Rob Nowaczyk and Ed Walker had a problem. As first responder firefighters, they had spent a whole day in the Glendale Mountains fighting wildfires. As one might imagine, they were extremely thirsty as they stood looking at the flames. They didn’t have any sports drinks or water on hand. That didn’t matter, though. All they really wanted after a gritty, tiring day was an ice cold beer. What better way to quench your manly thirst?
Rob turned to Ed and said “Why don’t we make our own”? That’s where the idea for Fireman’s Brew began. That was back in 2000 and today they brew their own brand of beer in Woodland Hills, California.
The Fireman’s brew site touts their beer as the perfect choice to “Extinguish Your Thirst” and “Ignite the party”. I’m always a big fan of word play so I immediately was all in on this one.
They make three styles. Fittingly, they are named after women. There’s the Blonde, Redhead and the Brunette. They don’t just dabble in wobbly pops, though. They also sell coffee and root beer.
Also, with every product sold, Fireman’s Brew donates a portion of its profits to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in emmitsburg, Maryland. So, you can enjoy a delicious brew and feel like you actually helped out a little bit. That’s what I call a win-win.
The fine folks at Fireman’s Brew were kind enough to send me some samples of their brew since (as of right now) it’s not available on the East Coast.
Blonde (Pilsner Style Lager 5% ABV): This pale, yellow pilsner has a floral and fruity flavor that is extremely refreshing on a hot day. It didn’t have any fruit additives, but it was reminiscent of Magic Hat’s #9. I can definitely see how someone would want one of these while in the midst of a wildfire. I drank it on my porch and when I was done I definitely wished I had a few more.
Redhead (Red Amber Ale 5.5%ABV): The Redhead is true to its name. It’s very dark amber in color and poured with a big and frothy head. Right away, a strong malty, coffee flavor comes through. It almost tastes more like a light porter than a red ale. This fire-haired vixen would be a great accompaniment to a nice grilled steak on a hot, summer day.
Brunette (German Doublebock 8% ABV): Last but certainly not least is the Brunette. I received two each of the other styles. But, sadly, one of the brunettes didn’t make it all the way to the east coast and I only got to enjoy one. It’s almost completely pitch black in color and should immediately make you realize that should receive the respect it deserves. This is not a beer to be taken lightly. Its high ABV does not come through in strong alcohol flavor, though. It’s very malty with a smooth dark, chocolate taste.
*This article originally appeared on DrinkingMadeEasy.com. Chris writes an article there every other week.
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn