July 25, 2009

North Coast Brewing at Dive Bar

We recently stopped by Dive Bar (near 96th Street) because they had a North Coast Brewing tasting event. North Coast is one of our favourite craft brewers and although it's brewed in Northern California, some of their beers actually make it to the East Coast. We're always on the lookout for Old Rasputin on tap, a rare treat.

First up, we tried a sampler of the North Coast beers on tap (6 tastings, $10): This included the Blue Star (American Wheat Beer, paired with goat cheese), PranQster (Belgian-style Gold Ale, with Old Amsterdam cheese), Scrimshaw Pilsner (with aged sharp cheddar); Le Merle (Belgian-style Farmhouse Ale, with Mahon); Red Seal Ale (amber, with grana padano); and the top beer of the evening, Brother Thelonious (paired with gorgonzola dolce). Old Rasputin was not available at the tasting, but we liked having the complimentary cheese.
After the tasting, we picked the Brother Thelonious ($6). Poured into a tulip glass, the Brother is a big, bold Belgian-style (strong) abbey ale. Deep mahogany, rich with prune/raisin fruit and sweet malt, this is an elegant beer and even at 9.4%, it's still smooth. It was probably the best value, since we often get 4-packs retail for about $13 (some proceeds from this beer are donated to a jazz charity).
Guinness chocolate brownie ($3): Rich and dark, it tasted like dark chocolate mixed with coffee. It went well with the Brother Thelonious.
Blondie ($3): Cake-like and light, this blondie was tasty and not too sweet.
Poutine ($8): Fries were crispy (almost overdone), but the curds weren't 'squeaky' or melted enough and the gravy was too much like a roast beef gravy. This was not authentic Quebecois poutine, but it was not bad for a NY dive bar.
Dive Bar's Muffulleta ($12): We find it funny they list this under Lighter Side. Best bet is to share this.
North Coast Brewing is located in Fort Bragg, CA.
Dive Bar is located at Amsterdam Ave. and 96th Street.

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