Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Years ago MENDOCINO BREWING’s RED TAIL ALE was one of a few oases of great craft beer that was relatively well-distributed here in Northern California. Nearly every grocery store carried that brand in particular, and they still do – and often you’ll find nightclubs that only have RED TAIL and ANCHOR STEAM as the only two beer choices worth making (I’m talking to you, BIMBO’S). Me, I think Red Tail’s mediocre at best, and I’ve steered clear from the other MENDOCINO BREWING beers not out of spite, but because these days there’s too much other competition for my Yankee dollar. Along comes the fourth of July, and a good soul thrusts this WHITE HAWK SELECT IPA into my hand, and I’m hooked. Naturally I found the appropriate glassware for it first, to be spared the indignity of drinking it directly from the bottle, a fact that my hosts found amusing. They just don’t understand!!

WHITE HAWK SELECT IPA was a big surprise – a delicious English-style IPA with some serious west coast overtones. That’s beer dork talk for “not too hoppy, but getting there”. They use Cascade hops, which impart some of that piney, juicy, rich-hop flavor you find in so many American IPAs and Double IPAs these days, and yet this one really worked well as a summer refresher, too. Dryer than most IPAs, and I reckon that’s because they’re also using what they call “a very generous dose of English Fuggle Hops”. Ah yes – the Fuggles! It was quite delicious, and actually had more of an alcohol kick than I’d planned on – only 7%, but felt like 8.5% or more. Guess I needed some more hot dogs in me! Folks, if you’ve been misunderestimating MENDOCINO BREWING til now, give this one a whirl – HBJ’s giving it a 7.5/10.

No comments: