Mendocino Brewing Company - Black Hawk Stout

Mendocino Brewing Company - Black Hawk Stout

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club

Country:

United States

Alcohol by Volume:

5.20%

Mendocino Brewing Company - Black Hawk Stout

  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.20%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 45.07
  • Serving Temperature: 45-58° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass
  • Malts: 2-Row Pale, Caramel, Carapils, Munich, Black Patent
  • Hops: Warrior, Cascade
One of the original brews from the August 1983 Grand Opening of the Hopland Brewery, this beer is just as good today as it was back then. Originally brewed with the intention of offering a stout that favored rich, roasty qualities rather than overtly sweet notes. That pretty much sums up the flavor, but we'll review it for ya just the same… On the nose, expect notes of roasted coffee beans and deeply kilned (roasted) malts. For any homebrewers out there, the nose smacks of black patent malted barley—straight out of the bag. The roasty character on the nose is so prominent, it's quite nearly burnt and smoky in character. Expect this beer to feel rich and full in the mouth, yet not nearly as filling as you might expect in a stout this robust. Look for a very subtle sweetness that eventually grows into a robust roasty quality with some coffee layered throughout and a flourish of medium-dark chocolate in the background. There's a very subtle fruitiness that's tough to place, perhaps the slightest hint of under-ripened plum. Not as dry as an Irish dry stout, but certainly not sweet, this is a very well-executed, balanced stout. Finishes with a mild bitterness and iced-coffee flavors. A knockout when paired with fresh or cooked shellfish, especially oysters. While the brewers might not recommend doing so, we've cracked open bottles of this beer that have been kept in cellar conditions (about 50-55 degrees, in the dark) for up to 2 years. They sweeten up and develop a Madeiralike character—very different than the beer's young profile, but quite delicious for certain. The key is proper storage.
Members who enjoyed last month's domestic features from the Lost Coast Brewery may recall the fact that their head brewer was inspired to start her northern California brewpub after hearing of the first brewpub opening in California—that brewpub was Mondocino Brewing Company's "The Hopland Brewery" located in, where else, Hopland, CA. Truly one of the pioneering 'microbreweries', key to the microbrewed beer renaissance, the opening of this brewpub on August 14, 1983, was a red letter date in U.S. brewing history. It was the first brewpub in California since Prohibition, and only the second in the U.S. In those days, people made the pilgrimage from all around the country to visit the little brewpub in northern California that brewed some of the country's best beers. By 1997, there were 780 brewpubs in the United States; these guys laid the foundation for many of those. Very quickly, the brewing operation grew. Demand for their flagship beer, Red Tail Ale, and other raptor-themed ales continued to swell to the point where their original brewpub, though expanded in brewing capacity multiple times through the years, could no longer keep up with demand. In 1997, the company underwent major investment and expansion, leading to the building of their Ukiah, CA brewery and bringing the historic Olde Saratoga Brewing Company in New York into the fold as an east coast brewing base for their expanding beer line. To put things in perspective, consider that the Ukiah brewery currently operates at a capacity of about 60,000 barrels per year, while the original Hopland Brewery pumped out just 400 barrels in its first year. It used to be that beer lovers had to trek thousands of miles for these great beers, but these days, it's a bit easier—California's first brewpub beers are currently available in 38 states. We highly recommend a visit to their classic Hopland Brewpub in Hopland, CA, located about 110 miles north of San Francisco. While they no longer serve food there, they've made arrangements for local restaurants to deliver right to your table as you enjoy fresh beer. For hours, call (707) 744-1361. For more info about MBC, visit their web site at www.mendobrew.com.
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