Humboldt’s cool, maritime climate is just one of the secrets behind the rich, sumptuous flavors of our locally brewed beers. But the real secret is the passionate folks behind the brews.
Take our Lost Coast Brewery, for instance. In the 1980s, Barbara Groom took her experience working with chemicals as a pharmacist and turned her attention toward beer. Already an expert home brewer, she and friend Wendy Pound decided to try their hand at commercial brewing.
We’ve been appreciating the result ever since.
By 1990 the pair had bought and refurbished a 100-year old building along Highway 101 and transformed it into a bustling café. They serve up a collection of award-winning beers ranging from fragrant pale ales to strong, nutty brown ales.
The microbrew revolution took hold here in the early 1990s, but it seems like it’s been going on forever. Beer-making and the North Coast have been pretty much like a match made in heaven.
Now we have four craft brewers - Eel River Brewery, Lost Coast Brewery and Mad River Brewery and Six Rivers Brewery. They’ve made names for themselves around the country.
At Eel River Brewery, they tapped into our area’s love of the environment and became the first in the nation to brew a certified organic beer. It was Organic Amber Ale. Now it’s also become the nation’s first certified organic brewery, with six additional flagship brews.
And awards roll in non-stop. The master brewers at Mad River Brewing Company and Six Rivers Brewery have brought home gold medals from the Great American Beer Festival. Eel River’s organic offerings have won countless medals at the California State Fair and Los Angeles International beer competitions. And Lost Coast Brewery has won awards all over the world – particularly for the ever-popular Downtown Brown.
One hallmark of our brewers is their cooperative spirit. Brewers help each other and the community. And they provide local ranchers with organic grain byproducts for another Humboldt County favorite: organically raised beef.