image sourced from North Coast Brewing If you the phrases “It’s Miller Time”, “Tastes Great, Less Filling”, or “Silver Bullet”, ring a bell; congratulations you’re a product of the 80’s.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Rather it's is a side-effect of what breweries Coors & Miller projected at you through the television.

Next question. What did you drink at parties, when you thought your parents didn’t know you were drinking illegally? If you answered Coors, Miller, or Budweiser; then you are a product of heavy marketing by the large production breweries.

But if you didn’t drink Coors, Miller, or Budweiser and instead something from towns like Newport (Oregon), Bend (Oregon), or Fort Bragg (California); then you are a member of select group of craft beer drinkers.

Fact is, there wasn’t much back in the 80’s let alone 1988, when breweries Rogue Ales, Deschutes, and North Coast started supplying their towns with ‘micro brews’. In fact if you are one of those who has grown accustomed to craft beer in the Northwest, then you might forget that a handful of breweries were responsible for inspiring current generations to brew beer.

1988 was a pivotal year for the emerging craft brewing industry on the west coast, marking the founding of some of America’s most influential breweries, North Coast Brewing Co. among them. It was also the year Fred Eckhardt published The Essentials of Beer Style—a book that quickly became an indispensable reference for aspiring brewers and critics.

“It’s amazing to look back over the beer landscape and see what’s happened over the past 25 years,” said Mark Ruedrich, North Coast Brewing’s Co-Founder, Brewmaster, and President. “America’s craft beers are setting new international standards for quality and innovation. They’re the most exciting facet of the world beer scene today.”

image sourced from North Coast BrewingRecognizing the release of this book 25 years later, breweries Rogue, Deschutes, and North Coast, have collaborated to release three distinctive Barleywine’s to celebrate Fred’s style guidelines.

… Brewers traveled to each other’s locations and teamed up to brew all three ales. Their common heritage, joint efforts and inherent camaraderie resulted in a cohesive set that allows beer aficionados to enjoy three examples of the style.

Congratulations on 25 years and we look forward to being there during the 50th.

As always if you can’t find North Coast’s expression for the Class of ‘88 Barleywine-style Ale, ask your server or grocer to buy some!