Wondering How to Pair Your Pale Ale with Dinner?


You can hardly go wrong with a pale ale, as much cuisine lends itself well to this well-loved type of beer.

The Belgium beer tradition is outstanding as it has a close relationship with food and flows well with all type of dish and desserts, setting the precedence for the trend of food and beer pairing. Grilled meats, and vegetable and meat stews are complemented best with dark Belgian ale. Bright Belgian ale is better combined with spicy foods like turkey meat or fried pheasant.

English ale goes wonderfully with meat pies, hamburgers, and a classic British fish and chips. Another go-to combination is Indian Pale Ale with spicy dishes.

When you want the best fit for light meals like seafood or salad, German ale is the best option. It goes well with a variety of dishes, including grilled chicken and pork, and salad. Weizenbock should be taken with roasted pork, beef or wild poultry. Kölsch beer, which is ale that is fermented at lager temperature, flows well with lighter food like shrimps, salad and crabs. You can also have it with eggs and bacon because of this particular beer’s sweetness, as it serves as a perfect combination with the salty taste of a hearty meal of eggs and bacon. Hybrid Dusseldorf Altbier is another German beer that goes well with the popular Mexican-American cuisine, like a stuffed Mexican Burrito or a rich Mexican quesadilla.

Light ale is a perfect fit for Indian cuisine, fish, poultry dish and meat, as the bitterness of the plant from which it is brewed contrasts perfectly with the flavor of grilled dishes. You should also consider tasting it alongside meals featuring blue cheese, burgers, and meat pies. Foods like chicken, seafood and spicy meals pairs extremely with American amber ale. Alternatively, American wheat ale tastes better with vegetarian dishes, sushi, and green salad. Heavy and hearty food such as game or roasted beef fits nicely with strong light drinking ale. Due to the persistent flavor and sweet aroma, Strong and hot wine from Barley balances well with mold cheese.

Stouts are ideal for drinking with smoked meat, stewed meat or even meaty soups. Stout also makes a great combination with nuts, especially peanuts and coconut. Porters are amazing with smoked meat like pork, steak bacon or sausage. If you want to really complement dessert with a stout, opt for coffee or chocolate based desserts, as they tend to complement the taste of coffee flavors or chocolate desserts.

We hope this simple guide can help you feel confident the next time you’re hosting a meal, or if you’re simply interested in experimenting with different flavor combinations. Have fun finding your favorite combinations – there’s nearly an infinite number of ways to play around with our basic suggestions!

Click one of the links below to find some of our favorite beers and meal pairings!

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Craft Beer Lovers: Quit Hating on Millenials!


Millenials may keep the craft beer market alive; I propose we leave them alone.

The craft beer industry has experienced a 14% growth in revenue in the last year, while the total beer industry only experienced a 4.6% growth.  The large growth in the craft beer industry can be credited to millennials, who form a significant percentage of beer drinkers. A whopping 43% of millennials said they highly respect the value, uniqueness, and flavor associated with craft beers, and that’s why you’ll find more millennials at bars where craft brew is served.

Millennials take a lot of heat – they’ve been called lazy, ignorant, whiny, and a whole slew of other negative descriptions, but their interest in beer tells a different story. This generation has a unique mindset. They’re well-educated and understand the value of trying new things, in fact, most millennials drink beer with the goal of investigating the uniqueness, authenticity and flavor of each new beer they consume. Restaurants, local establishments, and other vendors have found that, if they want to maximize their profit with the younger crowd, they should serve craft brews.

A defining characteristic of millennials is their desire to be individual and unique rather than “going along with the crowd.” More so than the generations before them, they value experiences over material things. They opt for craft beers rather than bland commercial beers because of the strong sense of identity that goes into a more authentic and innovative brand of beer.

Millennials have a huge impact on the beer industry, causing craft beer business to boom. Even a tiny brewery has the capacity to produce two to six million barrels in a year. This generation recognizes the importance of supporting local breweries’ uniquely crafted beers. They also love the higher level of alcohol found in these one-of-a-kind brews. A market growth of 9.3% can be expected in the coming year.

Perhaps other brands, markets, and industries can benefit from observing millennials’ habits. This generation is demanding locally-sourced, unique, and fun brands.

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Does Your Favorite Style of Beer Reflect Your Personality?


Mindset Media, a market researcher that focuses on psychographics, concluded that with so many brands and choices associated with beers, it must have a certain link to consumers personality. It conducted an online survey of 2,600 showed amazing results. They found, for example, that people who patronize domestic beers instead of craft beers are generally in the middle of the road, financially speaking. They have enough be able to drink, but not as much as those who prefer foreign beer.

The survey also revealed that people who drink a wide variety of beers differ from those that drink only one kind of beer. Those that readily sample from a variety of brewers are often passionate and open minded. A preference for imported or craft beers tends to correspond with social people, as well as perfectionists. And who are the rebels? Frequently, it’s the domestic drinkers.

Your favorite beer style explains a lot about you even before you’ve had a few too many. It may be possible to deduce the type of clothes you wear, the kind of house you live in, or even the type of car you drive, all from your beer preferences. Sensible, grounded, and practical people may gravitate to certain brands, while spontaneous risk takers will probably drink more of different brands.  Mindset Media also found that abstaining from beer or frequently changing your beer-drinking style can also offer clues about your inner workings.

Overall, craft beer drinkers are prone to being open minded and freely discuss the varying tastes found in beer. They pursue interesting and curious experiences as they easily give up on missed opportunities.

So, what are we saying? Non beer-drinkers don’t loosen up nearly as much as their beer-drinking counterparts. They tend to be more ordinary, obedient, and balanced.

Beer drinkers are definitely more fun.

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5 Ways Drinking Beer is Good for Your Health


Next time you enjoy a nice cold brew, pat yourself on the back for contributing positively to your health. There are multiple ways beer can actually make us healthier!

Beer minimizes the risk of stroke and coronary disease

Beer contains a significant amount of important vitamins, which it gets from its yeast, barley, and wheat. Research shows that moderate consumption of beer lowers the risk of stroke by twenty percent and minimizes coronary disease by forty percent.

Beer prevents cancer and age-related diseases

Beer contains just as many antioxidants as red wine, and almost five times the amount found in white wine. Antioxidants helps prevent cancer and other age-related disease, so drink up!

Beer reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clots

Another important benefit of beer is the increase in cholesterol level in the bloodstream. The vitamin B6 present in beer inhibits homocysteine, an amino acid which contributes to heart disease. Alcohol in general also reduces the risk of blood clots. Want to minimize your risk of heart disease and blood clots? Research shows that people who drink beer are subjected to better protection from homocysteine than people who drink other types of beverages.

Beer for stronger bones

The high level of silicon present in beer, especially pale ale, improves bone health. Studies have shown that drinking beer twice in a day helps to improve the bone strength in the elderly..

Beer is a rich source of vitamins

Beer was first used in Egypt, years ago, as the solution to homeopathic problems several years ago, as it contains a significant amount of phosphorus, vitamin B2, B2, B6 and B12, potassium, protein and calcium.

While too much beer has negative effects associated with it, beer in moderation can do wonderful things for your health. So the next time someone pipes up in a conversation that red wine is healthy, make sure to let them know that beer is, too.

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The Love of Craft Beer


Traditional and hand made products have their own uniqueness that we all appreciate differently, yet are desperate to try. Stil, products which are handmade and customized are hard to come by in this modern world. When we drink a decent craft beer, we’re tasting classic craftsmanship. Good craft beers bring with them the effort, joy and happiness exerted into the production of every bottle.

Craft beers don’t taste in a specific manner, Each one has flavor and a unique taste making you always derive satisfaction in the uniqueness even though you don’t like the taste of a particular paint or bottle. Craft breweries produce great beer and a variety of options for people who like trying out new things and cannot go a whole day without thinking about the taste of their next beer.

Craft beer’s unique taste as well as its unique flow with common meals makes craft beer a perfect drink. We loves to complement a meal with the taste of an daring drink; craft beer provides a better solution to compared to other mass produced beer with a set in stone production that just doesn’t express individual style.

Most advertisements for beer marketing on television are centered around people having fun in a bar or beach, ignited with loud music, joy, and total celebration. However, the personality of a craft brewery is distinct, as noted not only in the way they represent their creations but in the beauty of their bottles, the uniqueness of their flavorful beer and the choice of their recipes.

Half the fun of trying a new bottle of craft brew is admiring the supportive nature of the brewer’s visual sense. Each label is unique, well thought out, and daring. As someone who likes trying new things, every time we create something new at Mendocino Brewing Company, I’m dying to try it. This anticipation is one of the biggest reasons to love craft beer.

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A Brief Look at Hop History


While beer has been around for over 5,000 years, hops haven’t been used in the mash tun for nearly as long. Before hops were used as preservatives, strong aromas, and a reason for us to argue over internationals bitterness units, hops were a medicinal plant used by the Romans. So how’d they become so popular that their flavor and worth is so frequently discussed?

Let’s start with their medicinal properties. While hops are mostly used in beer, people all around the world continue to use these potent buds as they were used hundreds, maybe thousands, of years ago: to relieve anxiety and promote healthy sleep. Hops are packed full of a lovely chemical compound known as dimethylvinyl carbinol, and this compound is likely responsible for the sleep inducing effect of the plant. The Cherokees were using hops  as a sleep aid for centuries and in some areas, people filled cloth pillows with hops to act as a sleep aid.

Then in 1150 AD, the Abbess Hildegard Bingen in Germany praised the preservative nature of hops and lamented that it made the “soul of man sad.” We’d like to argue, but perhaps, for some of us, this still holds true.

Later Henry VI is said to have made distinctions between beer and ale and claimed that ale could not contain hops, but that beer had no restrictions in terms of ingredients. While there were arguments about what was purest, ale tended to reign supreme. Still, many drank a hoppy beer all whilst the Catholic Church pushed to keep production low. Why? Finical ties to ale production, of course!

As the 1900s dawned, the Pale Ale was born (and the India Pale Ale soon after). There are plenty of myths surrounding the addition of hops in excess to beer in the name of the British army occupying India, but the jury is still out.

As science progressed, Americans began racing to create the perfect hop, and even universities got in on the action. In 1971 the University of Oregon and the US Department of Agriculture worked together to create one of the most popular and prolific varieties of hops: the Cascade hop. These days, the American Pale Ale, brewed from the aforementioned cascade variety, are essential ingredients for any craft brewer.

Popularity of hoppy beers have ebbed and flowed with time and some argue that the age of the ultra-IPA has passed. While hop production continues to rise to meet the growing demands, we don’t think it’s time to shun the IPA lovers just yet.

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What Makes a Stout a Stout?

dark beer

“I don’t like dark beer,” said every new beer drinker ever. At some point, however, for those of us who later dare to venture into the world of dark beers, there are plenty of tastes and varieties to discover, and myths to dispel.

Today we’re discussing stouts in particular, learning that not all stouts have a thick mouthfeel that you’ll need to chew to get down, and you can drink one knowing it doesn’t necessarily have a higher alcohol content than the lighter classes of ale. Let’s break some of these tall tales, and check out what sort of stouts Mendocino has got to offer.

Where’d Stouts Come From?

Playing off one another during the late 1600s, a stout was first known  only as a stronger porter at a then whopping 7-8% alcohol.

What’s in a Stout?

A basic stout is made up of what all beer is created from, but with a higher un-malted roasted barley content. Malt, barley, hops, water, and yeast. That’s it! However, these days there are a variety of stouts available and Mendocino Brewing Company has created quite a few.

Stouts from Mendocino Brewing


  • Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout: Generally all black in color with a coffee-like aroma, a classic Irish-style Dry Stout is dominant in its malted flavor and will have indiscernible hop notes. Our Black Hawk Stout maintains that traditional Irish with a low alcohol content at 5.2% ABV. This creamy drink is subtle and a great stout to try out for your very first foray into the world of dark beers.




  • Imperial Stout: Know for it’s variable amount of roasted grains and fruity esters, the Imperial Stout was born out of the Barclays adaptation of their stout for Russian consumption. Increasing the alcohol and hop content for the preservation during the long journey to Russia, today’s Imperial stout has a high alcohol content and a rich, dark amber color. Our Imperial Stout is surprisingly dark and complex with toffee and coffee flavors. This heavy-hitters hits the bar at 10% ABV.
  • Oatmeal Stout: Before modern day agriculture, beer was a nourishing part of IMG_2147many families’ meals. The oatmeal stout especially was considered to be a therapeutic tonic especially in Scotland. Mendocino Brewing’s Redwood Oatmeal Stout is has a bold chocolate flavor profile and is a perfect addition to a berry based dish like the Scottish dish Cranachan or dark chocolate cake.


Are you a stout drinker or have I just now convinced you to get out and try one of our flavorful brews?



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Cold Weather Brews to Kick Off the Season


This time of year means darker nights, cold weather, and lots of time trying to stay warm. We knock back darker beers, putting our focus on heavier brews that feel nourishing during the chilliest fall nights. It seems as though the beer we drink has a bit more of a kick to it during the Fall and Winter too, perhaps a way to help us hibernate through these tougher months. Beers with higher percentages of alcohol by volume often seem a little heavier to the belly and a lot more complex to the taste buds and our suggested cold weather brews are not different.

Redwood Oatmeal Stout

Our Redwood Oatmeal Stout is sweet but not in a way that tastes fake or overpowering. Just a well-balanced mess of nutty and caramel notes.  With a perfect use of hops, the brew has a surprisingly dry finishing, encouraging your take another bit of that chocolate wonder. Sure, you could enjoy this stout alone as a dessert itself, but life is short. Paired with a slice of heavenly chocolate cake or fresh berries, the RedWood Oatmeal Stout is seriously magnificent.

Black Hawk Stout

Generally all black in color with a coffee-like aroma, a classic Irish-style Dry Stout is dominant in its malted flavor and will have indiscernible hop notes. Our Black Hawk Stout maintains that traditional Irish with a low alcohol content at 5.2% ABV. This creamy drink is subtle stout which welcomes you into the world of dark beers on a cold, dark night.

Imperial Barley Wine Ale

At a whopping 11% ABV, this Imperial Barley Wine Ale is a vigorously strong brew. Plentiful notes of sherry, malt, and an initial flavor of deeply rich molasses. Perfect for drinking around the fire, this drink is meant to be enjoyed without attempting to pair it with a food. Rather, this ale is meant to be savored on its own for the truly unique palette it offers.

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3 Quick Beer Inspired Costumes You’ve Got to Try

Halloween is only a few days away, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be celebrating all weekend long. Again, if you’re like me, getting a costume together can be really aggravating. I love celebrating, but I’m an adult. I’ve got a job that keeps me working 50 hours a week. I’ve got responsibilities that keep me tied up until I need to climb into bed or faint. But these long hours and to-do list the size of my arm are just more reasons we all need Halloween weekend. If you don’t have time to slave over a costume, here are some quick costumes inspired by my favorite thing: beer.


dufflaban2There are a lot of great Simpsons inspired Halloween costumes that involve beer, but I like Duffman because you can easily get away without painting your skin yellow or wearing ping-pong balls over your eyes. Pull out a sky blue tank top of a t-shirt and use electrical tape or a sharpie (if you’re okay with ruining the shirt) to write out “Duff” on the shirt. Pair with some tight red undies over blue leggings and you’re ready. Add a beer koozie belt, which you can pick up from Amazon Prime and have in time, and you’re all set. Oh, don’t forget to fill your belt with Mendo brews, okay?


Sexy Beer Bottle

Since all of our costumes apparently have to be sexy these days, why not a sexy beer bottle? Throw on a tube dress and print out the logo of your favorite Mendocino Brewing Company beverage, top with a yellow hat if you’ve got it, and voila! A no effort Halloween costume that’s also fun.

Redneck Couple Costume

sadasI love this couples costume. Not even a little cheesy, spot on, and easy to throw together. Ladies, wrap your hair in beer cans like the picture, or a beer cap necklace. Throw on a dirty t-shirt, some daisy-dukes and head out with a beer in hand and you’ve got yourself a really fun costume.

What did we miss? Do you have a better idea for a couple’s costume? Let’s hear it!

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Beer and Business: Is Your Drink Order an Indicator of Your Business Endeavors?

beer and business

We’ve all been there. You’re at the bar, and you’ve been looking forward to diving into your White Hawk IPA, but when you order it after someone else, your friends give you a hard time. “Come on, that’s no fun. Try something new,” they say. So you order something else simply to seem compliant and adventurous. Or, perhaps it’s even more likely that you hear your friend ordering the same brew as the one you wanted, but you want to be distinct, so you change your order before speaking. Who wants to look like a copy-cat? And so you act like the drink you’re ordering is something you actually wanted.

There’s actually a solid psychological explanation for why you begrudgingly shell out cash for a drink you don’t even want when you’re with your friends. Consumer psychologists Dan Ariely and Jonathan Levov recently conducted an experiment in which they studied the way other people’s decisions within a group influence the individual’s decision in the context of ordering drinks. They gave patrons the option to try one of four types of beer: a lager, wheat beer, amber ale, or pilsner. Some groups ordered verbally, while other ones wrote down their orders on a piece of paper. Ariely and Levov found that the people who wrote down their orders were much more satisfied with their beverages, while those who ordered aloud were less happy—they had forgone what they really wanted in order to differentiate their drink from the others.

So why do we make decisions that we aren’t even happy with? The group believes that each consumer’s decision is interdependent on the others’ decisions and influences the collective enjoyment of the group. Ariely and Levov state that this ambivalence “is a consequence of the recognition by both the group and the individual that they are interdependent for mutual goal satisfaction, and that this interdependence represents a conflict that necessitates compromise.”

But this group psychology isn’t limited solely to selections made in a bar or restaurant. This kind of decision making spills over into any sort of group context, including business interactions. It’s normal to make distinctive decisions just because you want to be positively viewed, but are you hurting your business by doing so?

Maybe you give into a deal you aren’t 100% sold on because a few competitors have declined it and you just want to seem fresh and different. Perhaps you’re offered a solid contract, but you pass on it because everyone else is doing that sort of thing and you just want to stand out. Look back over some of the mistakes you’ve made in your business, and ask yourself if you made these choices due to an interdependent group psychology. Stick to your gut, it’s a strong indicator of what your work really needs.

If you do find yourself making choices you are totally sold on, don’t beat yourself up, because it’s perfectly normal, but by trying to identify group think and the way it might hinder rather than help, you can learn to trust your instinct and help your business flourish even more.

beer and business

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