California Dreaming

by Renee on September 14, 2010

My husband Paul and I are making plans to head to Northern California next month, one of our favorite areas in the country for the obvious reasons, of course–beer and wine and beautiful coastline. We’re actually planning the trip around an event my employer is hosting–a speaking engagement by food writer Michael Pollan. Unfortunately it will be a quick trip– in on Thursday, home on Sunday. So many breweries/wineries, so little time.

Paul and I first traveled to Northern California together on our honeymoon in 2002. I had just recently found and met Jack and the McAuliffe clan at that point. One of the things he told me was that after his New Albion Brewing Company folded, Jack spent some time working with the folks at Mendocino Brewing Company, opening the first brewpub in California since prohibition. Jack’s original beer recipe is still sold under the label as Red Tail Ale. It’s a fabulous amber ale if you’d like to give it a try. My local beer specialty store carries it, and I’ve seen it at Trader Joe’s as well.

During our trip eight years ago, we made a point of stopping at Mendocino to say hello– a small pilgrimage of sorts for me–but I hadn’t made the point of calling ahead to find out if they’d be open on a Sunday. They weren’t.


Debi Harbuck September 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

Boo! to being closed on Sundays. Will you have a chance to get there this trip?

Renee September 14, 2010 at 11:35 am

You know Debi, I’m not sure how this trip will go–with a work event to get to all day Saturday, Friday will be our only day to really do some touring, so we’ll see. And maybe the place wasn’t closed all day–I think we might have gotten there before noon. It was so long ago now I really can’t remember!

Cathy McAuliffe-Dickerson September 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

Mom and I visited Jack once when he was living in Healdsburg, CA, and we made sure to make a trip to the Mendocino Brewing Company. I was SO proud when I was able to pick out Jack’s ale from about five samples I was given. Once you’ve tasted Jack’s beer, you never forget it!

Cami September 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Ummmm…so why haven’t I ever had any of this beer? What is up with that?

Renee September 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Really? Okay, so guess what you’re getting for your birthday tomorrow!

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