The Fort Bragg where the North Coast Brewing company is located is no doubt a far cry from the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where the U.S. military used to run a counterinsurgency school, training people in all sorts of evils. Their beers make a much better export, for sure, than torture. That said, I am not so sure these beers were worth dragging around New York all day after buying them in the Village in September. I have to confess, that I remembered how my back hurt that night with every sip I took. To be fair: It is not that they are badly produced. My criticism is more to do with snobbery, I guess. The Cru D'Or, for example, is the kind of heavy, strong (8%) beer, that I only really like when it is an original Chimay (of which I drank far too much when I had passed my Logic exam at university. But that's a different story ...). With this Cru, I never got over the label "Belgian style". Well, indeed. Belgian-style but, er, not Belgian. Not special, just heavy. Not exquisite, just ok. - The same can be said of the Old Plowshare stout. Again, I freely confess that stout is not my favourite kind of beer in the first place. I also confess that I had not had a good day when I drank it. But I also know that a good beer can lift my mood. A special taste on my tongue can make my eyes glint with joy. This time, it wasn't to be. The stout made me think of Scotland. A vague memory of a similar taste in some wee pub on the east coast came to mind. That was all pleasant enough. But nothing special - again.