Thursday, November 13, 2014

North Coast Old Rasputin Stout

As the seasons change, so do the palates of beer drinkers. We know this and try to accommodate everyone's tastes. In a few newsletters back, I wrote of some new bottle beers brought to our selection. This week comes a draft beer that will surely warm you up as this unwelcome cold weather moves in. North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is this week's hot new item behind the bar.

Stouts are a very popular style of beer this time of year. A stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, water and yeast. They were traditionally the generic term for the strongest beers, usually 7% or more produced by a brewery. Old Rasputin weighs in at a whopping 9%, so be careful after that first pint you have. Old Rasputin is produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia's Catherine the Great. The beer seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It's a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.

Founded in 1988, North Coast Brewery opened as a local brewpub in Fort Bragg, California. It is located on the rugged coast of Mendocino County. The brewery is an avid, conscious "green" brewery. From the recycled bottling and packaging, to spent grain being given to local farmers for animal feed, or used hops given to the local gardeners for use as mulch... this company makes an effort to help conserve our natural resources. Electricity is kept to a minimum at their facility, while there is also talk about implementing solar power technology.

Along with its stamp on the "green" foothold, North Coast is also a major supporter of American jazz music. The brewery has supported many jazz societies with numerous monetary donations. In fact, the brewery and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz have partnered, and since the introduction of North Coast's Brother Thelonious Ale in 2006, a portion from each case or keg sold goes to this Institute to help the continuing education of American Jazz music.

Over the course of almost 15 years in business, North Coast has won over 80 gold and silver medals in both national and international beer tasting events.  Give their Old Rasputin a taste!

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