California Libations MTB

Ukiah Brewing Company: Make Beer Not War

From the entrance through the front door, the view of the display case of decadent desserts was eye candy second to none. A pastry chef was hired, I learned, and brew master/owner Keith came up with the idea of desserts first. The thing is, Keith has reworked the recipes of Ukiah Brewing Company’s beers and from what I tasted, if you’re up in Mendocino, the beer can easily be a reason to stop in and the desserts can be icing on the cake. Basically, find your way to downtown Ukiah for delicious food and beer. Inside, the décor is art deco, or maybe a little bit funkified and free-wheelin’, with an artsy vibe of “anything goes.”

Yes, the food was yummy, as were the desserts. We ordered a bunch of things and none of it was left on the plates for the bus person. Not a morsel of the pork chop, nor the shrimp/pesto pasta, remained from the main courses.

Food systems. The pastry chef receives fresh eggs from Keith’s mother, who brings them in from the family farm/ranch outside of town. The family has roots that go deep down in Mendo. What’s more, spent grain from the brewery goes to the chickens and the pigs. Some gets composted. UBC has a sustainability ethos that is tied directly to the family’s land. To me, it doesn’t get much better when thinking about the restaurant/beer industry and what I prefer to support. Oh, and get this – Ukiah Brewing Company originally was the first organic brewery in the USA.

Beer. Again, Keith is changing up the recipes and fine-tuning things, even going so far as to bring in a high tech water system so that the water quality is where he wants it for brewing beer his way.

The Czech-style Pilsner was lemon-on-the-nose satiating. A taster of the Wit was what it should be, classic yeasty and spice. Keith adds two pounds of orange peel and coriander to it. Among other tasters for the evening, the 90s-styel NorCal Red, a tribute to Mendocino Red Tail Ale (who remembers that?! I do, but I had forgotten about it until being in Mendocino), was spot on. Mark’s M.O Lager didn’t do much for me, but the Orr Springs IPA with Simcoe Hops was a throwback to when Simcoe was THE hop for many brewers. It’s making a comeback and I could not be happier. There was a porter and Cold IPA, but my notes say that the DDH (double-dry hopped) West Coast DIPA (double IPA) was beautifully clear and represents the style very, very well.

Sidenote: UBC has a full bar, including bottles of French Wine. The building is a walk-back-in-time experience, the bar itself once being part of a local (down the street) highfalutin’ ballroom for the railroad and logging elites from San Francisco.

0 comments on “Ukiah Brewing Company: Make Beer Not War

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: