Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bison Organic IPA

This Organic IPA is brewed by the Bison Brewing Company of Berkeley, CA.

Apparently, this beer has been retired for several months now. The Bison website doesn't even mention this. So, I have to ask myself how long has the bottle I just bought been sitting on the shelf? I can't tell because there's no date on the bottle.

The bottle also says that each IPA uses a single hop and to check the neck for which hop is in this batch. Nothing there. The bottle also says that the beer is bottled by Bison Brewing of Ukiah, CA. Well, that's BS. Mendocino Brewing Company has the contract to brew their beers and has done so for almost 4 years now - probably the same time this bottle hit the shelf. Mendocino doesn't do a particularly good job within their own beers, so I'm not sure why they'd contract with them.

The beer has zero hop flavor, unless the hops they used produce diacetyl.

Skip It!


  1. Diacetyl is a byproduct of yeast, not hops.

  2. Sorry that you did not have an ideal experience with this beer. Unfortunately, you were misinformed about the beer being retired. I retired the IPA 6-pack (12 oz. bottles) in March and rolled out a new product called Hop Cuvee in its place. I did not, however, retire the 22 oz. bottles. That product is still in distribution.

    Can I ask you where you bought it and if it was stored on a warm shelf or in a cooler. As I'm sure you probably know, hoppy beers hold up better with cold storage. Unfortunately, as a small company with only 4 employees, it can be hard for us to track every single bottle we sell and how it is treated and stored after it leaves our warehouse. I appreciate your feedback and would love to look into the storage of this product if you don't mind revealing the location you found it at.

    As for your comments regarding our decision to contract our beers at Mendocino Brewing Company, I would love to talk with you more in depth if you are interested in learning about my contract with them, the labeling requirements of the state and address any other questions you might have about what we do and why we do it.

    Once again, I apologize for your experience and I hope that I can buy you a beer one day and change your opinion on our company.


    Dan Del Grande, owner and brewmaster of Bison Organic Beer

    1. It was stored in an open air cooler at the Bel Air on Arena Blvd in Sacramento.

      Your website states in a fairly straight forward manner that the beer has been retired: http://bisonbrew.com/organic-ipa/ "RETIRED – Bison Organic IPA".

      I'm available to talk about the Mendocino contract. We've changed our minds before and have been happy to write about it: http://northcalbeerblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/sudwerks-brewery-tour-davis-ca.html

      Thank you for reaching out!