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North Coast Brewing Company

Official Web Page 
455 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, USA
Tel: (707) 964-2739

Opened: 1988
Capacity: 22,000 bbls
Date Visited:

Having won more than fifty national and international awards over the last twelve years, North Coast Brewing was recently included in the Beverage Testing Institute’s “Top Ten Breweries of the World” list. The Brewery occupies a 17,000 sq. ft. facility with a capacity of 22,000 bbls., and operates the adjacent Taproom and Grill, one of Northern California’s favorite restaurants.

Beers Reviewed

(click on beer name for full review)
Old No. 38 Stout Type: Dry Stout ABV: 5.7%
The body is almost black with a slight hint of redness, while the tan stands firm, is long lasting and layers the glass with a persistent lace. A strong burnt aroma immediately grabs your attention. As stouts go this is fairy light bodied, with a little sharpness from the carbonation, but overall the mouthfeel is very creamy and well-rounded. There’s a creaminess in the initial flavor, caramel right down the center of the tongue with a little chocolate maltiness. A nice coffee-like dryness rounds off the flavor with a little bitterness, but the caramel lingers. The aftertaste is very long and satisfying as the caramel and bitterness gradually even each other out. This has got to be one of the best beers available in the States and as stouts go is not at all overwhelming. It’s not quite as good as Shakespeare, which offers a little more hoppiness, but it’s pretty close.
Ratings: Appearance: 4/5 Aroma: 8/10 Palate: 5/5 Taste: 8/10 Overall: 17/20 Score: 4.2


Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Type: Imperial Stout ABV: 9.2%
The body is black, as black as you’ll see, with a brown stained creamy head. By looks and aroma alone, it seems to prepare you for something a little special. It’s not quite as heavy as you’d expect, a little chewy for sure, but more on the medium bodied side. A little carbonation tingles the tongue, but for the most part the mouthfeel is fairly smooth and creamy. The initial flavors are briefly soft and toffee-like, followed by the coffee-like dryness you'd expect from most stouts. The high alcohol does quickly take over, very whisky like in the finish, causing a slightly sour aftertaste. You also get notes of the hops in the finish, which offer a little spiciness to the mix.

If I’d drunk all 4 of these I would probably need the spiritual healing power of Old Rasputin himself by tomorrow morning.
Ratings: Appearance: 5/5 Aroma: 9/10 Palate: 5/5 Taste: 9/10 Overall: 18/20 Score: 4.6


PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale Type: Belgian Style Golden Ale ABV: 7.6%
Bright golden color, of surprising clarity for its style. A little later I made sure to shake up the bottle and got some of that yeast sediment in there. It’s adequately carbonated while a white foam forms but does not persist. An impressive mix in the nose shows good sweet malts, citrus, and plenty of herbs and spice, as well as a light woody, earthy, yeast aroma. I detect some coriander in there, but that gets overshadowed by an almost peppery spiciness. The palate makes this a much easier drinker than the 7.6% would suggest, a little spritzy carbonation at first, subsiding to a smooth almost sticky mouthfeel. The palate is pretty sweet, with bubble gum fruity esters at first, green apple at the front, pear like in the middle with an underlying flavor of cloves and coriander, smoothing out to a banana or German wheat flavor towards the end. A slight sourness and dryness rounds out the finish, while there also seems to be a touch of candy sugar or honey thrown in to balance things out. The aftertaste is long, spicy and fruitful making this one to savor.
Ratings: Appearance: 4/5 Aroma: 9/10 Palate: 5/5 Taste: 8/10 Overall: 17/20 Score: 4.3


Ruedrich's Red Seal Ale Type: Pale Ale ABV: %
Slightly foamy in the pour, fairly light in color for a red ale, closer to an amber. A light carbonation rushes up the glass to a light head which lasted a few minutes. The aroma is a little hoppy, with fruit, and a hint of malt. Initially it reminded me very much of Red Hook. There's just a hint of sweetness at the front of the palate, whereas the middle to end is very citrussy, grapefruit-like, with a bitter slightly dry finish. The finish gradually mellows out to a smoother fruitiness.
Ratings: Appearance: 4/5 Aroma: 8/10 Palate: 4/5 Taste: 8/10 Overall: 16/20 Score: 4.0


Last Updated: 10/31/2001

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