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    North Coast Brewing, CA
    Posted under The New England Beer Reviews by Avery Glasser (c366822-a.htfdc1.ct.home.com) on Monday July 02 2001 @ 08:38PM CEST

    North Coast Brewing Company
    Mendocino County, CA

    Sighted at: Table and Vine, Northampton, MA


    Yes, this is the New England Beer Review, but sometimes you have to go back to an old favorite... in this case, the first cask-conditioned beer that I ever had on hand pump.

    Ruedrich's Red Seal Ale
    If you've never experienced a Red Seal, than you can't consider yourself a true hop head. Sure, there are hoppier beers (like Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin IPA (available at Crazy Bruce's Liquors and a number of bars in the Hartford Area)... but IBU (international Bittering Units) ratings aside, when I think of the quintessential bitter beer, I think of Red Seal.

    Red Seal is found in squat short-neck bottles, so before you even think about taking a swig out of the bottle... put the bottle opener down and grab a pint glass first. As with all hoppy beers, the aroma is equally as pleasurable as the taste, so if you drink it from the bottle, you will only experience half of the beer.

    Before you even taste the beer, your olfactory bulb (that's the part of the ol' schnoz that actually discriminates scents) is assaulted by the strong aroma of Cascade hops. It's enough to almost make you put the glass back down if you're not a hoppy beer fanatic... but if you get to the point where you taste the beer, you are rewarded with a fantastic beer where the strong hop bitterness is counterpointed with the malt sweetness. It's extremely complex and can stand to be served at higher temperatures (50 degrees/Cellar Temp) than most IPAs. A definite treat.(Avery Glasser)


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