Mendocino Brewing Company - Red Tail Ale
- ABV: 5.8%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 35
- Serving Temperature: 47-52°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row, MFB Caramunich 40 & 60
- Hops: Warrior, Cascade
Mendocino considers this amber ale to be their flagship brew, and we think it’s a good one to carry the banner. Pouring a pure amber color with a robust head of light beige foam, Red Tail offers up a pleasing and fairly robust caramel malt aroma with notes of toasted bread and just a touch of implied sweetness. Look for a somewhat floral and citric hop note with an accompanying hint of minerality. On the palate, this amber ale bursts forth with a wonderfully toasty, bready malt core with big caramel notes and some fruity hints popping through on the mid palate. The hops contribute a citric zest acidity and enough clean bitterness to stand up to the malts, with the overall effect being one of perfect balance between the hops and the mild residual sweetness. Try pairing this amber ale with some spicy chicken quesadillas or a chicken tortilla soup. Cheers!
Mendocino Brewing Company’s story begins 30 years ago this year when the Hopland Brewery opened in the small town of Hopland, CA, along the west bank of the Russian River (the region was an important hop farming area from the mid 19th to the mid 20th centuries). Truly one of the pioneering microbreweries that proved so 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 entire 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, and the craft brewing revolution that continues to this day.
The brewing operation grew very quickly in the early years. 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 to give them access to select markets on the East Coast.
If you’re ever in the area of Ukiah, located about 115 miles north of San Francisco near Redwood country, we highly recommend taking a pit stop at the Mendocino Ale House where you can enjoy the brewery’s beers on tap, just a half mile down the road from where they’re brewed. For hours, call (707) 467-2337. For more info on the brewery, visit them at www.mendobrew.com.
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