North Coast Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill

Not Rated.
North Coast Brewing Co. Taproom & GrillNorth Coast Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill
BA SCORE
86
very good

28 Reviews
Reviews: 28
Visits: 51
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

444 N Main St
Fort Bragg, California, 95437-3216
United States
phone: (707) 964-3400

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: Mark

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Reviews: 28 | Visits: 51
Photo of Hop-o-saurus
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

So this place is a bit on the pricey side but you really do get what you pay for. The location is amazing, situated just feet from the Pacific Ocean. The town of Fort Bragg has this strange sense of community and when I walked in to the brewery I felt that same sense of community. There were all different types of people and they were all friendly and quick to start a conversation. This brewery makes the best dark and malty bold beers that I've had.

Cheers (462 characters)

Photo of Ilovebeer1549
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Great beers...good food...average digs. We go to North Coast Brewery whenever we stay in Mendocino. It's worth the trip up. The place could use some updating but who really cares as long as the beer is cold and flowing? The food is generally a bit better than normal bar and grill grub. Thumbs up. (297 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 1.5 | food: 1.5

Went back for my first return to North Coast in about 15 years. I wasn't wowed the first time, and the second time, was even worse.

Atmosphere outside is beautiful. It ain't bad inside. Restaurant area to the left, ridiculously priced gift shop straight ahead, old wooden pub area to the right.

Quality, eh, the beers are ok, very much stuck in the late 80s, English style versus American. Copycats. They definitely make some great beers, but rarely show any degree of experimentation or worthiness otherwise. And quality goes to things beyond just the beer, if it was just the beer, it would be a 4. Service, staff was decent, although they did forget and still charge for my girlfriend's lack of garlic fries she ordered. They also were quick to add the automatic tip on our party of six adults.

Selection? Terrible. They have one of those websites that sucks, claims to have all this barrel aged stuff on tap. Get there, nothing. None of the barrel aged stuff on tap (which is ok because its expensive, way better having regular rasputin).

Food? Terrible and expensive. Big on the deep fryer, small portions of not particularly good stuff.

Would not visit again on my own initiative (which this second trip was not). Don't eat here. (1,243 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMonk
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I don' understand when successful businesses use old buildings but don't update and fix them up. It cheapens the experience and tarnishes their reputation.

Such is the case with North Coast. Decent food, good service, great beer, but my overall memory is of how tired and old the building was....especially the bathrooms. I'd hate to see the kitchen.

Anyway, I had a good lunch...fish and chips with Acme pale ale. Mmmm. I'd visit here again when I'm in the area, but I hope they fix the old place up. (503 characters)

Photo of BigB415
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stayed in Fort Bragg for a night last weekend and of course I had to check out the North Coast Brewing Company. Unfortunately I went on a saturday and the main brewery was closed even though I don't think they would of let me inside since they aren't giving tours right now so all I could do was look from the outside and see some of the tanks. I went to the gift shop, browsed around and got a pint glass to add to my collection. Later that evening I went back to the taproom and grill for some dinner. I had to wait a little bit to get a table but it was only 10 minutes. Service was quick and efficient. I had the fish and chips which were very good, it hit just the right spot for me. My only complaint as another BA has mentioned is that they charge the same price for 10 oz of their higher alcohol beers like Old Rasputin as they do for 16 oz of their lower alcohol beers like Scrimshaw and I think you can only get 10 oz of the higher alcohol stuff. I understand it might be them trying to curb people from getting hammered but I would like a full pint of Old Rasputin and not have to pay the 16 oz price even though it's only like 50 cents. Other than that this place was a nice choice for me and my girlfriend and I'm glad I stopped in. It was the only thing to do in Fort Bragg besides go to glass beach. (1,314 characters)

Photo of MadeInOregon
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Diner-quality food, gourmet prices. North Coast Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill is in the spirit of those wannabe-upscale, pretentious, profit-driven, California places with corporate overtones. As opposed to the funky, hole-in-the-wall, local joints that don't take themselves too seriously and are all about awesome beer, while providing something simple and reasonable to chomp down on while you enjoy their fresh brew. Beer-wise, I was disappointed and a little put off by the fact that they only have their standard offerings on tap (no seasonals or aged styles), and they actually won't even serve you a full pint (16oz) of their stronger, more interesting ales (Le Merle, Old Stock Ale, Old Rasputin, etc.). Oh sure, you will pay the same amount (in some cases, even more!) but you will only get an 8-10 oz serving, and in the case of Old Stock you only get 6oz!!! So, basically you are paying more for the alcohol content in the beer, not the actual beer! Would you do such a ridiculous thing with wine which has as much as 18%?! How stupid. If they really think their beers are that valuable then why can you buy 12oz. bottles at grocery stores for a reasonable price? If they are concerned about people getting wasted then why not put a disclaimer on the beer menu...and, while they're at it stop serving wine and tear out the full bar? I've been to many, many brewpubs and never seen such a strange and slightly condescending practice. If you've never been to a brewpub, this place is for you. Otherwise, avoid it. There are much better places in N.Ca. that are worthy of your hard earned cash (Bear Republic, Triple Rock, etc.). (1,636 characters)

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

After a long and wonderful drive up the PCH, I stopped into Fort Bragg for the night and had a flight of beers. I was impressed with Brother Thelonious as I surprisingly had not had it yet, and Old Rasputin is alway top notch. The taproom was rather crowded but people were friendly and even made a spot for me at the towards the end of the bar. The service was good, but didn't distinguish themselves as great. I also don't recall them having much for special releases at the time, but then again I might have been under the influence. Would I recommend it? Come on, they make Old Rasputin and several other great beers.... if you're in the area, you're gonna wanna stop here, along with probably umpteen other California breweries. (733 characters)

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Arguably the only good place in Fort Bragg itself. It certainly helps to be associated with a damn good brewery.

The bar is pleasant with it's darker wood everything theme...helps to be from a former logging town perhaps. The rest of the decor in the other dining areas is also well done and with a darker, more intimate (perhaps?) feel to it.

The quality of the food is very good, and the handful of times I've ate there I have always been impressed, and left satisfied. Oh yes, and there's the awesome beer too! Try the sampler platter, but definitely get a ride home after that... (586 characters)

Photo of GeneralZod
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I was in Fort Bragg for my brothers wedding back in 08'. My wife and I cam across this place accidentally looking for our hotel. It was a very pleasant suprise.

ATMOSPHERE
We sat at the bar which had the dark wood theme.
Everything was clean. (most important)
It was after lunch hour so it was virtually empty.

SERVICE
The bartender was very nice and knew a lot abou the beer.

SELECTION
Of course... The Sampler which was about 13 flavors. It was a tie between the Red Seal and the Scrimshaw as my favs. I'm a big wheat beer fan but i didn't like their Blue Star, it seemed to watery for a wheat beer.

FOOD
Ok, only had appetizers.

I would really like to come back again. (677 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +21%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Restaurant style atmosphere with a gift shop to buy tons of clothing, glassware, gift boxes and beer. Food menu is broad and full of rotating specials. All the beers they brew are on tap (with the exception of the barrel aged Old Rasputin and the Anniversary ale) and are reasonably priced. They also offer a couple ounce sampler of all their beers. Food is good and at restaurant pricing. They can seat parties of ten or more people easily. There is a separate bar room away from the restaurant that is comfortable. Bathrooms are small. Overall an enjoyable and relaxed experience. This is a place I'd rather eat a meal at and have a few beers rather than sit at the bar and drink. Very laied back atmosphere with friendly and polite staff. (741 characters)

Photo of m1ked
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Wife & I made up to Mendocino for the drive up the 1, for the B&B, the wineries and a little beer too. If you ever have the opportunity & time to make the drive, do it. You will not regret some of the most scenic & breathtaking views Northern California has to offer.

So I definately wanted to check it NCB while we up here. Fort Bragg is a short (and beautiful) drive up the 1. The brewery is not doing tours right now.... Remodeling or something. Didn't stop us from checking out the pub/taproom for lunch. Service was short & sweet, I fishes with a couple of questions and got nothing back despite it being a slow Monday afternoon. She actually talked me out of buying their 20th anni beer. Food was slightly above average pub fare. Beers were of course delicious but nothing you can't get anywhere USA. Overall glad I got to check it out, had a fine time, and would recommend anybody in the general area to check it our...but it's not Anchor or lagunitas epic in my opinion. Hope Andersonville is better. They have disc golf! How can it not be better?! (1,057 characters)

Photo of serreos
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

While on trip to No. Cal., I drove Ft. Bragg to have a pint of Old Rasputin right in the North Coast BC taproom. The beer selection was good, Old Rasputin was gread (as expected!!),the Old No. 38 Stout was good, as well. The taproom had a pervasive odor of garlic, food was OK and expensive, the taproom staff were less than excited to be there (did not stay for long as I was trying to visit Russian River BC and Bear Republic).
The attendant, however, at the gift shop was great; provided a lot of information about upcoming events in the Northeast. (552 characters)

Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited on a recent trip to No. Cal. on 11/30

Took a trip out to Fort Bragg - because I wanted to hit the brew pub and because the girlfriend wanted to see the town. Sadly, we didn't see much of the town, but ate and drank well at this brewery!
Two different rooms, dining and the pub. Pub is where we sat, full of little seats, typical pub looking - wood stools and tables. Nice friendly and timely service. There isn't an extensive menu - mostly your basic pub menu type food but with a Northern Cal twist on it - I got the Mark's north beach special (which was sort of like an italian) and my girlfriend got the pulled pork. Both were quite tasty. 12 beers on tap so I got to try some new stuff and HAD to get Old Raspy on tap!
I'd visit this place again! (759 characters)

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Delighted! Was drivinfg down the coast, having already stopped at other breweries like Rogue and Lost Coast. Driving down 1 and bam, there it was! Strangely enough, I'd never heard of them. Wha?

Low and behold, I took a look at their beer list...and whats that, Pranqster? Old Rasputin? Brother Thelonius! haha, amazing beers i've had many times before, but its just one of those breweries with such a genric name that I never thought to remember or look up. What a treat.
Got a sampler and shared a couple pints with the wife. The saison was delish. Great atmosphere, aside from the unfortuatly poor taste in music playing. We didn't do any food, having eaten recently, but spent over an hour enjoying their brews. Great place. If you ever find yourself near Fort Bragg/Mendocino, stop here!!! (797 characters)

Photo of bret27
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This was the second time I visited this place and the first time I decided to review it. Basically I went on a rainy monday night in the off-season, so maybe that made it worse, but here goes. First there are signs everywhere that say wait to be seated. No one comes, other people come in we're all waiting, finally gift shop girl just says take a seat anywhere. The bar section is about half full. Finally waiter shows up, gets us our beer. My friend ordered the sampler tray which the waiter/bartender tried to be smooth and put his pre-printed label thing down and then put the samplers down later. I was thinking "wow that's pretty good that he knows all 12 beers just by site" Let's just say he didn't. He mixed up all the red seal and pale ales ones. Then the clientel at the bar were basically a bunch of drunk local hillbillies. My favorite quote of the night was. "That's what I love about my job being a butcher, job security. There's always meat!" The food wasn't terrible but not great. Overpriced for average food. The manager came in and talked to the bartender in front of all customers about another bartender and whether he was going to 'work out'. Seemed innappropriate. Lastly waiter did not ask how food was once, did not offer to refill water, did not provide ketchup or condiments for fish n chips. (1,320 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Drove up to Mendocino and Fort Bragg from Boonville on a day trip. We only had time for a beer, as my pup was waiting in the car and there wasn't a ton of shade to park under.

The place was very busy, which is exciting for a local brewery. But TVs were on and some folks were pretty loud. It felt more like a sports bar than a taproom.

The service wasn't anything to write home about. Our waitress was short with us, and the people behind the bar were severely overpouring the beer. I didn't expect this in a brewery taproom at all (maybe I'm naive?). It resulted in a flat tulip of PranQster. There were plenty of beers on tap, though.

The shop had nice selections of beer gear, and I picked up an etched nonic that I've come to really love! I also brought a bottle of PranQster back home with me, since I knew that it had much more potential out of a bottle and with a careful pour.

I will definitely go back someday to try other beers and take a stab at their food! (974 characters)

Photo of yeastsipper
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Did a brewery tour and dinner.

The brewery tour was nice, if not spectacular. Only 3 people on the tour, so able to chat and ask questions. The guy leading it was a co-owner and nice guy. Unfortunately, there were no samples during the tour. Informative, but not necessarily a ton of fun. I would not seek it out, but if you are there around noon on Saturday, why not check it out? The tour lasts about 45 minutes.

After messing around for the afternoon, went back for dinner at the tap room. Nice place, nothing extraordinary. Service staff was very friendly and knew their beers. All of their beers minus the barrel-aged Rasputin are on tap. I like the fact that they only have their beers on tap. I thought the food was really pricey. Some entrees are in the $25-30 range. I went with the fish and chips. Pretty damn good, and enormous portions. Enormous.

Check it out if you are in the area. (899 characters)

Photo of nsw
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

There isn't a whole lot of competition in Fort Bragg; such a situation can sometimes lead to an acceptance of shoddy places. But the North Coast Brewery doesn't fall into that trap. The bar area is really cool and dark, with a neat old bar and semi-cordoned-off seating areas. The main dining area is pretty generic.

The beers are the attraction, of course, and there is a big brewery merchandise operation across the street in a storefront owned by the brewery. The food is pretty good, and the place is definitely friendly and informal, if a little on the needs-a-good-cleaning side.

It's definitely worth a stop if you're in Mendocino/Fort Bragg.. (652 characters)

Photo of popery
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I took the brewery tour across the street in the morning and went to the taproom for beers and onion rings at night. The tour was informative and interesting, and I got to ogle their cache of seven or eight yearly editions of Old Stock Ales, quite the treasure trove.

The restaurant and taproom are warm and friendly with a lot of families and a fair number of tourists from all over. My waiter was attentive and quick. I only tried the beer-battered onion rings from the food menu, but they were nearly perfect, which is worth a lot in my book. There were twelve beers on their menu and they have a marvelous sampler. Since all but one of these beers are readily available, it's a bit less exciting than some places, but that's less of a detraction from their pub's score than it is a big plus for the company. That said, I don't love all of their beers, but it's hard not to have a good time with a big sampler surrounded by historical Acme paraphernalia (they bought the trademark and of course, sell a few beers under it) and friendly folk. Fort Bragg is absolutely beautiful as are nearby Mendocino and Anderson Valley. Check out Roundman's Smokehouse nearby for delicious smoked meats, fish and cheese, as well as other delightful businesses on Fort Bragg's peaceful Main street. (1,286 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

We arrived just prior to closing so the schwag room straight through the entry was closed. Off to the left was the dining room which was likewise closed. A cooler sat to the right of the doorway just before the entry to the bar. A semi-circle of benches and tables was just inside of the bar area with the short bar off to the left. The bar was an elegant carved wood bar with a matching mirrored back bar.

Call ahead and arrive early.

Beers: Eleven (11) - Scrimshaw; Blue Star; Red Seal; Acme Pale Ale; Acme IPA; Pranqster; Bro. Thelonius; Old # 38; Old Rasputin; Old Stock; and Red Seal on cask. (599 characters)

Photo of kleffman
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

As I've always been a big fan of North Coast's lineup I was quite happy to finally have the opportunity to check them out. The brewery across the street was closed along with gift shop but we were happy to discover another giftshop in the taproom and grill, which is where we were headed anyway. Discovered we hit it on "Taco Tuesday" which means 1 dollar tacos at the bar area only. Most of their lineup was on tap with Red Seal on cask and Rasputin and Old No. 38 both on Nitro. Was quite crowded around dinner time on a Tuesday and took awhile to find a place to sit. As I was standing waiting for a table I was apparently in the waitress' way and I received a rather angry excuse me, so apparently stay the hell away from her. Of course, she was running around like crazy, but I was rubbed slightly the wrong way. I'll let it slide. Gift shop is packed with good gear and while the bottle selection was small I was able to grab a bottle of their 25th anniversary beer which I am looking forward to trying.

Overall a nice stop, entirely worth it. I would've liked a tour of the facility across the street but I don't know if or when they offer those. I can't wait to return some day. (1,187 characters)

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I have been going to North Coast since it first opened, back in the mid/late 80's when I still lived in Memphis, Tn. In those early days there was no ACME (that I can recall) line-up, and the "specialty" beers were the Old Rasputin and Pranqstar, supplemented by the occassional seasonal. Still have my original Red Seal Ale sweat shirt from those days.

Amazingly, the taproom itself has changed very little from those early days. As you walk in the front door, there is the main dining room to the left and taproom to the right. The taproom is always the choice I opt for, with it's fireplace, wood fittings and comfortable vibe (except that the place is so damn popular now that it's almost always crowded there). Nothing wrong with the dining room, with its family oriented focus and above average entree selections. I just always feel more comfortable in the tap room.

The tap room at capacity can probably hold around 30 folks, with another 10 or so at the smallish bar. These days North Coast typically has between 10 and 15 beers on tap, with the regular line-up, ACME and various speciality/ultra premium beers (red seal ale, pilsner, wheat, stout, couple of ACME beers, rasputin and pranqster, the stock ale, some seasonal/artisan beer, and maybe a couple of beers on cask).

The quality of North Coast beers has always been outstanding and they've got the GABF medals to prove it. One of the local pubs back in Portland (Moon and Sixpence) has the red seal on cask as their standard house ale. With it's relatively low alcohol and great flavor, the beer is perfect in that capacity.

To get back to the taproom, the only real quibble I have with the place is the service. Every once in a while I'll get good service there, but unfortunately that's the exception. Most of the time it's very slow, and I've waited up to 15 minutes to get my credit card back after paying my bill. Granted the place is popular and usually crowded, but even the times it's not so crowded service just seems inordinately slow.

As for the food, it's really pretty good. They do a nice job with steaks and fish in the main dining room (which you can order in the taproom as well if you wish), and the taproom grub is also usually very good. Have had some very good steamed clams there, and the fries and clam chowder have been equally impressive.

This place has always been solid, and I appreciate the fact they're branching out more and more in the brewery, with the Le Merle and Brother Thelonious. This place is a gem and always worth a visit any time you're driving along the Mendocino coast and feel the need for some decent food and flavorful beer.

Highly recommended (2,665 characters)

Photo of VegasBill
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I have stopped here a few times but not in the last few years. The beers are top quality the the food is hit or miss, usually miss so I did not do a review.
The beer is the highest quality with my favorites Red Seal Ale and the Scrimshaw Pilsner. I was a little excited to see the Acme offerings, great move North Coast. Service at the bar is also hit or miss I have had wonderfull bartenders and the some who really did not belong in the service business.
As for food two suggestions, look around and if you see someone having something to eat that looks really good then take a chance, remember I said it is hit or miss. Or if pizza or a salad will do ,go to Piaci Pizza which is also listed on BA and they have a great beer selection and good food. (753 characters)

Photo of JanM
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Fort Bragg is a not yet gentrified fishing port. For us European visitors to the US it's a great enactment of a road movie to rent a sports car and drive Highway 1 north from San Francisco to Fort Bragg, stay the night at a cheap motel, get breakfast at Egghead's, cross over to Russian River through the redwood forest, and speed back to the Bay Area. After that long, winding and scenic coastal drive North Coast Brewing Company Taproom & Grill is just the right place to wind down. Already at the parking lot I could see that I wasn't the only one who had fallen for it. Inside there were a number of single guys trying to look like they just stepped out of Paris, Texas.The crowd seemed to be a mix of tourists and locals. Can't say that I was impressed by the food although it was good enough. But the beer selection included some excellent brews, especially Scrimshaw Pilsner, with the bread-o-meter revved up to the red. I have a soft spot for that. Don't miss the circuit if you happen to come to SF and have two days to spare. (1,035 characters)

Photo of charlatan
3.34/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Sleepy seaside town location across the street from the brewery, but I made the mistake of showing up at dinner time, so the place felt like a restaurant which was too classy for me yet simultaneously smelled of old women (I think that would be down to one of the old women sitting near me, so I doubt it is a regular feature). I should have sat at the bar, but that was small and full for the vital few seconds after I walked in.

Service was rather perfunctory. The three beers we tried were good (although I wouldn't recommend the pilsner), but rather expensive at $4 a pint (particularly so given that this would have been happy hour at many bars and transportation costs have to be negligible). I would expect to pay less for the same beer if it had been shipped hundreds of miles to my hometown only for another comapny to take a cut. (842 characters)

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North Coast Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill in Fort Bragg, CA
86 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.