The rumors about Wookey Jack are true—Firestone Walker’s wildest and wooliest IPA is back for a limited time, straight out of the brewery’s Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice, California.
Starting on Tuesday, January 12, Wookey Jack will be available via a small-batch run of 16-ounce cans in a four-pack format. Availability of this legendary black rye IPA will be limited to all Firestone Walker locations as well as online at FirestoneBeer.com.
Wookey Jack was last spotted at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival, where it earned the lone gold medal in its category. It is now returning from the wilds to celebrate the honor with this limited Propagator release that remains true to the Wookey Jack mantra: “Gnarly on the outside yet refined on the inside.”
This latest batch of Wookey Jack remains faithful to the original recipe, which includes loads of dark malts with rye adding a spicy grain element. The hops are dank, sticky Citra and pungent Amarillo, both of which are incorporated into a massive dry-hop regimen.
What’s different this time is a primeval new can design that reflects Brewmaster Matt Brynildson’s affinity for music and art. “It’s bold and whimsical with some live concert poster art feel, which is very much what Wookey is all about,” he said.
Wookey Jack was initially created in 2012 as Brynildson’s answer to the emerging “black IPA” style of the day.
“There were a few beer geeks out there saying that Firestone Walker still had yet to really make a truly over-the-top hoppy IPA, even after the release of Double Jack,” Brynildson recalled. “So we decided to take the gloves off and make the biggest, boldest IPA we could at the time. Our twist was the addition of rye malts, which complements the aggressive hop character coupled with the dark malts.”
After blazing an impressive trail (including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012 and 2013), Wookey Jack was discontinued in late 2016—but occasional sightings have persisted.
“American Black IPAs faded in popularity, but Wookey Jack was always considered a benchmark of the style,” said Propagator Brewer Sam Tierney. “It’s cool to see it return.”