The town of Fort Bragg is a small coastal town and it was raining as we arrived. The North Coast brewery was under construction so we weren't able to tour the facility, but they have a restaurant/bar directly across the street.
We were hoping to taste some seasonal or rare brews not available in San Diego, however as alluded to above, they don't have any. The closest they come is their Old Stock Ale, which is bottled by year, similar to wine. We learned of some old seasonals, Christmas ales and such, but nothing of late.
It didn't matter. Their regular lineup is one of our favorites. We had, between the four of us, the Scrimshaw, Red Seal on cask, Acme Pale Ale and IPA, Pranqster, Old No. 38 Stout on nitro, and Old Rasputin Stout on nitro. We won't describe them here.
Some interesting history on the brewery. They began in 1987 with the Scrimshaw, Red Seal, and Old No. 38 Stout. In the 90's, an old microbrewery by the name of Acme was going under, so North Coast bought their recipes and began making their beers. Their pale ale and IPA came out of this transaction, and their balanced hop profiles fit well with the North Coast originals. Interestingly, they also bought a brown ale recipe from Acme that didn't sell well and was discontinued. North Coast remains without a brown ale in their lineup.
North Coast then added their Old Rasputin Stout (more spicy and less of a session stout than Old No. 38) and their Belgians (Brother Thelonius, Pranqster, and La Merle) in the 2000's.
All in all a quality brewery, something we knew prior to our visit. We would advise, if you haven't already, that you try North Coast and return often.
A beautiful sight.
Location:Fort Bragg, California