Best Microbrew - 2000
Mendocino Brewing Co.'s Eye of the Hawk Ale
We're living in precarious times, but there are benefits to existing at this particular juncture in the cosmos: namely, the preponderance of really good beer. Mt. Tam Pale Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Pete's Wicked Lager -- the choices are endless. But Eye of the Hawk, brewed up in Ukiah since 1984, is perfectly splendid. It's got character, a robust sort of afterbite, and a crispness that's welcome on a hot day as well as with roast chicken, cassoulet, and other bistro fare. In fact, it's probably good with cheesecake, Brazil nuts, and guacamole too.