Mount St. Helena

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Located in the heart of sleepy Lake County in Northern California, Mount St. Helena Brewing Company is truly an oasis for the beer traveler. Situated right on the main street through town, there's certainly no problem finding the brewpub or parking. There is practically no other nightlife for miles. The interior layout consists of two large rooms with beige tile floors and a 30 foot peaked ceiling lined with large wooden beams and hanging electric fans among the ducting. Incandescent lamps light the room from above. The dining room features light wood chairs and dark green Formica-topped tables. A merchandising room offers articles for sale and the 20 barrel Liquid Assets stainless steel system stands visible at the rear of the room. Framed beer mirrors ring the dining area. Chef Andy Wild works his wonders from the open kitchen along the right side of the room, surrounded by light wood walls. The menu consists of Salads ($4 - $7) and Entrees ($8 - $17) of ribs, chicken, bass, steaks and pastas, all with suggested beer pairings. Pizzas ($4 - $16) are extremely popular with the summertime dinner crowds. Cappuccino and California wines round out the drink menu.

The Brown Ale is a clear dark amber color with a malty flavor and slightly dry hoppy finish. The Imperial Stout exudes a roasted aroma that accompanies its medium-light body and sharp aftertaste. The Honey Wheat appears a clear gold color, with a very mild slightly sweet flavor. This light-bodied brew features subtle hops and goes down well on hot summer nights. The Summer Gold Ale is amber, topped with a white head, the hops-over-malt flavor balance is matched to a light body and hoppy finish. The Palisades Pale Ale is a clear dark gold with a light hoppy flavor, light body, and hoppy aftertaste. The IPA is dark amber in color and leads off with a hoppy aroma followed then by a medium body, and hoppy flavor and aftertaste.

Open since February, 1997, the comfortable, easy breathing atmosphere makes it very easy to sit and stay a while. Seemingly incongruous, cigars are sold here! Two dartboards are available and radio sounds set the background mood. The small mirrored mahogany bar offers six taps for house beers. A half dozen tables provide outdoor seating to take advantage of the usually good weather. Tasters are 75, pints $2.75, 10 oz $1.75, pitchers $7.50 and full gallon growlers $12/$15. The bottling line should be on-line shortly and then six packs will start appearing throughout the region. In the mean time, stop by and check it out.


Mount St. Helena Brewing Company
Main Street
Middletown, CA

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - August, 1997


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