Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ukiah Brewing (Ukiah, CA)

Ukiah Brewing


On the way to our night on the coast at Timber Cove Inn, we had limited time for a lunch stop in Ukiah. Beer travel is always about decisions. We almost drove out of the way to Lagunitas that we had done a few days earlier, but the 108 degree inland temperature dissuaded us of this option. In Ukiah, the choice is between Mendocino Brewing's Ale House and Ukiah Brewing. Medocino is more easily available, so we decided to hit the local-only beer stop that had the veggie friendly menu.

Walking in the steepled downtown building on the corner, we sat at a high top table just inside the door, relieved that the AC was working well. Garlic bites (versions of which, especially Gilroy garlic, we've been eating all week) and a full rack of all of the samples to start. Overall, the samples were fairly well brewed but only a few would inspire me to another pint. Easily the best beer of the stop was the Emancipator, a rich and flavorful doppelbock that's was a bit hot and lacks cohesion for the style; however, it was fun to drink. The most unique beer from this organic brewery was the Narrow Yarrow: yarrow flowers substituted for hops; some malt in the nose but no flowery support; floral note shows on the tongue with a sweetness; interesting but not excellent. The natural cut fries were satisfying but the tempeh burger read better on the menu than a reality, or it may have lacked in comparison to the amazing tempeh burger that we had at Stone World Bistro last year.

Garlic bites with fresh dill sauce
From the size of the speakers nearby, the place seems to be a nightly music venue, so maybe that is their role in the community. Taking a look at the About Us section of their website, UBC, as it's known locally, was the first certified organic brewery in the United States in 2000 (2nd organic restaurant). I was perfectly happy with the stop, having few delusions from reading the reviews. While not an amazing brewery that I will go out of my way for again, clearly UBC very much believes in its mission and works to fulfill it in this small California community.

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