North Coast Brewing Co.: Old Plowshare

The Old Plowshare is an organic stout brewed by the folks at North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, California. It is one of two organic beers produced at their facility (the other being the Cru D'Or, an organic Belgian style ale). I picked this one up on a short trip to Sin City back in March and finally had the privilege to enjoy it last night. Why did it take so long? Well, as you are likely already aware, hops are my thing . . . the Old Plowshare is far from the hoppy IPAs and IIPAs. But, that does not mean that we don't have a fantastic beer on our hands here.

The Old Plowshare is a Celtic-style stout. Immediately upon pouring, one notices the rich color that arises from the intensely roasted malts. These malts also provide the beer with a fantastic aroma . . . one comprised of soft nutty notes and overall roasted malt. The color is intense and that is only complimented by the intense aroma.

The taste buds get what they are after with this stout (made solely from water, organic malt, hops, and yeast), that being a smooth, yet rich, malty stout. It is delightful. Interestingly enough, the Old Plowshare has only 27 IBUs, which is somewhat low in my opinion for a stout (for example, Guinness is more on the order of 35-40 IBUs). Don't let that fool you though because by having slightly less hops than the typical stout, you get a more full-bodied experience from the malts.

I chose to drink this one at about 40°F . . . I am willing to be that if you let it warm up a bit, the malty flavors will protrude even more. I will give this a try when I pick another one up (since it seems to be wildly available now, at least in California). Overall though, its a great beer to enjoy on a summer day, with your feet kicked up, and a book open in your lap.

The bottom line: The Old Plowshare is the new black.


Chipper Dave said...

I'm wondering how this beer stacks up to North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. The Old Rasputin is a big beer that is a bit over the top. I imagine their Old Plowshare is a different animal altogether. I'll have to look for this one.

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