As with all things in this world there is a definite starting point. From the big bang to an apple hitting Newton on his head there is always the definitive "ah ha!" point in history that all great things have grown from. For me it was a typical summer day hanging out with friends on the beautiful headlands of Mendocino, in Northern California. The usual run had been made to the local market for the normal supplies of beer and munchies by the kids who were "of age" and the goods had safely made it to the Big Log over looking the mouth of Big River. Maybe it was what we were smoking, maybe it was the way the sun had hit me in the face at that moment. What ever it was, I was not prepared for the quantum leap my pallet was about to make that day.
I popped open my beer on the log and notice that light release of spirit (co2) waft off the mouth of the bottle, put the bottle to my lips and time had stopped. It was not that it was my first sip of beer, it was not that it was my first sip of North Coast Brewery Scrimshaw either- No. It was something much greater than that. During that moment I had an epitome that my 17-year-old self could not account for. I remember jumping up and exclaiming how absolutely wonderful this godly nectar was! How perfectly crisp and light, yet full and robust this elixir of life tasted, felt, smelled! Beer was alive to me, and I was in love. The older kids laughed and patted me on the back with the usual “aww how cute!” remarks and went back to the usual business. I still dream about that beautiful fateful day, which is why, in homage to my home town and to my youth, I am starting with the North Coast Brewing Company, in Fort Bragg, California.
455 North Main St.
Located on the north end of this small town where I grew up is a Mecca for beer lovers and food lovers alike. Considered one of the top ten breweries in the world by the Beverage Testing Institute, this brewery boasts 10 core beers, and recently added a new Belgian ale, two organic beers. They currently have a special edition of their multi-gold winning beer Old Rasputin, with anniversary ale soon to come. Across the street they have their tap room (a beer garden should be completed before summer this year on the brewery side). The tap room has wonderful food including their pub burger with bleu cheese, or their fish and chips made with Scrimshaw batter. And for dessert you can indulge in their wonderful Old Rasputin chocolate cake drizzled with syrup made from condensed old stock ale- it is simply to die for!