California Craft Beer month is off to a great start! Running from February 6-15, San Francisco Beer Week sets the month off right, and Mendocino Brewing was there for the opening gala on February 7th to pour the first of their special blended kegs—the Special Heritage Blend. As always, Mendo’s brewing supervisor, Ben Wilkinson, was happy to share a virtual taste.
The Special Heritage Blend is a once in a lifetime blend of three of Mendocino’s finest, strongest, and boldest ales: Imperial Barleywine, Talon Double Porter, and Talon Double IPA. The Barleywine portion of the blend is a sampling of Mendocino’s as of yet unreleased and unfiltered Barleywine. It provides the beer with a strong copper color, vibrant caramel malt backbone, and a potent nutty presence. The Talon Double Porter deepens the color and provides subtle notes of coffee, chocolate, and smoke to the blend. Finally, our immensely popular Talon IPA adds a strong hoppy presence from its unique blend of eight hops. This mythical creation is a very limited release, so get it while you can!
ABV 10.5% IBU 60 OG 25.0
The Special Heritage Blend is the first of several blended kegs Mendocino Brewing will be creating for different beer weeks. It will be on tap at the Mendocino Brewing Ale House and will also be making an appearance during Sacramento Beer Week, February 27- March 9.
Craft Beer in your own backyard
While there are plenty of events to attend during California Craft Beer Month, you don’t have to go very far to celebrate California-bred brews. California is home to a LOT of breweries!
Introduce someone to your local brewery
If visiting a local brewery is a way to celebrate California Beer Month, then many of us probably celebrate at least once a week. Still, drinking your local beer is the best way to show support. And if you can introduce someone new to the craft, then even better! Order the sampler for a change, or eschew your favorite brew in favor of a different one from the brewery.
Host a California tasting party
Indulge in a bit of virtual travel by tasting a variety of beers from all over the state. To help expand the menu (and cut down on costs), ask guests to bring a few beers from selected California breweries to share at a tasting party. Consider assigning a different brewery to each guest to ensure the widest variety. Throw in some California cheese and bask in all that California has to offer.
The beer laws have been loosening lately, which greatly contributes to the growth of craft beer, but that didn’t happen on its own. Like just about any other law, the voice of the voters has been instrumental in bringing down many of the overly-restrictive and antiquated laws left over from Prohibition. But there is still more to do! You don’t need to start a revolution, but something as simple as sending an email to a local or state representative can be enough to make a change.
A few new California-specific laws include the reform on growler filling, letting underage brewing and winemaking students to taste wine as beer as part of the course, and allowing growlers of beer to be sold at certified farmer’s markets.
Keep updated on local issues, regardless of where you live, by visiting the Current Issues page at the Brewer’s Association web site. Then contact your Representative and help keep craft beer growing!
Let us know how you plan to celebrate California Craft Beer Month, and if you’ve gotten a taste of the Heritage Blend!
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