Leave the wine-tasting to these major-league buzz-kills. Today's drinkers are having more fun sampling Santa Barbara's suds. And now, Buellton-based Firestone Walker Brewing Company is debuting a new tasting room dedicated to its barrel-aged beer and strong ales program. Called Barrelworks, the 7,000-square-foot cellar grew from the brewery's original experiments with barrel-aging its brews to encompass over 1,000 barrels of live beer undergoing secondary fermentation in various shades of oak from wineries like Opus One and Chamisal, and 400 barrels of strong high-gravity ales getting stronger in brandy, bourbon, and tequila barrels.
Barrelworks is now open to the public for self-guided tours and tastings of rare wild brews like the brand's Sour Opal and Reginald Brett and strong ales like Double DBA and Parabola. The new facility, described as a "cathedral of barrels," complete with a church door and an eighteen-tap tasting room, is open next to Firestone Walker's taproom Fridays through Sundays from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Barrelworks, 620 McMurray Rd. Buellton.