Category Archives: Beer

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.

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How Beer Gave Us Civilization (or at Least Helped)

 

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Published March 17, 2013 in the New York Times
By Jeffrey P. Kahn

Human beings are social animals. But just as important, we are socially constrained as well.

We can probably thank the latter trait for keeping our fledgling species alive at the dawn of man. Five core social instincts, I have argued, gave structure and strength to our primeval herds. They kept us safely codependent with our fellow clan members, assigned us a rank in the pecking order, made sure we all did our chores, discouraged us from offending others, and removed us from this social coil when we became a drag on shared resources.

Thus could our ancient forebears cooperate, prosper, multiply — and pass along their DNA to later generations.

But then, these same lifesaving social instincts didn’t readily lend themselves to exploration, artistic expression, romance, inventiveness and experimentation — the other human drives that make for a vibrant civilization.

To free up those, we needed something that would suppress the rigid social codes that kept our clans safe and alive. We needed something that, on occasion, would let us break free from our biological herd imperative — or at least let us suppress our angst when we did.

We needed beer.

Luckily, from time to time, our ancestors, like other animals, would run across fermented fruit or grain and sample it. How this accidental discovery evolved into the first keg party, of course, is still unknown. But evolve it did, perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago.

Current theory has it that grain was first domesticated for food. But since the 1950s, many scholars have found circumstantial evidence that supports the idea that some early humans grew and stored grain for beer, even before they cultivated it for bread.

Brian Hayden and colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Canada provide new support for this theory in an article published this month (and online last year) in the Journal of Archeological Method and Theory. Examining potential beer-brewing tools in archaeological remains from the Natufian culture in the Eastern Mediterranean, the team concludes that “brewing of beer was an important aspect of feasting and society in the Late Epipaleolithic” era.

Anthropological studies in Mexico suggest a similar conclusion: there, the ancestral grass of modern maize, teosinte, was well suited for making beer — but was much less so for making corn flour for bread or tortillas. It took generations for Mexican farmers to domesticate this grass into maize, which then became a staple of the local diet.

Once the effects of these early brews were discovered, the value of beer (as well as wine and other fermented potions) must have become immediately apparent. With the help of the new psychopharmacological brew, humans could quell the angst of defying those herd instincts. Conversations around the campfire, no doubt, took on a new dimension: the painfully shy, their angst suddenly quelled, could now speak their minds.

But the alcohol would have had more far-ranging effects, too, reducing the strong herd instincts to maintain a rigid social structure. In time, humans became more expansive in their thinking, as well as more collaborative and creative. A night of modest tippling may have ushered in these feelings of freedom — though, the morning after, instincts to conform and submit would have kicked back in to restore the social order.

Some evidence suggests that these early brews (or wines) were also considered aids in deliberation. In long ago Germany and Persia, collective decisions of state were made after a few warm ones, then double-checked when sober. Elsewhere, they did it the other way around.

Beer was thought to be so important in many bygone civilizations that the Code of Urukagina, often cited as the first legal code, even prescribed it as a central unit of payment and penance.

Part of beer’s virtue in ancient times was that its alcohol content would have been sharply limited. As far as the research has shown, distillation of alcohol to higher concentrations began only about 2,000 years ago.

Today, many people drink too much because they have more than average social anxiety or panic anxiety to quell — disorders that may result, in fact, from those primeval herd instincts kicking into overdrive. But getting drunk, unfortunately, only compounds the problem: it can lead to decivilizing behaviors and encounters, and harm the body over time. For those with anxiety and depressive disorders, indeed, there are much safer and more effective drugs than alcohol — and together with psychotherapy, these newfangled improvements on beer can ease the angst.

But beer’s place in the development of civilization deserves at least a raising of the glass. As the ever rational Ben Franklin supposedly said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Several thousand years before Franklin, I’m guessing, some Neolithic fellow probably made the same toast.

Jeffrey P. Kahn, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, is the author of Angst: Origins of Anxiety and Depression.

 

 

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Class of '88 Barleywine Hits the Shelves!

Barleywine-Bottle-Shot-4(w)Take a look at our Class of ’88 Barleywine in the 750 ml bottle with a cork and wire cap.
We think it looks quite handsome. The Brewery Taproom will have this barleywine on tap and it’s available in limited distribution for a short time in the 750 ml bottles. On Thursday, April 11, the barleywines from Rogue Ales and Deschutes Brewery, Class of ’88 members hailing from Oregon, will be available for a horizontal or “trifecta” tasting at the pub. These three ales have been developed from the same guidelines, but differences in kinds and amounts of malted barley and hops and differences in water will yield three different brews. Curious? Come on over and try all three.

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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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Beer Meets Cheese: An Afternoon of North Coast Brewing Beers & Cheese Pairings with Janet Fletcher on April 27 in a Benefit for the Mendocino Music Festival

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“When you take the time to taste, following certain clues to identify suitable partners, good cheese and beer matches are as good as it gets in the realm of food and beverage.”
Mark Ruedrich – North Coast Brewing Company President and Brewmaster

The Event
North Coast Brewing Company is hosting and underwriting a benefit for the Mendocino Music Festival, Beer Meets Cheese, with author Janet Fletcher, international  authority on cheese and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

What, When & Where
Beer Meets Cheese begins at noon on Saturday, April 27 with Janet Fletcher signing her book, the new Cheese & Beer, at North Coast Brewing Company’s Brewery Store on the northwest corner of Main and Pine streets in Fort Bragg.

At 3 p.m. Beer Meets Cheese moves across the street to North Coast Brewing’s Sequoia Room in the Brewery Taproom for a walk-around tasting of beer and cheese pairings designed by Janet Fletcher and Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich. Janet will be on hand to sign her book as guests explore the pairings at each station. In addition, Janet and Mark will answer questions and share their knowledge and insights about cheese and beer pairing.

All Proceeds Benefit the Mendocino Music Festival
Cheese & Beer signed by Janet Fletcher at the Brewery Shop sells for $24.99
Beer & Cheese Pairing – $25
Beer & Cheese Pairing and book signed by Janet Fletcher – $40

How Can I Get Tickets to Beer Meets Cheese?
Call the Mendocino Music Festival office, 707 937-2044 or online at mendocinomusic.org or, for $25 tickets only, Tangents in Fort Bragg, Out of This World in Mendocino, Four-Eyed Frog in Gualala

 

 

 

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Chick Corea & Béla Fleck Duet Concert and North Coast Beers in Milwaukee

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Tuesday, April 2nd: It’s going to be a splendid evening in Milwaukee! Chick Corea and Bela Fleck are performing their Duet Concert at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts and North Coast Brewing is pouring hand-crafted ales before the concert. Who could ask for anything more: great performers, remarkable music and award-winning beer!

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Chick Corea and Béla Fleck are two of the most gifted improvisers in the world. Pianist Corea, winner of 20 Grammy® awards, has attained living legend status after four decades of unparalleled creativity and a staggering artistic resume. Banjo virtuoso Fleck, winner of 15 Grammy® awards and founder of the Flecktones, crosses many musical genres, from bluegrass to jazz to classical to everything in between. The two musicians have joined their adventuresome and formidable talents with the Duet concert tour.

North Coast Brewing is delighted to pour beer prior to the concert in an event free to concert ticket holders. The audience will get to taste our renowned Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, along with our other award-winning beers. The pouring begins at 7:00 and the concert starts at 8:00, both in Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Center.

 

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Old Rasputin Imperial Stout: “This beer is really something."

(We enjoy finding unsolicited reviews of our award-winning ales. The following tribute to Old Rasputin was posted on March 27, 2013.)

From the blog of Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D., board certified plastic surgeon

Old-Rasputin-Pour(wpng)As many of my regular blog readers know, I am passionate about wine. But recently, I have been exploring beers as well. Once or twice a month, when we have casual get together with friends or family and casual food is eaten (pizza, etc.), beer just seems to hit the spot. Recently I came across Old Rasputin Imperial Stout Beer by accident. I have to be honest, most beers just don’t “do it” for me. Perhaps it is because I am used to the complexity and sophistication of wine. But this beer is really something. It is made in Fort Bragg, California and is NOT where Fort Bragg Army base is (it is located in North Carolina). Fort Bragg is located in Mendocino County, north of Napa and Sonoma.

This beer is complex, with aromas and flavor of coffee, chocolate and brown sugar, with a warm finish. Most imperial stouts have a bitter finish, but this beer is balanced. I describe it as a pleasant bitterness, almost earthy. It has 9% alcohol by volume, which is almost twice most pale beers, but still less than the 12-14% alcohol content of most wines. I also like the cover: very dark and mysterious. I have not been able to find a translation of the Russian writing on the bottle. Even Google search failed! So if anyone speaks Russian, please let me know.
After doing some research, I found this beer has been consistently rated 95 or higher (out of a 100 point scale) and has been rated as one of the best beers ever made. The great thing about beer is its quality to price ratio (QPR). One can purchase a four, 12 OZ pack of this beer at Total Wine and More for less than 8 dollars. In other words, 24 OZ (equivalent to a bottle of wine) of this beer will set you back only 4 dollars. I challenge anyone to find me a 4 dollar bottle of wine which has rated 95 points or higher. If you do, please deliver it to me riding a unicorn!
Stout beer should be served much warmer than pale beer, around 58-65 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise the flavors will be muted and the beer will taste bitter.
So next time you desire a beer, pass up the insipid, commercially made Coors and Budweiser, and purchase some Old Rasputin.

 

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A Look at What an Awesome Beer Drinker Looks Like

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Team North Coast Brewing Company at the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D. C.

By Carl Pierre as reported in The Daily Brew
March 27, 2013

The 2013 Craft Beer Conference is in full swing here at the Washington Convention Center, and with the country’s greatest brewers congregating under one roof, you better believe that some pretty interesting insider knowledge is getting passed around. One of the more interesting lectures I had the privilege of attending during today’s conference sessions was “The Who, What, Where, When and How of the Craft Beer Consumer,” a discussion led by Danny Brager from the Nielsen Company on the relevant statistics and trends of the craft beer drinker.

Equipped with extensive Nielsen data on consumer and retail trends over the past few years, Danny provided some pretty compelling statistics and numbers that quickly painted the picture of who drinks craft beer in this country. Here are some of the more interesting figures from Danny’s lecture that caught my eye:

Upscale Beer: It’s What’s For Dinner – Upscale beer (i.e. craft beers) have experienced an overall surge in demand and consumption, and despite the higher pricing of the beer (like a bottle of Dogfish Head over a bottle of Bud), the craft beer segment has seen a massive growth in sales in the past four years that other segments of beer have not been experiencing
Young Folks Be Drinkin’ – Almost 1/3 of beer buyers have purchased a craft beer over the past 12 months, with Millennials representing 47% of the craft beer market (according to market research)
Check Out My Awesome Beer Collection Dude – Household penetration of craft beers has seen growth of 27% over the past four years, from 2008 to 2012
Why Do Craft Beer Drinkers Buy…Well, Craft Beers? – 50% of people polled in a study said they buy craft beers to experiment with flavors, 46% said they bought craft beers because they taste better (duh), and 40% said they enjoy the seasonal offerings that craft beers provide, while 36% of people polled said they buy craft beers as a treat for either a friend or themselves
Millennials make up 32.9% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and this demographic makes up 26.1% of the total adult population
Gen X’ers make up 23.9% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and this demographic makes up 18.7% of the total adult population
Boomers make up 34.6% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and this demographic makes up 37.0% of the total adult population
Men compose 71.9% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and compose 48.3% of the total adult population
Women compose 28.1% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and compose 51.7% of the total adult population
Ethnically, the ‘white’ demographic of drinkers make up 85.6% of total craft beer consumers, and compose 68.0% of the total adult population

 

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North Coast Beers & Claire Daly Quartet Share the Stage at D.C.’s Blues Alley

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March 26 – 29 is an exciting time for NCBC. Our sales reps, along with President Mark Ruedrich and Vice President Doug Moody, will attend the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo, along with 6,000 other craft brewing professionals, to share information, attend a wide range of seminars and immerse themselves in the world of breweries and brew pubs.

While in the nation’s capital, North Coast will present the Claire Daly Quartet at Blues Alley on Tuesday, March 26. Called the nation’s finest jazz and supper club by the New York Times, it’ll be a swingin’ night at Blues Alley with the Claire Daly Quartet performing selections from their latest CD “Baritone Monk” and five North Coast beers – Brother Thelonious, Old Rasputin, PranQster, Le Merle and Scrimshaw – sharing the spotlight. Fifty percent of beer sales from this evening will be donated to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

 

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Craft Breweries are Chipping Away at Big Beer Dominance.

Small craft breweries, such as North Coast Brewing Company and approximately 2,000 other small breweries, are starting to change the face of beer drinking in the U.S., accounting for about 6% of domestic beer sales. On Sunday, March 17, NPR’s All Things Considered ran a radio article about this growing trend. Click here to listen to the article.

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