Staff Report

The Terroir Project is growing in its second year with 12 breweries from around the world participating in an experimental crossover between beer and wine—all to be revealed at the main event on Sept.21. 

The event happens from noon to 3 p.m. at West Ranch in Los Olivos, where each of the participating breweries will present their own interpretation of a shared recipe that draws from both the grain and the grape.

Guest breweries and wineries will be on hand to share their creations. Live music, a food truck, a charitable raffle andanartisan marketplace are also part of the festivities. Tickets may be purchased at

“The Terroir Project is all about blurring the genres of beer and wine to explore how ‘terroir’—or sense of place—drives what we taste,” said Jim Crooks, master blender at Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks, which is steering the event. 

The Terroir Project was launched last year with seven participating breweries. The 2019 edition will feature Arizona Wilderness (Gilbert, Ariz.); Barrelworks (Buellton); Beavertown (London, England); Birrificio Del Ducato (Soragna, Italy); The Bruery (Placentia, Calif.); Garage Project (Wellington City, New Zealand); Jester King (Austin, Texas); Side Project (St. Louis, Mo.); Sierra Nevada (Chico); Trillium (Boston, Mass.); Wild Beer Co. (Somerset, England); and Wildflower (Marrickville, Australia).

Each participating brewery was invited to produce its own distinct beer-wine hybrid over the past year, but with three binding stipulations: They all had to use the same grain bill; the same methodology of handling the grapes; and the same co-fermented percentage of wort (51percent) and red wine grapes (49percent) fermented with wild flora.

“This is where we embrace the absolute soul of the vineyard,” Crooks said. The kicker: All grapes had to be grown within 100 miles of each brewery.

Attendance at the Terroir Project event on Sept.21 is limited, “intimate by design,”and will showcase experimental one-off beers that are not available anywhere else.

Tickets are $65 and include Terroir Project tastings from the 12 participating breweries. Ticketsalsoinclude tastings from guest breweries such as Russian River Brewing Company, Alesong Brewing and Crooked Stave, as well as from local guest wineries. Admission also includes a commemorative tasting glass and live music. Food may be purchased on site.

Firestone Walker will also be raffling off pairs of passes for three of its signature events in 2020: From The Barrel; Firestone Walker Invitational (Early Access); and the next Terroir Project. Raffle proceeds will benefit Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA). Raffle tickets will cost $5.

For tickets and information: