Category Archives: Le Merle

Craft Beer Replaces Wine as Young Women’s Drink of Choice

 

Detroit Free Press
By Kathy Flanigan
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

2011_11_20_modilinski

Photo of Melissa Modlinski of Paramount Merchants and a Rep for North Coast Brewing in Chicago.

Meagan O’Brien sipped her beer and bit her tongue as the man next to her tried to describe to his date some of the 60 craft beers at a Milwaukee bar. Turns out, he didn’t know his ales from his hefeweizens. “She kept asking questions, and this guy just kept making up stuff,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien, 31, could have set him straight easily. A sales representative for Tallgrass, a craft beer brewed in Kansas, she’s also a certified cicerone – kind of a sudsy version of a sommelier.

Although O’Brien didn’t correct the man at the bar, she had the satisfaction of knowing that the men-know-beer/women-prefer-wine cliche could be on its way out, thanks to a growing wave of interest in craft beer among women.

Groups for beer-drinking women are springing up nationwide, including an international club called Barley’s Angels. Craft beer sales in general have doubled in the past six years and are set to triple by 2017, according to BeerPulse.com. Many of those customers are women between 25 and 34 who appreciate the nuanced flavors of small-batch beers. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, beer has been the favorite beverage among drinkers since 1985. It typically held second place as the adult beverage of choice for females, but recently, beer has edged out wine among women ages 18 to 34. “I like craft beer a lot, and this seemed like a good opportunity to meet with other people who like beer,” said Sarah Booth, 29, during a Barley’s Angels class about pairing beers with food. “It’s just what I like to drink. It feels more personal drinking something that’s brewed in a small batch.”

Julia Herz, the craft beer program director for the Craft Brewers Association in Colorado, has her own theories about why women are moving toward craft beer, defined as the product of a brewery with annual output of 6 million barrels of beer or fewer. Women in their 20s and 30s are in “the sweet spot” for craft beer consumption, Herz said. “They’re the same quality-minded people who are buying artisanal cheeses and fair trade coffees and who don’t mind waiting for a bartender to shake a craft cocktail. Craft beer is an affordable way to buy artisanal. The cost of a bottle of beer, usually less than a bottle wine, affords aficionados a chance to sample several craft beer flavors for a simple trade up in price compared to wine,” Herz said.

Image also factors into the reason that woman are gravitating to beer. “This is bold for me to say, but beer in the past has been marketed as a gender-specific beverage to men,” Herz said. While some macro beer producers use women in tank tops to sell beer, the 2,300 craft brewers in the U.S. generally market in a way that’s not gender specific.

If craft beer producers have learned to make beer a genderless beverage, bartenders are still on a learning curve. Beer expert O’Brien recalls the time she ordered a $12 glass of Angry Monk. The bartender asked what she thought of it, and she mentioned that it seemed a little sour – a term meaning that the beer would benefit from more time in the bottle to mature the taste. He offered to add soda water.

Lucy Saunders, author of The Best of American Beer and Food: Pairing & Cooking with Craft Beer and beercook.com says those bartenders are missing the boat by underestimating a woman’s palate and knowledge of beer.

Still, beer “is a little bit of a boys’ club” Rachel Reiman said during a Barley’s Angels home brewing session in Milwaukee. She notices that whenever she and her husband tour a brewery and mention that they’re home brewers, “they immediately start talking to my husband.”

 

 

 

Posted in Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin, Beer, Blue Star, Brother Thelonious, Grand Cru, Le Merle, News, Old No. 38 Stout, Old Rasputin, Old Stock Ale, Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve, PranQster, Red Seal Ale, Scrimshaw | Tagged , , | Comments Off

North Coast Brewing Events From May 13 Through May 16 During Seattle Beer Week 2013

If you live in Seattle and love craft beer, you are in luck! Seattle Beer Week has four events featuring North Coast Brewing Beers.

Latona[1]Monday May 13th 6:00 – 9:00 pm
The Latona Pub
6423 Latona Ave NE,
Seattle WA 98115 – 206 525-2238
Class of ‘88 Barleywine Celebration
The Class of ‘88 breweries are hosting a final joint anniversary party in Seattle. This is a celebration offering horizontal tastings of the three variations of barleywines brewed by North Coast Brewing, Deschutes Brewery and Rogue Ales. The entire collaboration is a rare event, and this opportunity to taste all three versions will possibly be the last time you can taste all three variations in one place. So if you’re in the vicinity of Seattle Washington, join the party, sip some ale and have a good time.

Tuesday May 14th 6:00 – 8:00 pm T.-S.-McHugh's-Seattle(w)
T. S. McHugh’s Splendid Foods, Lagers & Ales
21 Mercer St
Seattle WA 98109 – 206 282-1910
Swine & Barleywine
North Coast Brewing will feature the awesome and refreshing PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale, the exquisite Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, and the Class of ’88 Barleywine. The T. S. McHugh’s chef will be serving Pork Butt Sliders to compliment these wonderful beers.

Red-Door-Seattle(w)Wednesday May 15th 4:00 – 6:00 pm
The Red Door in Fremont
3401 Evanston Ave N
Seattle WA 98103 – 206 547-7521
Beer & Cheese Pairing Party
Join us at the Red Door in Fremont as we celebrate 25 years of success. To commemorate this special event we have invited Dennis and Theresa from the Cheese Cellar in Seattle to prepare a flight of eight cheeses paired with eight selected beers from North Coast Brewing. This is a rare event and a great way to begin the evening. Each participant who purchases a flight will receive a commemorative goblet to take home.

Thursday May 16th 6:00 – 10:00 pm The-Back-Door-Seattle(w)
The Back Door
462 N 36th St – Fremont
Seattle WA 98103 – 206 632-7322
Brewers Dinner
Menu for the Evening
First Course
Le Merle Saison, Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale paired with
Artichoke-Basil Soup with Goat Cheese and Wild Mushrooms
Second Course
Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale paired with
Salt Cod Fritters with Lemon Remoulade
Third Course
Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale paired with
Beef Short Rib Braised in Brother Thelonious with Potato Gratin & Mustard Greens
Fourth Course
Old Stock Ale paired with
Banana Bread Pudding in Crème Anglaise

At 10 pm the jazz trio Gravity will perform in a tribute to Thelonious Monk. You can find out more about Gravity at the group’s website.

 

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North Coast Brewing Beers Featured at The Backdoor During Seattle’s Beer Week

Seattle might be a city known for brewing up a lot of coffee, but May 9th through 19th is “Seattle Beer Week” spotlighting another kind of brewing and beverage. North Coast Brewing beers will be a major highlight of the week at The Back Door Brewers Dinner on Thursday, May 16 from 6 to 10 pm. Tickets are $50 per person and available online at Brown Paper Tickets.

The Back Door restaurant is entered (you guessed it) through the back door at
462 N 36th St – at Fremont  NCBC-Le-Merle-375ml(w)
Seattle WA 98103
206 632-7322

Menu for the Evening

First Course
Le Merle Saison, Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale paired with
Artichoke-Basil Soup with Goat Cheese and Wild Mushrooms
Second Course
Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale paired with
Salt Cod Fritters with Lemon Remoulade
Third Course
Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale paired with
Beef Short Rib Braised in Brother Thelonious with Potato Gratin & Mustard Greens
Fourth Course
Old Stock Ale paired with
Banana Bread Pudding in Crème Anglaise

At 10 pm the jazz trio Gravity will perform in a tribute to Thelonious Monk. You can find out more about Gravity at the group’s website.

Posted in Beer, Brother Thelonious, Events, Food Pairing, Jazz, Le Merle, Old Stock Ale, Press Release, Red Seal Ale | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale and Salmon Make a Great Pairing

NCBC Le Merle 375 ml

Adapted from a recipe on CraftBeer.com

The mix of rich Gorgonzola cheese with warm balsamic dressing, the crunch of caramelized onions, a hint of lemon, and the aromas of tropical fruit from  Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale make this salad a light, healthy and delicious spring lunch or dinner.

Ingredients
8-12 ounces of fresh salmon
1 sweet onion
1 bunch of asparagus
1 bag/box of spring mix salad greens
1 lemon
Gorgonzola cheese
balsamic vinegar
honey
olive oil
Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale

NCBC Le Merle 375 mlPrep
Set oven to broil and the place the rack 6 inches from the heat.
Bring a quart of water to a boil, and place frying pan on the stove at medium-high heat.
Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place salmon skin side down.
Mix equal parts honey and Saison to use as a glaze.

Fish
Fish should take about 15 minutes to cook.
Paint the fish with the honey/Le Merle glaze when it goes into the oven and reapply 2 – 3 times as it cooks.
Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
Once done, squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish, cover with foil until ready to add to the salad.

Dressing & Final Preparations
Start slicing your onions. Thicker chunks of onion will caramelize better and retain their flavor in the finished salad.
Caramelize the onions in your frying pan with a very small amount of olive oil. Cook until the onions are tender, stirring only once or twice.
Remove the tough ends from the asparagus. Add the spears to the boiling water for about 2 – 3 minutes. Be sure not to cook them fully, as they will be grilled when you make the dressing—same with the onions. When almost finished, remove the onions and asparagus from the heat and put them aside until the salmon is finished cooking.
Once you’ve deemed the salmon fully cooked, heat up a few ounces of olive oil on medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the onions and asparagus. Then add a few ounces of balsamic vinegar to the mix. Place the salmon over the greens, add the dressing and veggies, and crumble with Gorgonzola cheese.

 

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Reviewers on Le Merle

“More than a serious beer, it is outstanding….
North Coast Brewing Le MerleDizzying, appetizing, refreshing.”
–The Beer Hunter, Michael Jackson

“Congratulations, your beer is really amazing and you deserve your gold medal in a truly classic Belgian style.”
–Luc De Raedemaeker, co-founder and tasting director, Brussels Beer Challenge

“A heavenly American Saison—Highly Recommended”
Celebrator Beer News

“Best Cult Brew”
SF Weekly

RateBeer Score: 96

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Food Pairing: Le Merle and Wild Mushroom Pizza with Arugula and Fresh Goat Cheese

Mushroom season still reigns on the northern coast of California. We offer some suggestions on food pairings that we like, based on a sold-out dinner this past November. North Coast Brewing’s Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich joined Loretta Evans, Food & Beverage Manager, to create a five-course meal featuring North Coast Brewing’s award-winning ales paired with wild mushroom dishes. You can re-create parts of the the meal or glean ideas for your own feast. In most of the recipes you can substitute mushrooms you find in your local market. We think you’ll enjoy the synergy of our hand-crafted ales paired with food. Just don’t blame us if you keep coming back for more!

Appetizer: North Coast Brewing Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale and Wild Mushroom Pizza with Arugula and Fresh Goat Cheese

Let’s make this simple. You can use your favorite mushroom pizza recipe with the addition of fresh arugula, which has a peppery, mustard-like flavor, and a reputable 100% goat cheese. At the November dinner party we used fresh goat cheese from Navarro Vineyards, but we think Le Merle Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale pairs especially well with Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog.

North Coast Brewing Le Merle cheese pairingLooking for a good recipe? Here are a couple of suggestions:

Pizza With Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts (New York Times)

Arugula Mushroom Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza

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Neon Signs Now Available!

North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin Neon SignJust in time for holiday celebrations, we have added nine neon signs to our store! Pick them up at our store in Fort Bragg, or find them in our online store here.

Posted in Acme Ale, Brother Thelonious, Le Merle, News, Old Rasputin, Old Stock Ale, PranQster, Red Seal Ale, Scrimshaw | Tagged | Comments Off

Audio Interview with Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich on Beer Obsessed

Thanks to BeerObsessed for posting his great interview with Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich! Here’s an excerpt from his blog post.

Thanks to Mark Ruedrich and North Coast Brewing Co. for taking the time to do the interview and for his hospitality in general.

We talk about why he came to Fort Bragg (mainly due to his love of Steinbeck and tidepools).  We talk distribution: how far and wide North Coast beers are (45 states and 7 countries). Also plenty of great info on his beers, how he formulated Old Rasputin, other beers, etc.  The last third of the interview is a tour on the production floor including: the brew system, fermentation tanks, bottling, and his cold storage area. Mark talks about future expansion and also a bit about his barrel program (yes, more good things to come in barrels).

Navigate over to BeerObsessed to hear the interview.

Posted in Acme Ale, Blue Star, Brother Thelonious, California, Le Merle, Old No. 38 Stout, Old Rasputin, Old Stock Ale, PranQster, Red Seal Ale, Reviews, Scrimshaw | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Le Merle Wins Gold at Brussels Beer Challenge

North Coast Brewing Gold Medal for Le Merle at Brussels Beer ChallengeIs the best saison in the world made in Fort Bragg, California?

A panel of international judges at the Brussels Beer Challenge awarded the Gold Medal for Belgian Style Saison to an American beer—Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Co.

Le Merle bested all the competitive beers, including those brewed in Belgium, for the honor. “We see this as a landmark endorsement for the American Craft Brewing industry,” said Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich. “Our Belgian brothers have had a 600 year head start on us. Looks like we’ve made up for that.”

Luc De Raedemaeker, co-founder and tasting director of the Brussels Beer Challenge wrote to us, “Congratulations, your beer is really amazing and you deserve your gold medal in a truly classic Belgian style.”

Also honored at the Brussels Beer Challenge: North Coast Brewing’s Grand Cru: Bronze, Brut des Flanders

Click here to view this press release as a printable PDF.

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North Coast Grand Cru and Le Merle Win Awards at Brussels Beer Challenge

Le Merle Wins Gold Medal at Brussels Beer ChallengeJudges awarded a gold medal in the “Pale & Amber Ale: Saison” category to Le Merle Saison Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale in the Brussels Beer Challenge this past weekend, ahead of Belgian brewers!

Judges also awarded the North Coast Grand Cru a bronze medal in the “Specialty Beer: Brut” category.

Click here to view some truly delightful images of the judging process by photojournalist Olivier Vin.

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