Mendocino holds the distinction as being the first post-prohibition brewpub opened in California, and the second in the U.S. The original brewery is located in Hopland, CA, two hours north of San Francisco. Its doors were first opened in August of '83.
Today, Mendocino has breweries in California and New York, and produces over a million cases of beer every year. They are also responsible for the Kingfisher lager produced in the U.K. and sold throughout Europe. You might also recognize their subsidiary Olde Saratoga, an East Coast favorite brewed in the Vienna lager style.
Their trademark marketing is recognizable on any shelf. Just look for the 6-packs with the colorful birds of prey, created in 1989 by artist Randy Johnson. If I'm counting right, they are responsible for at least 23 different beers, including their rotating seasonals.
Mendocino Oatmeal Stout is their heavy winter brew.
Nose: The nose is sharp, with oats, molasses, and iced coffee.
Taste: Toasted oats with a sour molasses finish. Like all oatmeal stouts, this is a heavy and filling beer, perfect for keeping you warm on those cold winter nights.
Recommendation: I won't say this is my favorite oatmeal stout, but if you don't mind a heavy, filling beer every once in a while, drag your rocking chair over by the fire. Grab a good book, light up your pipe, and crack open this oatmeal stout. You've got nothing to lose! See the "seasonal" in the title? Grab it before it's gone!
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