Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Taste - The Red Seal Ale

North Coast Brewing Red Seal Ale

Brewer: North Coast Brewing Co., Fort Bragg, CA

Location: Black Salt Restaurant, Washington, D.C.

Marketing BS: “Malt and hops are beautifully married in this full-bodied, copper-red Pale Ale. Red Seal is generously hopped for a long, spicy finish. An excellent accompaniment to grilled meats and rich sauces.”

Marketing Translation: Our beer is as gorgeous as a newly mated pair of wet, seaweed fouled, slime-eyed seals. The hop count will have you barking like a seal and will leave a taste in your mouth ten times better than dead fish. We recommend you drink our beer with real food and not that pussy stuff you find in Southern California restaurants.

Bottle/Label: A stout little bottle with a label having the look and feel of a char broiled steak that’s rare on the inside. Oh, and there’s a picture of feisty red demon seal on the label.

The Pull: No clue as it was brought to the table already opened by an officious waitress.

Alcohol Content: 5.5%

Method of Imbibation: Something like a “Stella chalice pint,” but the sides of the glass were a little too straight, resulting in a gigantic frothy head, sort of like sea foam, which is fine for seals.

First Swig: A total ambush; explodes onto the pallet like a Great White shark slamming into a Cape fur seal at 25 mph from below. You’ll try to bite back a few times before the beer eviscerated your tongue. Your only choice at that point is to plead for a second hit to put you out of your misery. Before you know it, this beer will disappear below the waves and you’ll be ordering a second before your appetizer has arrived.

Competition: Any pale ale featuring water-based mascots.

Recommendation: If you can balance a ball on your nose, then this is the beer for you.