Recently I had the opportunity to visit Mammoth Brewing Company’s tasting room in the resort community of Mammoth Lakes, CA. At 8000 feet above sea level, Mammoth is the highest elevation brewery on the west coast.
Water boils at a lower temperature, 198 degrees, so Mammoth’s beers are brewed in the kettle for a longer time than other breweries. The “low temperature boil” along with the pristine mountain water used creates a softer flavor. MBC calls itself “The Brew With Altitude.”
Eight “year-round” beers and a root beer are complimentary to sample, and other, seasonal or limited beers may be tasted for a slight fee. The year-round beers on tap:
Golden Trout Pilsner – can’t go wrong here.
Paranoids Pale Ale (Also bottled as Yosemite Pale Ale) – one of the best Pale Ales’ I’ve enjoyed, one can definitely sense the citrus hops used.
Real McCoy Amber Ale – this is perhaps the most “commercial” tasting of Mammoth’s beers, and a smooth, session beer.
Lake Tahoe Red Ale – I’m not a huge fan of this genre, but this is a good example.
Double Nut Brown Porter – like the other beers, this was served cold, and would be amazing at room temperature. Since no nuts were harmed or used during the brewing of this beer, “Allergy Boy” could enjoy it without worrying about waking up redder than the Red Ale.
Floating Rock Hefeweizen – I’m not a real fan of this style either, but, believe it or not, this is the best hefe I’ve ever tasted. I could actually sense the banana clove highlights in this unfiltered example.
Epic IPA – Mammoth’s best seller, and phenomenal. Without a doubt, the best IPA I’ve ever consumed. If I lived in the limited distribution area, parts of California and a small part of Nevada, this would be my “go to” beer. Hopped at two pounds per barrel, the hoppy body of this single IPA is less bitter than one would expect. A session IPA!
IPA 395 – This double IPA, named for the Jones Valley Highway off of which Mammoth Lakes is located, is bolder than the Epic and has the highest ABV, 8%, of all of Mammoth’s year-round beers. Very tasty!
Imperial Root Beer – even though this is a beer site, the root beer deserves a mention. Having grown up on Barq’s and A&W, Mammoth’s root beer is phenomenal by comparison. At first sip, I detected an ingredient that really stood out on the palate, wintergreen. This replaces Sprecher as my favorite root beer.
Next year, Mammoth plans on expanding to a larger brewing facility and a larger distribution area. For fans of MBC, this is like a dream come true!
Mammoth’s “Don’t Fear Our Beers” stickers are a play on the local “Don’t Feed Our Bears” signs in town. Don’t fear Mammoth’s Beers, run, don’t walk, to seek them out when in the eastern Sierras!