Mendocino is a picturesque town on the northern California coast. My brother and his family had a tradition of renting a home there between Christmas and New Year’s, and in 1999, we — my wife, infant son and I — had the pleasure of joining them. One of the must-visit places while there was North Coast Brewing Co., located just up the coast in Fort Bragg.

North Coast Brewing Co. holds — for me — the somewhat unusual distinction of being a place from which I had a souvenir before ever visiting. You see, my brother and his wife had given me a Red Seal Ale t-shirt from the place years earlier. We simply had to go — so I could order a Red Seal Ale and close the circle, as it were. And it was upon our actual visit that I picked up this mug, suitable for brews both cold and hot.