consisting of Pale, Munich and toasted Canadian Buckwheat was blended with pearled drum-kilned barley from Chile, a generous amounts of Wisconsin roasted wheat and a slug of British crystal malts. A couple of lumps of Mexican Turbinado sugar were added for good measure while we loaded the kettle with Styrian Golding hops. This carefully calculated collision of flavors concocted over a copious amounts of Orval well into the night, was laid down in fresh Tequila barrels wrangled over our souther border by the beautiful and gracious Meg Gill. We simply call this beer “PNC” in honor of its collaborative creators – the gothic symphony of flavors will speak for themselves. 

The week that the PNC rolled into Paso was one to remember, but more importantly the PNC’s role in the Craft Beer Revolution should never be forgotten.

Cheers to the PNC!

Matt and the FW Crew

There you have it… If you get the chance to try PNC, remember where it came from… Share it with those that matter most, and don’t forget to raise your glass to Don Younger. Cheers!