North Coast Brewing Co.

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #4,001
Ranked #29,138
3.81 | pDev: 8.66%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: The Pacific Ocean and its rich variety of sea life is part of our daily experience here on the Mendocino Coast. Since the release of North Coast Brewing’s first beers in 1988, we have sought to reflect our love of the coastal world in our lively array of iconic beers.

Beachmaster, an Imperial IPA, is a tribute and companion to our flagship beer, Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale, honoring the mighty Northern Elephant Seals that frequent our coast from Mexico to Alaska. Artist Mike Patrick, whose work has appeared on several of our labels including Red Seal Ale, Old No. 38 Stout, and North Coast Steller IPA, created the bull Elephant Seal illustration.

100 IBU
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Eddieeight
Eddieeight from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out dark amber with a hazy orange look to it. Smells of orange peel and mango and pineapple. Taste is bitter and mildly sweet. Taste follows the nose. A little bit of pine coming through. Strong quenching sensations on the back corners of my tongue. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly bubbly. Overall it’s pretty delicious but nothing makes it stand out as unusual or unique. It’s simply a good sessionable beer.

Aug 12, 2020
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$1 bargain bin find at my local distributor! WIN! Not as sweet and heavy as other imperials I've had, which for me is a good thing. Not a great beer, but a very decent initial IPA. I think this is an approachable initial IPA.

Nov 26, 2019
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Jugs_McGhee from Texas

2.37/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25


I don't love the hop profile, and this too aggressively bitter and scraping on the palate anyway, with the loud bitterness drowning out all the hop flavour. Irritates the palate and is unrefreshing as well as a bit warm. I get unpalateable grapefruit, overwhelmed floral hop flavour, and pale malt. Maybe Crystal too?

I do love me some North Coast, but this ain't up there with their finest work. One of the most disappointing buys in recent memory, if only because I had such high hopes given the brewery behind it. It's honestly a bit of a chore to drink given the bitterness and lack of actual piercing hop flavour. Boy did I expect to love this, but it's just unpleasant and unapproachable.


Aug 06, 2019
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a single serve bottle into a tulip.

Pours a shade lighter than amber with some haziness and some visible sediment. Limited head and retention but solid lacing. A pronounced collar clings all of the way down the glass.

Solid dank aromas hit the nose early, along with resins. Honey, grapefruit pith, grand marnier orange. Clover and other floral notes. Hints of oak and cedar. A touch of herbal anise. No shrinking violet this one--very audacious aroma.

The flavor is strong and complex and changes as the brew goes through temperature phases. In particular, honey can exhibit "sweet" "earthy" "floral" and "bitter" notes, and the honey notes in this brew display all of these qualities at different times. Honey, orange liqueur, and bready malts hit the tip of the tongue. Woody, earthy, floral, and dank flavors, along with grapefruit flesh, zest, and pith cross the mid-palate. The finish is stridently bitter and a touch boozy, with some black licorice/anise, but the honey kiss from the initial flavor is there at the end as well. As the brew warms, the honey flavor and earthy/oaky notes become more prominent.

Medium full bodied. Well carbonated. Not sticky.

Overall, this is a fine flavorful DIPA that does not immediately conjure "fruity" or "hoppy" adjectives, but hits the "earthy" flavor on the nose. Another "well done" for NCBC.

May 27, 2019
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent honey color with one finger of eggshell colored head. Good head retention & above average

S: Cakey, a little pine & grapefruit once warm

T: Cakey & piney, plus dryness & a little grapefruit up front. More pine, bready dryness & a little grapefruit as this warms. Finishes dry, sweet & cakey with just a kiss of pine, leafy hops & grapefruit

MF: Medium body, moderate carbonation, nicely balanced

A very solid old-school take on the style, nice drinker, ABV is well disguised

May 20, 2019
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Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Light honey body with a creamy white head. Kind of a light hop presence; not at all overpowering, which I like. Hard to tell when this was bottled so they may have faded. The malt profile makes this super-drinkable either way. Its got the creamy-bodied mouthfeel that I wish most stouts had. Will be seeking this one out again.

Apr 08, 2019
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dank, pine, some citrus. Taste is dank, herbal, little of the pine and citrus in the aroma, moderate bitterness, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Sep 10, 2018
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Zorro from California

3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mildly chill hazed amber with a small off-white colored head. It looks like 10,000 other amber colored ales.

Smell is woody and savory with a strong cedar wood scent. Strong tropical fruit scent and it really heavy on the papaya scent. Smells sweet but I keep smelling cedar plank in this one.

Starts out sweet and savory with a considerable bitter finish in the back of the throat. Taste of cedar and pine. Astringent after taste very much like sucking on a used tea bag. Taste wise though it is actually pretty mild.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall though, I would buy Rasputin RIS over this one next time.

Aug 05, 2018
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear golden amber color with a large, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of pine, grasses and toasted caramel. Very piney and grassy with a citrusy bite. Some caramel sweetness.

Jul 03, 2018
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spectru from Florida

3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Slightly hazy (oddly, it seemed to clear as it warmed) amber with a frothy head; Smell is rich with hops; Mouthfeel is tangy, a little sharp; Taste is smooth but very hoppy, with a strong slightly bitter hops aftertaste. Not my favorite IPA.

Jun 08, 2018
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $3.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clearish, orange-amber body with a soapy-looking, foaming, off-white head.

Smell: Fruity hops, berries and citrus with a touch of jackfruit. Husky grains, breadcrusts, dry caramel.

Taste: Toasted bread with a staunch, firm grainy element and fast, fleeting touch of sweet caramel. Hops push in with a punchy floral-lemon-orange combination that, picking up the encroaching bitterness as a strong resinous bent as well as even a bit of strawberry. Its bitterness bolstered by the alcohol. Peppery, warming, herbal on the lightly resinous finish with some sustained fruit notes that fall away, leaving the resins, the alcohol, the spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Decent enough.

Jun 02, 2018
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Tone from Missouri

3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, strong resin, strong spicy hops, slight citrus hops, hint of piney hops, and hint of caramel malt. Fits the style of an American Double/Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with a high carbonation level. There is an elevated bitterness. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, strong resin, strong spicy hops, slight citrus hops, hint of piney hops, and hint of caramel malt. Overall, strong body, good blend, and in other aspects.

Apr 30, 2018
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Quackershnoc from Michigan

4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, golden amber color; pillowy white head that islands out

Aroma: big orange and pine; hops; caramel malt

Taste: starts with some really nice orange and caramel sweetness; moves into a big, smooth malt backbone; orange comes back with big pine and an intense hop bite

Mouthfeel: medium-full bodied; viscous; clingy

Overall Impression: a lot going on in this guy; a tad unblanced, but no shortage on big flavors;

Apr 21, 2018
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Spikester from Oregon

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden orange with one finger of ten minute white head.
Smell is dank pine.
Taste is dank pine with light melon with strong but not balancing malt support.
Mouthfeel is medium to full with good carbonation. The finish is dry and bitter.
Overall sometimes the pine hop notes can obscure any lighter flavors.

Apr 15, 2018
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dertyd from California

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out a slightly hazy dark golden copper color, with 1 finger of off white head------------- the aromas are of Melon, red berries, citrus, pine and Carmel malt--------------- the flavors are of melon, pine, bitter grapefruit pith, dank weed and lesser peach, the beer has a medium slick mouthfeel with an overly bitter finish-------------- overall this beer was nice could of toned down the bitterness tho this is a bitter bitch, it started off sweet with strong pine and peach flavors followed by that overly bitter pine finish

Apr 02, 2018
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superspak from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/8/2018. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus peel/rind, green pepper, pine, caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus peel/rind, green pepper, pine, caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel, herbal, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, berry, citrus peel/rind, green pepper, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness balance, and zero lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/sticky, and lightly resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9%. Overall this is an excellent DIPA! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the ABV with mellowly bitter/drying finish, never aggressive. Very juicy, dank, and earthy balanced hop complexity; nice sized bready malt backbone, not overly sweet/heavy for the ABV. Feels like Ekuanot hops mostly. A very enjoyable offering.

Mar 31, 2018
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Stoutmaster9 from California

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.
Pours deep orange, a finger head, at first. Central bubble steams swiftly rising. Tremendous lacing.
Tropical fruit scent. Malty.
Following the nose, sour malt. Creamy hops. A dry, resinous tang, with gravity just shy of a Barley Wine.
Lemon-orange lunar gravity; a simple, powerful sipper, deeply groovy.

Mar 28, 2018
Photo of RyanK252
RyanK252 from California

3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours golden orange amber with a frothy off white head that settles to a light layer and laces nicely.

S: Old school nose, but fairly tame, bitter citrus, resin, herbal and dank, floral, faint fruity notes, slightly toasty bready malt, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

T: Opens with a punch of bitter citrus, grapefruit pith and lemon, resinous, floral, slightly dank herbal notes, maybe a bit of dark orchard fruit, lightly toasty bready malt, a touch of toffee sweetness, with a little alcohol coming through.

M: A bit on the fuller side of medium body, slightly lively carbonation, a touch of alcohol, bitterness latches on to your tongue and doesn't let go.

O: Feels like a throwback to old school west coast DIPA bitterness wars. This beer is as big as it's namesake, and will put a hurting on your taste buds. Can't say I'm all that into this one right now.

Mar 15, 2018
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The elephant seal is back, and so it a flavor that's equally as tied to the northern Californian coast as its indigenous wildlife. In a world of gimmicks, trends and trials, the North Coast Brewing Company reestablishes its hop dominance with an imperial IPA and a light amber influence.

Pale amber in color, the slightly hazy ale glows while a creamy off white cap builds above. Bold hop aromas capture a sense of citrus, pine, pepper and grass. Hints of granola swirl while a sweet early palate of caramel, honey and nuttiness only further reinforces a granola-like character.

Malt sweetness fades rather quickly for an imperial IPA, trending dry and bitter on the middle palate much like standard American IPA. Radiant orange peel, red grapefruit and a hint of marmalade transfer seamlessly from the nose over to flavor before leading to a peppery, deeply resinous bittering power of pine sap, grassiness and cedar.

Medium full on the palate, the beer's early sweetness carries the slightly elevated mouthfeel of imperial ale but its quick fade to dryness suggests something more drinkable and refreshing than usual. A long and bitter aftertaste is resounding of citrus peels and herb along with the spicy alcohol warmth of curacao liquor.

Mar 13, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Homebrewstuff. Clear amber pour. small foamy head. Aroma is caramel malts with a hint of pine. Taste is first and foremost malts, minor hoppy bitterness floats on the surface, slightly sweet, bitterness lingers on the palate for a while. Doesn't seem potent at all.

Mar 06, 2018
Beachmaster from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 45 ratings