(San Leandro, CA) – The story begins…it was an ordinary night that turned extraordinary when Mitch Steele, former Brewmaster of Stone Brewing in Encinitas, turned to Shaun O’Sullivan (Sully) Brewmaster and Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery and said, “Let’s brew a beer!”
[BeerPulse Note: You can find a variety of 21st Amendment beers online at our beer shop partner, CraftShack]
Legend has it that Sully, thinking that was a fantastic idea, decided to seal the deal with an epic road trip along “The Royal Highway” (aka The El Camino Real) that would take them from Encinitas, California to the Bay Area with a pit stop in Paso Robles to pick up Matt Brynildson, Brewmaster at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. While cruising the historical El Camino Real (aka Highway 101), havoc ensued…Matt made Sully sit in the middle, Mitch made them stop at midnight for Double-Doubles with onion and Sully made them take selfies at all 21 missions along the way. There was nothing on the radio but Jewish hip-hop and British punk-grass, causing Matt to start playing air banjo and Mitch to threaten to turn the car around. But then, Sully found an old mixtape in the back of the glove box and that’s when things really got weird.
“The road trip is the creative motivation behind our collaboration project El Camino (Un)Real,” says Sully. “We were driven (pun intended!) by our shared connection to the historical mission trail, El Camino Real, because fittingly, this route also links our three breweries together. Music plays a big part of brewing great beer and you can’t have a road trip without music coming out of your car’s speakers.”
First brewed and bottled by the three Brewmasters at Stone Brewing Company in 2010, the beer makes a triumphant return this October, canned in a new package, and brewed by the three good friends at 21st Amendment’s new San Leandro brewery.
“We wanted to get the band back together,” says Nico Freccia, 21st Amendment’s other co-founder. “We always loved the psychedelic flavor profile of this beer and we knew we wanted to brew it again. And with putting this beer in a can, we had an opportunity to reimagine the story and packaging with some really cool new art. It turned into a dream-like road trip seeded in past childhood memories with hot wheel tracks, mix tapes and an El Camino.”
Channeling their mythical road trip, all three brewers put together a Spotify playlist that you can enjoy on your next highway adventure or while kicking back and savoring this rich beer with friends and family.
- Matt Brynildson El Camino UnReal Playlist
- Mitch Steele El Camino UnReal Playlist
- Shaun O’Sullivan El Camino UnReal Playlist
At 9.5% ABV, El Camino (Un)Real is a dark strong ale that drinks like an Imperial Stout with a hook – it has a firm bitterness and malt complexity with licorice, vanilla and higher alcohol esters. The incorporation of indigenous ingredients, grown along the trail in the 1700s and 1800s by missionaries and Native Americans, includes the addition of dried mission figs, pink peppercorns, fennel and chia seeds that together add a slight herbal, fruit and spice note built to pair with the malt and hop complexity. This beer is big, drinks well and will age quite nicely.
El Camino (Un)Real is available in 4-pack cans and on draft starting this week in all 25 of 21st Amendment’s current distribution territories, including CA, OR, WA, AK, ID, MN, OH, MA, NY, IL, NJ, DC, NV, DE, MD, FL, VT, RI, PA, NH, ME, VA, GA, SC and NC. 21st Amendment Brewery encourages you to pick up a pack and take a figurative trip down The Royal Highway. Be sure to stock up on supplies, this beer will age well. For up-to-date availability, events and promotions, visit www.21st-Amendment.com.
ABOUT 21ST AMENDMENT:
In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan opened the doors to the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood with Freccia managing the restaurant and O’Sullivan spearheading the brewing process. In addition to quickly becoming one of the city’s favorite pubs, 21st Amendment began expanding beyond the Bay Area by helping to pioneer the movement to canned craft beer. Known for their witty names and delicious brews, 21st Amendment offers year-round selections, as well as seasonal offerings and their infamous ‘Insurrection Series’, a once-in-a-while limited edition release. Sold in 25 states, 21st Amendment operates out of its new San Leandro brewery headquarters and is among the top 50 craft beer brewers in America.
ABOUT STONE BREWING
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States. Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 11 times, and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing.
ABOUT FIRESTONE WALKER BREWING COMPANY
Founded in 1996 in Santa Barbara County by Adam Firestone and his brother-in-law David Walker, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is renowned for crafting iconic pale ales and pioneering barrel-aged beers on California’s Central Coast. The company has gained notoriety for its fine beers, including the ‘Mid Size Brewery of the Year’ recognition.
This coverage is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of Visit California, which flew us out to Northern California to tour one dozen breweries across San Francisco, Sacramento, Berkeley, Oakland and Sonoma. For more information on California’s craft beer boom, visit here.