Hail the mighty ale! Such incredible diversity and the umbrella under which some of the greatest beers in the world reside. Give it up for these Ale lovin’ California breweries, two of which are completely organic!


Bison Brewing 2010 Reunion Scotch Ale, 7% ABV: Made in collaboration with Pete Slosberg of Pete’s Wicked Ale fame and Spike Buckowski of Terrapin, brewer Daniel del Grande created this year’s offering to benefit the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. Both Pete, the co-founder of REUNION and Spike created their own versions as well from their respective breweries. A limited released, I am excited to get the opportunity to taste it. Bison’s Scotch Ale is a lovely beer, full of sweet, yet balanced aromas and flavors of dark caramel, dried fig and date, chocolate, and baking spice. Wonderfully drinkable, this brew makes for a great fall beer, and I highly recommend it for your Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. Will pair nicely with spice cake, sweet potatoes, pecan pie, and brown sugar-glazed ham.

I first discovered this brewery back in my 1st 100 beers. 30 days. challenge, Stouts vs. Porters. When I heard tale of a brewery making an Organic Chocolate Stout, I knew I had to get my hands on it. And I couldn’t have been more pleased. To this day, one of the cleanest and purest beers I have tasted.

I had the pleasure of finally meeting owner and brewer Daniel del Grande at this year’s GABF. Truly one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, and incredibly intelligent, Daniel shares his knowledge of beers and brewing with avid fans nationwide. Opened in 1989, Bison is located in Berkeley, California, and is contracted with our next brewery, Mendocino! Now distributed in 12 states, Bison spreads the deliciousness of organic beer and I applaud them for it.


Mendocino Brewing Red Tail Ale, 6% ABV: First produced in 1983, this is a simple, straightforward red ale. Caramel maltiness with a touch of hops on the finish, which becomes more apparent as it sits. Some mild vibrancy. Like hops dancing on a malt backbone. An easy drinker, and considered by many a classic of the style. I find that non-craft beer drinkers enjoy this, making this a good crossover beer for conversion.

Brewing for over 25 years, Mendocino Brewing Company’s most popular beers include the Red Tail, Blue Heron, and Black Hawk Stout. With locations in Ukiah, Petaluma, and Hopland, California and Saratoga Springs, New York, Mendocino spreads the craft beer love nationwide. CLICK HERE to see my review of the Black Hawk Stout, beer #10 of my Stouts vs. Porters challenge!


Rubicon Rosebud, 7.5% ABV: Named after one of Jerry Garcia’s guitars, Rosebud was first brewed in 1995, on the day of his death. A very pretty amber red color, especially in the light. “Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” Smells like roses, of course! Aromas of floral arrangements, greenery, and cut green tree branch. Super dry, bitter finish. I like it. I wonder if Deadheads drink this beer. As I’ve said before in previous blogs, I don’t know why, but hippies like good beer. I oughta know. I was one for years!

Located in Sacramento, California Rubicon Brewing Company has been a local staple for 22 years. Known for their philantrophic events, their location includes a full dining menu and beers on cask as well as tap. Other beers I would like to try include their Ol’ Moe Porter and Hop Sauce.


from their website.

Eel River Triple Exultation, 9.7% ABV: Certified Organic. This Old Ale is called “The Ozzy Osbourne of Old Ales” on their site. On the nose, toffee, cookie, spice, and caramelized orange peel. Definitely desserty. On the palate, a distinct and intense bitterness strikes. That’s probably due to the near 100 IBU’s! But more than anything, my palate is a bit confused. All that sweetness with such a punch of bitterness. Does it work? Do I like it or not?

Opened in 1995, Eel River is located in Fortuna, California. Becoming America’s first certified organic brewery in 1999, the brewery produces a lineup of popular beers, including their Porter, Raven’s Eye Imperial Stout, and the Triple Exultation. With a beer garden, taproom, and grill, Eel River is one of Humboldt County’s favorite spots. In fact, their Porter was #80 of my first 100 beers. 30 days. challenge, Stouts vs. Porters.

Until next time,

Support your local breweries, show some love to Organic producers, and as always, drink Craft beer!



One Comment Add yours

  1. Rob says:

    I don’t know most of those beers but have had a few from each brewery, except Rubicon which I never had anything. But I think you are just too nice to say you don’t like Triple Exultation, leaving us with an open question.

    Loving the newest challenge as usual. Almost to 100!

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