May 7, 2019

North Coast Laguna Baja

Every town has a pretty decent Mexican restaurant, or at least, folks have one that they may prefer over another. I’m no different. We’ve got a couple in close proximity to Barley Blog HQ but only one has a decent enough beer selection to prevail.

Typically, I go for Dos Equis Dark or Negro Modelo, opting for a more rich flavor profile than the lighter options available. Part of it is preference and part is I just like the combination of spicy heat and something with a stronger malt backbone than not. As such, I’m a big fan of North Coast’s new-to-me offering, Laguna Baja, a 5% ABV dark lager first released in 2017.

While the normal Mexican restaurant go-tos are owned by conglomerates, North Coast remains independent — and the difference is, well, palpable. Laguna Baja is a solid dark lager with a smooth combination of light roastiness, caramel and a good bit of nuttiness. The beer is more full-bodied than those previously mentioned with a more dynamic and richer malt backbone. A lightly soft mouthfeel makes for an incredibly drinkable experience — the beer just goes down easy with tacos.

I suppose the only knock against Laguna Baja in comparison to those brews I generally order to accompany my plate would be that it’s a bit too drying for my personal liking. It’s not chalky by any means and it still goes darn well with fiery hot sauces.

If North Coast’s offering were readily available on menus in my locale, it would certainly be my top choice to accompany fajitas or even chips and salsa. It’s a well-rounded lager with good flavor and easy-drinking nature. Both of which make it an ideal option.

This is a review of a promotional sample.