For today’s Advent beer pick we head to the beautiful, rugged, and isolated northern California coast in the city of Fort Bragg to find North Coast Brewing, one of the “Old Guard” of American’s craft breweries, founded in 1988. While they don’t brew a seasonal holiday beer per se, their Old Stock Ale fits the spirit of the season perfectly—a strong and rich Old Ale brewed to nearly 12% alcohol, brewed with the intent of laying down which makes it an ideal gifting beer as well as a perfect tipple for a cold Christmas Eve.
Like a fine port, Old Stock Ale is intended to be laid down. With an original gravity of over 1.100 and a generous hopping rate, Old Stock Ale is well-designed to round out and mellow with age. It’s brewed with classic Maris Otter malt and Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops, all imported from England.
This year’s version, released back in January, is 11.9% abv and ready to drink now—or next Christmas (or even the Christmas after that!). And the label even reminds of a Christmas gift, elegantly framed in gold with a hop cone that’s reminiscent of Christmas tree—simply place a bow on the top and it’s ready to give (or drink).