Tag Archives: Mendocino coast

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.

 

Posted in Beer, Old Rasputin, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

North Coast Brewing Announces the Release of Class of ’88 Barleywine Style Ale

Deschutes-#-1-'88-QR

1988 was a pivotal year for the emerging craft brewing industry on the west coast, marking the founding of some of America’s most influential breweries, North Coast Brewing Co. among them. It was also the year Fred Eckhardt published The Essentials of Beer Style—a book that quickly became an indispensable reference for aspiring brewers and critics.

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of this milestone year, North Coast Brewing and two other west coast members of the pioneering “Class of ’88,”—Rogue Ales and Deschutes Brewery—have collaborated on a trio of commemorative beers evolving from Fred’s style guidelines.

Each of the breweries has created its own distinctive interpretation of a barleywine. Brewers traveled to each other’s locations and teamed up to brew all three ales. Their common heritage, joint efforts and inherent camaraderie resulted in a cohesive set that allows beer aficionados to enjoy three examples of the style.

These exceptional barleywines are being released in late March of 2013 and are available around the country for a limited time, distinctively packaged in either 22 oz. or 750 ml bottles, or on draft. The breweries are planning Class of ’88 celebrations in Bend and Portland, Oregon and San Francisco and Fort Bragg, California. Read more to find out about these events.

 

Posted in Beer, California, Events, News, Oregon, Press Release | 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

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.

Posted in California, News, Old Stock Ale, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

North Coast Brewing Sponsors 25th Annual Mendocino Music Festival

Mendocino Music Festival logoThe Mendocino Music Festival has been presenting outstanding musical performances under a majestic canopy tent on the Mendocino headlands since 1986. This year, for the first time, North Coast Brewing Co. is the presenting sponsor. The brewery’s association with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has created the opportunity for a special guest appearance by Kevin Eubanks on Sunday, July 10.  The festival program includes not only the local Festival Big Band Jazz Orchestra (Saturday July 16) but also three additional Jazz features. For dates and times, visit the website: www.mendocinomusic.com

Posted in Events, Jazz, Press Release | Tagged , | Comments Off

Fuggly Brew reviews Old Stock Cellar Reserve

Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve 2009From FugglyBrew.com:

“The North Coast Brewing Company Old Stock Cellar Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged edition is a winner! It pours as a full-bodied tawny ale, with a lightly rocky, but more creamy of a tan head. Your initial notes are of cider, but not a spiced cider more of that ripe apple scent you get standing under an apple tree in late October. Your first sip engulfs your pallet in a warm toffee apple with very slight hints of the ale’s fresh form (that Toffee/Vanilla/Coffee vibe) but this early in the aging process you can already see how the ale has matured. The toasty marshmallow has rounded off into the toffee and the initial booziness has turned into that of ripe harvest fruits. It ends with a pleasant if noticeable warmth reminiscent of a bourbon spiked coffee on a foggy Mendocino morning.

This is a masterpiece of brewing perfection. I have always been a huge fan of Old Stock Ale (personally having been collecting the regular releases of it since 2003). While it tastes beautiful right now I will suggest hanging on to it for another 5 years. I intend to hold on to mine 2 years till I open another one (perhaps with the 2011 special edition?) Open another again in 5 years and then 10. Patience is a virtue and definitely not for the weak so if you plan to age this baby remember out of sight, out of mind. This is a gem, an investment, a beer for when your children graduate.

“This beer is truly the milk bath Cleopatra bathed in regularly—pure, decadent, luxury.

“What would I pair this with? A cold winter evening with rain tapping on the roof and a good book (perhaps a cigar? but nothing too heavy). This is definitely a beer that can be considered a philosophy beer. Sit. Sip. Contemplate.” Read the whole review on FugglyBrew.com

Posted in Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve, Reviews | Tagged , , | Comments Off

North Coast Brewing Expansion: Watch a beer fermenter go through the roof!

Fermenter tanks going through the roof during North Coast Brewing's expansionSlide-show by Susan Larsen

Posted in California, Press Release | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Interview with Mark Ruedrich in All About Beer Magazine

In this interview with Julie Johnson of All About Beer Magazine, Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich tells the story of how North Coast Brewing Company came to be.

 

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