Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of North Coast Brewing Co. beers

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

Old Rasputin is Beer of the Month in LA Times

North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin pourOld Rasputin is featured as the Beer of the Month in the LA Times! Here’s what they said about it:

Old Rasputin is a Russian imperial stout, meaning that it’s very dark (it pours nearly black with a very high tan head) and alcoholic (9% by volume), but you taste very little sweetness. That’s because of a bitterness level toward the top of the IPA range, though it doesn’t register in the palate as bitter, rather as a dryness cleaning up after all the malt.

Don’t think of it as you would a sweet stout; its overwhelming taste impression resembles dark coffee. Like coffee, Old Rasputin could be comfortable with most traditional American foods, even steak and eggs with hash browns.

Style: A broad-shouldered, super-dark brew ready for anything.

Click here to read the whole review | Download this as a printable PDF

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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.

Posted in Grand Cru, Le Merle, Press Release, Reviews, Sweden | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Grand Cru, Le Merle, News, Reviews | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Old Stock Ale Vertical Tasting in Smithsonian Mag

Old Stock Vertical Pairing in Smithsonian photo by Alastair BlandFrom a great article by Alastair Bland in Smithsonian:

“In a dark cellar at North Coast Brewing Company, the beer bottles endured the slow crawl of time. Years plodded by, the Chinook salmon industry crashed, whales migrated past going north, then south, then north again, and one American president replaced the next—until finally, on a recent afternoon in August, five aged bottles of Old Stock Ale saw daylight. I was lucky enough to be there, along with the brewery’s owner, Mark Ruedrich, and the company’s two brewers, Patrick Broderick and Ken Kelley, for a very special event: a vertical tasting. In a vertical, the drinkers taste multiple bottles of progressively older vintages of the same beer (or wine) in order to observe how the beverage grows and matures (or, if it happens to be the case, deteriorates) through the years. We started with the 2012 Old Stock Ale, and we noted the 12-percent alcohol beer’s bright and fresh youth, with its sharp and brassy scents of prunes and sherry. Then we stepped back three years and found in the 2009 bottle a fudgier, thicker version of the last. Next, we re-entered the George W. Bush era and tasted the 2007. The sharp, vibrant esters of the beer’s younger days had softened into something bittersweet, with distinct notes of marmalade. We dug deeper still into the strata of the years, back to 2005. The beer was a shade darker now and with a slight tartness of acidity in the rich layers of flavor. Now, think back: Where were you in 2003? I was just entering a long and homeless stint of trekking through Baja California, when I could live on a dollar a day but didn’t know a pilsner from a porter—and when Ruedrich and his brewers were just putting caps on the fourth vintage of Old Stock Ale. Opened nine years later, the beer gave off a heavy, bready smell thickened with notes of molasses and whiskey. In the mouth, it was soft and creamy. And we went back further still, into another era of modern society—when the Fort Bragg salmon industry was still afloat, and when people everywhere could still walk through airport security with their shoes on and, no doubt, with a bottle of wine in their carry-on. And with just the slightest hiss of escaping gas, the 2001 Old Stock came open—a creamy, thick, velvety beer of time-reduced carbonation but still delicious and alive. “Is there a point where this beer peaks?” I asked. “We haven’t seen it yet,” Ruedrich said of the Old Stock, which was first released in 2000. Want to have your own private vertical tasting of Old Stock Ale? Aged cases of this remarkable beer will soon be for sale, Ruedrich promises. Watch the North Coast Brewing Company’s website.”

Read the whole article here.

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Old Rasputin Selected for "Top 10 Sipping Beers"

North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, 12 oz bottleGayot.com, “the guide to the good life,” just chose Old Rasputin for their guide to the Top 10 Sipping Beers. Here’s what they said:

“Considered by many to be the standard-bearer for the style, this Russian Imperial Stout from the North Coast Brewing Company is produced in the tradition of 18th-century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia’s Catherine the Great. Its label includes a depiction of the ‘Mad Monk,’ and like the Russian mystic it’s named for, Old Rasputin appears dark and sinister. This rich, intense brew sports big flavors and a warming finish thanks to the hefty 9 per cent ABV. Tastes of espresso, mocha, and dark chocolate are matched with a finish of fruity hoppy bitterness, making this a well-rounded and complex beer. Pairing this brew with anything chocolate is a sure thing, but fruity desserts will also work well to balance the deep roasted flavors.”

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Review of Grand Cru

North Coast Brewing Grand CruFrom Suburban Cowgirl:

So, I tried a glass. And this beer? This beer is different. They weren’t kidding when they said it had a champagne-like taste, except this is less dry and easier to drink in my opinion than champagne….

Couple the sweet, easy taste and light hops with the bubbly drinkability of this brew and I must hereby declare: this is the best beer I’ve ever tried.

I’m not sure if that’s a compliment to the brewer or not, but I’m most definitely having a second glass.

Read the whole review here.

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Old Rasputin in Wired Mag

North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, 12 oz bottleOld Rasputin was recently featured in Wired Magazine’s “Recommendation Engine: 5 Bold Dark Brews for Beer Geeks” by David MacNeal:

Perfect for: Proving your fortitude.
Geek factor: Russian imperial stouts had high alcohol content to survive 18th-century shipping times—and this one, with its 75 international bittering units (vs. Coors Light’s 6.8 IBU), could make a czar flip his ushanka.
9% abv, $9 (4 x 12 oz.) | North Coast Old Rasputin

Read the whole article here.

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Review of Old Stock Ale

North Coast Brewing Old Stock pourFrom the review by Fischman Liquors:

This one is another one I would come back to again and again.  I recommend giving it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Read the whole review here.

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Le Merle featured in Bon Appetit

NCBC Le Merle 375 ml“What begins as floral and effervescent, like a chilly white wine, finishes with a fruity fullness.”

Read the whole article from Bon Appetit here. | See our print PDF press release here.

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