Mendocino Brewing Company is located in Hopland, CA, but also has a big brewery in Saratoga Springs where they produce the unexceptional Indian lager Kingfisher. In a 12-pack, Mendocino's offerings came out to just under a buck a bottle for me, so it's "bargain" craft beer, like Saranac, Dundee, et. al.
13 February 2009
Red Tail Ale: Their flagship beer, a (surprise) fairly subdued amber ale. It's pretty nice though. The brewery's website says it has Cluster and Cascade hops, but I don't detect citrus/floral. The Cascades certainly aren't used for dry-hopping here. The site also says that most of their beers are bottle conditioned, but none of these seem to be. Red Tail Ale is slightly more malt than hops to me, but finishes dry. Very faint orange flavor. Clean and crisp.
White Hawk Select IPA: 7% ABV and 60 IBUs. The brewer says it has a "truly authentic English flavor," but is a blend of Fuggles and Cascades, so it's not purely English in style. Here, I do detect the Cascades. Not a blockbuster IPA, but very flavorful, well-balanced, and brings a bit of that IPA tingle. Nice lacing down the glass too.
So a good start to the variety pack. A pretty decent flagship beer and a nice IPA. But the IPA isn't the biggest of the pack as it would be more many other breweries.