Category Archives: mendocino brewing


2009 is proving to be an interesting year.  The arrival of Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier is a very pleasant addition indeed. Too many fruit flavored beers miss the mark, but that is not the case with this recipe. A thirst quenching, delicious beer that, at 5.5% abv, is substantial enough to be enjoyed anytime of the year. A welcome addition to the Sam Adams permanent portfolio.
Another addition to yearly production is Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA Ale. An orange-copper colored pour that is lively, with a surprisingly subtle, hops rich nose. “Torpedo” refers to the “hop torpedo” method created by Sierra Nevada, to uniquely dry hop this ale, which is only logical, from the brewery known for its obsessive hops personality. An uncompromising American IPA, well designed for those who love this brewing style, where intense hop floral resins combine with malts to create a complex, citrus-layered palate, that finishes as long as the day therein.
The same can be said for their annual barleywine style, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale 2009, where the hug malt presentation does not escape Sierra Nevada’s hops assertion. This was an “extreme beer” long before anyone had coined the term. A welcome selection for post-holiday, dead-of-winter. A seriously deep brew with complex bitterness, for those who can sip and enjoy, a truly heavy beer.
A very good seasonal now available is Pandora’s Bock from Breckenridge Brewery. A lively dark copper pour, with a rich malty palate, offset somewhat by hops, making it rather doughy in the finish. Four different malts are used, along with a traditional Bavarian lager yeast, and Strisselspalt and Chinook hops, combine well to perform their magic. A tasty, beautiful presentation.
Matt Brewing has released their St. Patrick’s Day offering, with their Saranac Irish Red Ale. A festive, pleasurable event in the Irish amber style. Nothing is out of place here. A tasty drinkable beer, from start to finish. Have a case or two of this, for a crowd.
In the state of Ohio, in February, six packs of beers from Mendociono Brewing Company are on sale at $6.99 (+). A very good offering is their White Hawk Original IPA, with its subtle (as opposed to overwhelming) aromatic nose. Like nearly all American versions of India Pale Ale, this is aggressively hopped to say the least.
Hoppy beers have become quite a rage amongst beer seekers lately, and there are plenty of examples to choose from. White Hawk is Mendocino’s year round offering, and at 7% abv, it is a couple of notches in strength below the hops blow-out, extreme, “Imperial” versions. But there is plenty of flavor here. There is more of an apricot note in the citrus palate, fairly mild and finishes long.
Another interesting offering is Mendocino’s Black Eye Ale, a rich dark pour with a reddish undertone. This “black and tan” combines Black Hawk Stout with their Eye Of The Hawk Red Ale, producing a smooth malty, 6.5% abv, presentation. Here hops and malts blissfully co-exist. There are many flavor notes here, but why get ponderous? This top fermented blend is designed for drinkability (in a 22oz bottle at that), which it most certainly is, with a silky smooth finish.
Bock beers keep arriving this time of year. This season Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery decided to revive their brewery’s first 19th century recipe. 1888 Bock is dark amber in color, and a gentle malts showcase, serving as a reminder that bock beer¬† has been a part of the American beer vocabulary for a very long time. The use of pale and dark malts keeps this tasty and festive.
Last but not least, Anchor Brewing Company’s Anchor Bock, is a very fine example of American bock. A luxurious, deep brown pour, that combines barley and wheat malts to produce an outstanding beer, with many flavorful notes. This is the first time I have sampled this beer, and the fact that this was a fresh sample, made this a173pmendobrew36pk2034171bigfoot1lein_1888_lnnr_bttlpourpandoras_bock very glorious experience.