Gear to My Heart - Humboldt Made Businesses Give Back

by Kristen Steele 

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In the tumultuous week since a business tycoon billionaire shocked the world by being elected President of the United States, many American corporations have demonstrated their lack of support for the new Administration. The business strategy of leveraging political leanings as a marketing tool is not a new concept, but stands to gain considerable muscle in today’s climate of political polarity. To illustrate the concept, over the weekend we saw a swift cleft in public support for the two ‘sharing economy’ darlings and driving service companies, Uber and Lyft. Uber lost thousands of app users when the company’s drivers broke the strike against the immigration ban at New York’s JFK airport. Meanwhile, Lyft pledged a cool million dollars to support the ACLU’s legal case against Trump’s immigration ban. The success of each company shall be seen in the coming months, but the divisive reputation of the two rivals will undoubtedly impact immediate profits.

In recent years, holistically measuring a business’s success for its impact on environment, culture and profits has gained much traction. Coined “the triple bottom line,” many American businesses underpin their mission statements with respect to the ecological and social impacts of doing business. Far from a marketing ploy, entrepreneurs dedicated to operating between margins of profit and social equity are the creative brains behind many such start-ups.

In Humboldt County, we have no shortage of businesses doing good for the community in the form of donations, job creation and environmental conservation. In the spirit of recognizing such businesses, this week we’re highlighting two Humboldt Made members, Kinetic Koffee and Dick Taylor Chocolate, who went above and beyond to give back to our community. By collaborating on both the design and the raw ingredients, Kinetic Koffee and Dick Taylor created the ‘Gear to My Heart’ chocolate bar. A pocket-sized bar of Dick Taylor’s sustainably-sourced chocolate laced with Kinetic’s Koffee’s Sumatra coffee beans, all proceeds of the ‘Gear to My Heart’ bars go to the Kevin Ebbert memorial fund. Ebbert was a well-loved member of the Humboldt community who was tragically killed in 2012 during active duty in Afghanistan. Kevin's love for the redwoods, dark chocolate and being active is remembered through the charitable work of the Ebbert Memorial Fund. Local graphic designer David Bethuy (Color & Kind) designed the packaging and Lynn Jones (Just My Type Letterpress) hand-stamped each unique package.

Available with or without a coffee infusion, the beautifully packaged bars are $6.99 each and available from Kinetic Koffee and local retailers. To support Humboldt Made businesses setting high standards for the triple bottom line, go buy (and eat!) a ‘Gear to My Heart’ bar as soon as possible. Your heart will thank you. 

Posted on February 4, 2017 .

Eel River Brewing Company, Dick Taylor Craft Chocolates, and Humboldt Bay Coffee join forces to produce chocolate, coffee beer

Single Origin Mocha Stout release parties to be held at Eel River Brewing Company Pub and Restaurant in Fortuna on Wed, Feb 1 and at the Local Cider Bar in the Bittersweet building in Arcata on Thursday, Feb 2

By Angela Cordell

Eel River Brewing Company has partnered with Eureka businesses, Dick Taylor Craft Chocolates and Humboldt Bay Coffee Company to produce, Single Origin Mocha Stout – a smooth, roasty, chocolate and coffee enhanced milk stout. Single Origin Madagascar Cacao from Dick Taylor and Single Origin Peruvian Roast from Humboldt Bay Coffee are used throughout the brewing process. The result is a rich, creamy milk stout - designed to be poured on nitro tap.

The trio of businesses will be celebrating the release of Single Origin Mocha Stout on Wed, Feb 1 at Eel River Brewing’s pub in Fortuna. Local artist and team member at Humboldt Bay Coffee, Sonny Wong, will be painting live from 6pm to 8pm. The final art piece will serve as the tap sticker and artwork for the beer itself. An additional party is planned for 6pm at the Local Cider Bar in the Bittersweet building in Arcata on Thursday, Feb 2. Representatives from the businesses will be present at both events to toast the occasion.

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This truly Humboldt collaboration was the brainchild of Eel River’s brewers, Matt Vivatson and Michael Smith. The concept of a chocolate, coffee milk stout designed to utilize the smooth and creamy finishing characteristics of a nitro poured brew was one they had been considering for some time. In 2016, the brewery set a goal to develop a local collaboration program – working with neighboring businesses to source ingredients. The idea to reach out and include Dick Taylor Chocolate and Humboldt Bay Coffee for this brew followed shortly thereafter. Both companies are known for creating the highest quality products while maintaining a commitment to sustainability.

Dick Taylor Craft Chocolates is an award-winning, Humboldt-based chocolate company that specializes in small batch, bean-to-bar chocolate. They source fairly-traded cacao and perform all of the steps in-house to turn the raw ingredients into the finest chocolate possible. Dick Taylor’s founders Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor have strong roots in hand-craftsmanship, having put their day jobs as wood workers on hold to pursue life as chocolatiers.

Humboldt Bay Coffee Company roasts the top 1% of the world’s coffee in Old Town Eureka. They source the highest-grade coffee beans including, USDA certified organic, bird-friendly and single-estate coffees. Humboldt Bay is committed to environmental stewardship and producing the most sustainable coffee possible.

Single Origin Mocha Stout is a small batch, limited edition draft only offering. Eel River Brewing will be selling the beer through their network of distributors up and down the entire west coast and in select locations in Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina.

Posted on January 29, 2017 .

Humboldt Made Winter Libations

by Dane Grytness

2017 has made itself at home in Humboldt County with flirtatious snow flurries dusting coastal porches and sidewalks. In case you missed the white stuff, a solid 24 hours of rain hammered home the reality that winter is here. Humboldt is a geographically isolated county, effectively walled in by the Klamath Mountains to the east, towering redwoods above and below, and the roiling Pacific to the west. This geographic quarantine means that when our national parks empty of selfie-snapping tourists each season, the quiet of Humboldt winters can be ominous. Luckily for us, several local distillers and brewers understand the need for fortitude in the grey, post-holiday weeks of January. If cabin fever has your number, put on your warmest puffy and head out for a tumbler of local spirits or a seasonal brew. Sip slowly while enjoying the peaceful quiet of Humboldt County’s winter.

 Dutch & Dewey – Gin Cocktail

Carefully crafted to extract the aromas of ten botanicals, Humboldt County's first gin was released in 2016 by Dutch & Dewey. In Old Town Eureka, the friendly barkeeps at The Speakeasy serve up a soul-warming Dutch & Dewey cocktail to keep the winter blues away.

1 thin slice of cucumber, muddled

1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1 oz simple syrup

1 ½ oz’s Dutch & Dewey Distillery Horse Mountain Gin

½ oz soda water

Shake ingredients, except soda water, over ice. Strain and top with soda water.

 

Humboldt Distillery – Spiced Rum Hot Toddy

Crafting a number of libations from their distillery in Fortuna, Humboldt Distillery’s Organic Spiced Rum was literally made for a cold winter’s night. Even a college dorm kitchen should have the basic supplies on hand to mix-up a Hot Toddy.

1 ½ oz Humboldt Distillery Organic Spiced Rum

1 tbsp honey

Juice of 1/4 lemon

Cinnamon Stick

1 cup hot water

Combine rum, honey, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in your favorite mug. Add hot water and stir. **For a little variation, try a rum hot toddy with tea.  Pour hot water into mug and steep tea for 3-5 minutes.  Remove tea bag, add honey, stirring to dissolve.  Pour in spiced rum, add squeeze of lemon and stir.

 

Alchemy Distillery – Blushing Blonde Satan’s Whiskers

If you’re shopping for local spirits at Wildberries Market in Arcata, their staff has helpfully outfitted the shelves with cocktail recipes. The Blushing Blonde Satan’s Whiskers, recommended by Amy Bohner of Alchemy Distillery, was crafted by the cocktail blogger, Tortured by Thirst. Bohner recommends enjoying the libation at home in front of the woodstove.

3 oz. Alchemy Distillery ‘Boldt’ Genever style Gin

1 ½ oz dry vermouth

½ oz agave syrup

½ oz fresh lemon juice

2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Mad River Brewing - Barleywine

The Mad River Brewery in Blue Lake is featuring their John Barleycorn Barley Wine 2015 Cellar Reserve this winter. A vintage brew that is only crafted during peak years, the deep golden orange beer is poured with a thick mousse. Floral aromas of honeysuckle and nectarine are balanced by clean malty flavors. Mad River’s head brewer recommends serving the Barleywine in a snifter in front of a raging fire.

Six Rivers Brewery – Spiced Pear Cocktail

In McKinleyville, the gals at Six River Brewery have crafted something extra for their beer loving patrons this winter – the Spiced Pear cocktail. Made with Espolon Reposado tequila, pear juice, agave syrup and Six River’s Chili Pepper Spicy Ale, the Spiced Pear will warm you up from the inside out. Stop by the friendly Six River Brewery any night of the week to try this very local, very grown-up version of a hot apple cider. 

Posted on January 11, 2017 .

Prince of Pinot praises Briceland Vineyards' 2013 Alderpoint Vineyard Pinot

According to Prince of Pinot, Briceland Vineyards' 2013 Alderpoint Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noir is the Best CA Pinot Noir under $36 of 2016. It is the only wine that appears on both his All Americans list and his Value-Priced list.  His full review:

2013 Briceland Vineyards Alderpoint Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir 13.3% alc., 147 cases, $33. Vineyard is the most easterly of the southern Humboldt vineyards Briceland works with and although slightly warmer, the warmth is moderated by the vineyard’s proximity to the Main Fork of the Eel River. Planted in 1991 in consultation with Briceland’s founding winemaker Joe Collins and currently tended by viticultural expert Rey Sanchez. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, sous-bois and a floral note. Delicious mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and red currant. Juicy and luxurious, even chewy, with merged tannins, and perfect phenolic ripeness. Almost better than sex. Score: 94. Reviewed January 17, 2016 

For more information, go to http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/ 

Posted on January 11, 2017 .

Holiday Shopping for the Ladies on your List

With the fruits of their labor combined, a cluster of four organic body care companies have created a sophisticated menu of lotions, lip balms, perfumes and salves all made in Humboldt County. Among the many Humboldt Made members that practice sustainability as second nature, each of these female-owned businesses is committed to protecting Humboldt ecosystem. By growing organic herbs, harvesting wild native plants and crafting beauty products in small batches, they create unique products designed to inspire beauty from the inside out. As the countdown to Christmas marches forward, pop in the North Coast Co-op, Wildberries Marketplace or Eureka Natural Foods to find the perfect gift for moms, wives, daughters and friends. 

Posted on December 15, 2016 .

How Can You Double Your Sales in One Year?

by Emmanual Rose

With a good product and an open-mind to new tactics and strategies you could double your sales in twelve months. But, it takes focused activity and financial resources. You’ll invest in a new marketing strategy, revise your offers and determine how to best reach out to and retain those newly identified markets and prospects.

Strategic eMarketing recently executed all of these activities with a local coffee roaster and the outcome was a doubling in ecommerce sales in under a year. The best part is that Muddy Waters roasts some of the best organic coffee we have ever tasted--their product is excellent. To achieve this goal we asked questions then implemented a plan around the answers:

1. What’s Your Story? We developed a 12-month storytelling content calendar around the coffee, its international growing regions and other interesting tidbits about the company and roasting process. Then we implemented the Marketing Plan. Do you have a content calendar with assignments for people inside and outside of your business to create cohesive creative material?

2. How Easy is it to Shop With You? We updated the website’s usability so it is easy for people to find coffee and buy it. This sounds really straightforward, but ask yourself if your customers can find what they need easily. Better yet, watch someone navigate it for the first time.

3. Can You Diversify Your Product Offerings? We helped to conceive new products such as: single-source luxury coffee, well-loved holiday blends and a coffee of the month. Do you have new products being released throughout the year? These offers are an organic invitation for current and past customers to shop with you.

4. Are You Maximizing Your Entire Digital Platform? We developed and published content for the website, web and social media. Content publishing is the overarching theme for modern marketing and often being done in-house. Find out what your clients and prospects want to know and how they like to receive news and offers.

5. Are Your Offer Emails Well-Timed? We leveraged email marketing and created a reason for people to remember to buy their coffee. Consistency, frequency, content and timing are all important to know for your email lists.

6. Do You Know SEO? We implemented a sustained search engine optimization (SEO) campaign through strategic key phrases and systematic release of fresh site content.  Your prospects are searching for you online. Even the most specific business-to-business products and services are sought through search engines. If you don’t have an idea of how to SEO your website hire someone who does.

7. Are You an Expert in Your Field? We set up a guest column in a local newspaper to share general topics about coffee. This has multiple values including: branding, SEO and increasing the value of the client’s identity online. How can you leverage your local paper to get your name associated with a news organization?

If you implement two of these activities today and two more next week and two more the week after, you will find your number of prospects and customers increasing, which means your sales will start growing as well.

If you want help with some of these strategies or tactics give me a call and let’s talk about how to double your sales in 2017.

Emanuel Rose is the founder of StrategiceMarketing.com and has over 20 years of business experience in sales and marketing. He has extensive experience designing, managing, and optimizing marketing campaigns to generate sales growth and is driven to achieve results by focusing on the customer first. Along with being obsessed with your marketing results, Emanuel is a fly fisherman.

Posted on October 18, 2016 .

Dot's Wonder Pet Products

by Nora Mounce

When asked about her business, Dot’s Products, Jane Arnold doesn’t attribute her success with holistic animal supplements to her master’s degree in biology. Jane believes her love of dogs is her best credential. “This whole life passion, it’s because I love dogs this much,” says Jane. Ten years ago, her love for a particularly dynamic and athletic German Shorthaired Pointer, Dot, inspired Jane to start ordering her own herbal supplements to bolster Dot’s diet. Dot was not ill or elderly, as the recipients of many canines aided by Dot’s Products often are – Dot was like a Tour de France athlete. They called her Dot the Wonder Dog, says Jane, remembering how Dot could practically leap fences. After experimenting with different types of kibble and raw food, Jane saw how Dot needed more. Researching and drawing from her own knowledge of plant medicine, Jane started making nutritional supplements to support Dot’s diet. While purchasing bulk herbs from Humboldt Herbals, the shop’s owner, Julie Caldwell, saw how knowledgeable Jane was on canine wellness. Caldwell told Jane that she wanted to purchase supplements for her own pet. Eventually, Caldwell’s enthusiasm won her over and Dot’s Products was born.

In concert with her love of dogs and lifetime of being a dedicated dog mom, Jane talks about Dot’s Products being natural continuation of a lifetime of knowledge. Growing up, her family rarely visited the doctor, as her parents were both instilled with the lay knowledge of farm life. On one occasion, she remembers her sister having a big splinter embedded deep in her arm. Jane’s father applied a cold, greasy piece of bacon fat and by morning – voila, the splinter popped right out. These kind of early formative lessons shaped her outlook on life that would later inspire Dot’s Products. Jane’s grandfather taught her how to treat both the animals and people in your family, as often doctors were too expensive to afford. Jane says she grew up drinking bone broth long before it was trendy – it’s just what you did. After earning a degree in Zoology from Oklahoma State, Jane came to Humboldt County to complete a Master’s degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State. Working as a field biologist in environmental conservation, she believes that the answers we seek are found in nature. 

One of the most popular supplements Jane creates is the Arthritis Formula, designed to help older dogs and cats with inflammation, hip dysplasia, energy and digestion. With the same core of nutritional supplements contained in Dot’s Wonder Pet Supplement, Jane adds glucosamine, MSM and pine bark extract to ease pain in arthritic pets. Many Humboldt County owners have seen their pet’s mobility improve before their eyes after adding the supplement to daily meals. One customer writes, “My dog used to limp for 3 days after a walk and now limps maybe an hour." Another Dot’s Products devotee writes how her 14-year-old dog won’t eat dinner without a sprinkle of Dot’s arthritis blend, before their evening walk on the beach.

Dot’s Products is one of Humboldt Made’s new members, but joins many other Humboldt businesses that utilize natural, organic products for their raw materials. Jane is excited for the new branding and marketing opportunities afforded by joining Humboldt Made. While still working full-time, Jane says that Dot’s Products keeps her busy, but her passion for helping dogs keeps her committed to growing the business. Dot’s Products can be found locally at Humboldt Herbals, Moonrise Herbs, NorCal Pets, A&L Feed, the North Coast Co-op and Humboldt Pet Supply. For online shopping, more information and to see pictures of Dot the Wonder Dog, visit www.dotsproducts.com

Posted on October 6, 2016 .

Mad River Brewing Revamps for Growth

by Tera Spohr

Mad River Brewing Company (MRB), one of California’s original craft breweries, has revamped its portfolio and packaging and increased production to over three times capacity with the installation of a new brew house.

Established in 1989, MRB is best known for its flagship Steelhead and Jamaica brands under which most MRB styles were previously named. With the rebranding, each will now have its own name and unique personality with all styles reflecting the strong heritage and characteristics of MRB’s home region, Humboldt County.

Steelhead Extra Pale Ale retains its name while Steelhead Double IPA is renamed Slammin’ Salmon and joins Redwood Stout and Uniontown Porter (formerly Steelhead Stout and Porter). Jamaica Red Ale retains its name while Jamaica Sunset IPA has been reformulated and is now Mad River IPA. River Days Session IPA is a new addition to the year-round portfolio. MRB will continue to brew its ever popular Artisan Series which includes the 2015 GABF Other Strong Ale category gold medal winner, Humboldt Brownie.

To create a unique look for each style within unified packaging, the company retained designer Jason Roberson to develop the stunning new graphics for this next generation of MRB. The signature golden badge remains with scenic images representing the style and region drawn within.

The new packaging was entered into the GDUSA’s 2016 American Package Design Awards and awarded gold in the Consumer Product Branding category.

“While Mad River is rich in history and has a loyal following, it was time for a fresh look and feel,” said CEO Tom Del Sarto. “We are proud that the new designs are already being so well received.”

With increased distribution that includes Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Alaska, MRB also installed a new brew house increasing capacity from 15,000 to 60,000 barrels. The new facility replaces MRB’s original system which holds a lot of sentiment and history as it was Sierra Nevada’s original brewing equipment.

The need for a larger brew house supports MRB’s focus on increased distribution and retail chains. New team members include Darcey Harraka, formerly the beverage buyer for Fresh & Easy, as national accounts manager, and additional sales reps throughout the west coast.

The company will also be introducing Steelhead and River Days in cans, and a variety pack within the third quarter of this year.

Brewers as pictured (back left to right) Kevin Montgomery, Dylan Schatz, David Cook (middle left) Zeke Branca (middle right) Brian Brodkorb (front) Jon Cox

Brewers as pictured (back left to right) Kevin Montgomery, Dylan Schatz, David Cook (middle left) Zeke Branca (middle right) Brian Brodkorb (front) Jon Cox

“While we continue to honor our heritage as one of California’s original crafts, we are excited about the growth of the industry as a whole and the next generation of Mad River Brewing,” states Del Sarto.

About Mad River:

Located in Humboldt County, California Mad River Brewing Company has been practicing the most traditional brewing methods for 27 years. Mad River’s flagship, Steelhead Extra Pale Ale and their other award winning brews have become renowned nationwide for their unique flavor profile and consistent quality through dedication to the breweries mission, “to produce the highest quality craft beer possible”. Now in their third decade, they continue to pursue outstanding ales which transcend boundaries and expand the art of brewing.

Posted on September 22, 2016 .

Welcoming TotMocs Snuggles

What better time to introduce the newest member of the TotMocs family!  As the days begin to shorten and the cool nights turn our thoughts toward warm fires, hot drinks and cozy, warm layers, we also think about how to keep our little ones protected from the elements. Our feet tend to be the first thing that gets cold if left exposed. So lets bundle them up and keep the cold at bay this winter.   Your little one will certainly appreciate it!

TotMocs is introducing a new deer hide baby moccasin lined with fleece. It's hard to get cozier than that. TotMocs Snuggles eliminate the need for laces. These little moccasins take it to the next level including an elastic closure with an adjustable cinch so you can make them fit just right. These baby moccasins are a charm to keep on those squirmy toes and they're easy to get in and out of.

As with all of our leather TotMocs, these shoes will stretch with the foot as it grows which makes for fewer shoes that you have to buy. These little shoes could last you all the way until the snow melts!  For winter time wetness TotMocs are best for indoor wear.  However, they can be weather proofed with a water repellent for outdoor use.  TotMocs Moccasins also make great holiday gifts for the little ones you love. For more information check out our FAQ or TotMocs Online store.

While summers warm days and long nights will be missed I am excited for the cozy nights all cuddled up sewing moccasins  in front of our fireplace. 

--

TotMocs Baby Moccasins

www.totmocs.com

www.facebook.com/totmocs 

 www.totmocs.etsy.com

 

 

Posted on September 8, 2016 .

Congratulations to Vixen Kitchen!

A huge congratulations to Vixen Kitchen, the latest recipient of the Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan. Their loan will help them to purchase a larger gelato machine and lower cost on each batch of gelato.

Located in Northern California, Sundara Clark started Vixen Kitchen as a labor of love inspired by her two daughters, Gigi and Lola. Like most kids, they love sweets, so Sundara created a gourmet, vegan gelato that satisfied the her girls’ sweet tooth while also being nutritious. Vixen Kitchen’s gelato is made with simple, wholesome ingredients that even a six-year-old can pronounce like organic raw cashews and organic maple syrup.

Posted on August 28, 2016 .

Six Rivers Brewery Becomes Pilot Program for Zero Waste Humboldt

by Becky Mosgofian

The restaurant industry can generate copious amounts of waste in uneaten food, packaging containers, even those plastic drink straws add up. One business is sick of the garbage and has adopted a Zero Waste approach from upfront waste prevention to composting.

Six Rivers Brewery, with the help of their employee and Humboldt State University intern, Sarah Wilber, and Maggie Gainer of Zero Waste Humboldt, has committed to be the pilot program for Zero Waste Humboldt. Wilber is developing the program for her MBA degree.

(L to R): Sarah Wilber, Six Rivers Brewery’s HSU business intern and Zero Waste specialist, Lloyd Barker, Stacey Barker and Matthew Eppich from The Local Worm Guy, who compost the brewery’s paper and post-consumer food scraps into worm casings and soil. 

(L to R): Sarah Wilber, Six Rivers Brewery’s HSU business intern and Zero Waste specialist, Lloyd Barker, Stacey Barker and Matthew Eppich from The Local Worm Guy, who compost the brewery’s paper and post-consumer food scraps into worm casings and soil. 

Zero Waste Humboldt is helping calculate the exact data of the brewery’s waste reduction efforts while business owners, Talia Nachshon and Meredith Maier-Ripley, are training their staff on comprehensive waste reduction and customer education of Zero Waste.

“We are so excited about Six Rivers Brewery really walking the talk. When I last ate there the server mentioned Zero Waste and why compostable straws are upon request only now,” said Gainer. The restaurant also encourages patrons to bring their own bags for pick-up orders.

Six Rivers Brewery’s first step in measuring their waste was a week-long dumpster diving audit.

“We literally went through each piece of garbage to see what could be recycled or composted,” said Maier-Ripley. She was inspired to tackle the trash after a Zero Waste Humboldt event led by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Sustainability Manager, Cheri Chastain.

At the time of the audit trash pick-up was four times weekly. Daily trash and potential compostables weighed in at 190 pounds. They were already sending fresh veggies and 600-700 pounds of grain from their brewhouse to a pig farmer. When they found The Local Worm Guy in McKinleyville could take their compostable paper goods and post-consumer food scraps for casings and soil, daily garbage dropped to 30 pounds, an 84 percent reduction.

The brewhouse is already nearing 100 percent Zero Waste, with the exact data coming soon. Six Rivers Brewery is reducing the remaining garbage from the restaurant by calling every supplier and requesting reduced packaging. They also have a goal of making the menu 100 percent local.

“Switching all our breads to Arcata-based Beck’s Bakery means we are using 100 percent local grains but breads were delivered in plastic bags. We asked them to swap the plastic bags with re-usable plastic tubs. No more waste,” said Wilber.

Buying local increases some food costs but in turn you have higher quality ingredients, a boost to the local economy and reduced GHG emissions due to less travel time for food.

“Buying local is so important. We are creating demand which supports jobs in our local small business community and betters the earth in many ways. Everyone wins,” said Maier-Ripley.

Posted on July 2, 2016 .

Eel River Brewing Company presents “Summer in the Triangle”

by Jen McFerrin

Eel River Brewing Company is proud to present its inaugural kickoff party for the summer season, Summer in the Triangle on Saturday, June 25th at the grounds of its pub at 1777 Alamar Way in Fortuna. Featuring a stage with live music by reggae artists, Ishi Dube, Jah Sun, and, Ju Drum – it’s a celebration of music and hops! This event will highlight Eel River’s Emerald Triangle line of craft brews including, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Double IPA, and will feature the release of the newest in the Emerald Triangle craft beer line, “707”. Favorites from its organic craft beer line will be available as well.

What began as an anniversary party commemorating 20 successful years in business, evolved into a large-scale, outdoor event with bands, beers and barbecue. Local craft beer lovers and longtime fans of Eel River Brewing may have noticed the re-branding effort that’s been rolling out over the past few months – including a new logo and new slogan and a focus on giving the Emerald Triangle craft beer product line its own unique identity. Summer in the Triangle is a celebration of the culmination of these efforts. With the Double IPA being released in bottles and on draft in May 2016 and a gold medal for the Pale Ale at the 2016 Los Angeles International Beer Competition, the Emerald Triangle line is coming into its own. Eel River is proud to release the newest in this line, the “707” – a crisp, refreshing beer, well-suited for the Northern California lifestyle.

Eel River Brewing is excited to host some of Humboldt County’s favorite reggae acts for Summer in the Triangle. Ishi Dube along with fellow artist Jah Sun, co-founded the network of reggae artists called, Lioncamp. Nigerian born and former Femi Kuti drummer, Ju Drum will kick off the live music at 1:30pm.

This event is open to all ages. Those 21 years of age or older will be required to show a valid ID to purchase beer. Chef Dave will be working Eel River’s famous smoker and serving up barbecue plates. There will be games, a tie-dye booth and plenty of room for dancing. Guests are invited to bring their own chairs. Eel River Brewing branded camping chairs will be available inside for purchase. No pets allowed. Parking will be available on site.

For more information, please call 707.725.BREW or find the event on Facebook.

Posted on June 24, 2016 .

Six Rivers Brewery Raises Money for Local Children and Animals

by Becky Mosgofian

Fatima Naylor (center), Board President of Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) receives a check for $3,879 from the proceeds of Six Rivers Brewery's Third Annual Ales for Autism from brewery owners Talia Nachshon (L) and Meredith Maier-Ripley (R)

Fatima Naylor (center), Board President of Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) receives a check for $3,879 from the proceeds of Six Rivers Brewery's Third Annual Ales for Autism from brewery owners Talia Nachshon (L) and Meredith Maier-Ripley (R)

Whether brewing up a specialty beer for charity or hosting a month-long fundraiser, Six Rivers Brewery is always finding creative ways to give back to our community.

“This was our third year hosting Ales for Autism for Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN). With the help of our generous patrons we raised nearly $3,900, bringing our fundraising total to almost $16,000 in three years,” said Meredith Maier-Ripley, co-owner of Six Rivers Brewery.

FAAN is a non-profit organization that improves opportunities for growth and development of individuals diagnosed with autism, and provides support and guidance to the education system for special needs of children on the autism spectrum while advocating for individuals with autism in Humboldt County.

"On behalf of our organization, we are beyond blessed to have the support of Meredith and Talia of Six Rivers Brewery by our side.  With their support and other local businesses, FAAN raised over $20,000 for the month of April in honor of autism awareness month," said Fatima Naylor, board president of FAAN.

Money raised will be used to help fund the organization's equine and water therapy programs, parent support group and sensory screenings. Learn more at www.humboldtfaan.org.

Six Rivers Brewery’s owners and staff are also huge animal advocates. The business is holding its second annual fundraiser, Hip to Snip, which runs through June.

“So many animals need loving homes in this community. We are excited to have adoptable pets from local rescues hanging out on the brewery’s patio every Saturday and Sunday this month as part of Hip to Snip,” said Talia Nachshon, co-owner of Six Rivers Brewery.

The brewery is also donating one dollar from every pint sold of Hammond Trail “Altered Ale” all month long toward Nor Cal Pet Rescue Center’s Spay and Neuter Fund. A Pelican Odyssey 100X Kayak and paddle will also be raffled off. Tickets are available at the brewery or Nor Cal Pet for $5 each or three for $10. The raffle drawing and Hip to Snip close-out party will be June 25th at the brewery and will feature Humboldt’s Dash and Splash Pool, adoptable dogs, low-cost microchipping and a dog friendly beer garden. Learn more at: sixriversbrewery.com.

Posted on June 21, 2016 .

Six Rivers Brewery

by Megan Wade

A brew for every 'tude

Parenting is an art form. You are the unsung hero of near disasters and narrowly escaped temper tantrums. For you, each day brings an onslaught of challenges from your adorable monster. Here at Six Rivers Brewery, we are in your corner. Through years of highly scientific research and development, we have created the perfect beers to get you through your most eventful parenting moments.

1. Weatherman Wheat pairs perfectly with your child’s attempts at becoming the next Warren Buffett. On the rare occasion that Humboldt County decides to approach a temperature greater than 60 degrees, break out the lemonade stands people! As your young one diligently waits for their next customer with a perfectly mixed pitcher of store bought lemonade from 3 summers ago, you crack open a Weatherman Wheat. Served with a lemon slice on the glass, this light, crisp and malt forward cool class of heaven is exactly what you need in your hand while you fervently text any and all able bodied souls to drive past your house and shell out 25 cents for a 2 oz pour of lemonade. Don’t worry though, you’ve got the good stuff hidden in the cooler underneath your child’s first attempt at corporate world domination.

2.  Sasquatch Double IPA provides the perfect escape from dreaded parent-teacher conferences. 80% of the time your kid is an angel. So, on those oh so wonderful parent-teacher conference days, when you get to hear about the other 20%...crack open a ‘squatch. Sitting across from your child’s teacher is a necessary evil, neither the teacher nor you want to be there. You’ve both either heard or said, “*insert name here* is very…er…enthusiastic” at least 10 times, you get it. Open our Sasquatch Double IPA because you’ve made it through middle school flash backs of trips to the principal’s office, or perhaps before…hey, who are we to judge. You, do you.

3. Macadamia Nut Porter goes with mind numbing television.  Its 8:10pm and you’ve already missed the opening moments of Dancing with The Stars, but the kids are finally in bed. Now you and your partner in crime can finally relax. So grab the remote, grab a Macadamia Nut Porter and treat yourself. You made it through another day, celebrate the little things. Our Porter is just what the doctor ordered after a long day, when all you want to do is turn your brain off. The nutty twist on Six Rivers Moonstone Porter not only lends itself to a few hours of mind numbing television but also goes great with Beer Kissed’s Black ‘n Tan cookies. I mean, if you earned a night cap…then go all out! Beer, cookies, and a few moments of tranquility with your loved one…heaven.

4. Hammond Trail Ale for a day with the family.  North California is home to some of the longest stretches of untouched coastline in the world. Spectacular ocean-side bluffs, beaches, rolling hills, and redwood groves are right outside your window. One of the best places to take your family to enjoy our beautiful coastline is Hammond Trail, and what better way to appreciate the trail than with Six Rivers Hammond Trail Ale. This smooth and flavorful ale deserves to be cracked open while you watch the kids play in the surf and the dog chase sand flies. Cheers to Northern California!

Rosies

5. Chili Pepper Ale pairs with sleep deprivation.  What is sleep? When was the last time you slept 8 hours? Between your partner snoring, bed wetting, nightmares, and the dogs wanting in, then out, then in, and out again you’ve managed to perfect the art of sleep deprivation. For the days when 5 o’clock feels like midnight and you’ve still got dinner to cook, homework to help with, and kids to chase into bed, reach for a Chili Pepper Ale. The secret blend of fresh and fire roasted chilies will give you the kick start you’re looking for.

6. Rosie’s Strawberry Wheat for a week at grandma and grandpa’s house. Dropping the kids at grandma and grandpas for the weekend is like spring break for parents. No stressing because you know your parents can handle it, I mean they raised you and you turned out just fine. When the kids are gone the adults will play! Take a trip to Six Rivers Brewery and toast to your free weekend with their seasonal beer; Rosie’s Strawberry Wheat. It’s a Six Rivers summer staple and always hits the spot. Join the friends you never have time to see anymore out on the deck for corn hole and the sunset. You’ve earned it.

So there you have it, Six Rivers’ battle tested guide to pairing beer and parenting. Remember to always drink, and parent, responsibly…though not always in that order. Cheers!  

Posted on June 1, 2016 .

Briceland Vineyards: Celebrating 30 Years of Organic Growth

by Andrew Morris, Winemaker

Join us for the Release of our 30th Vintage, Memorial Day Weekend Open House Tasting on Facebook or on our Website

In 1985, my mother Maggie Carey and stepfather Joe Collins founded Briceland Vineyards as a bonded commercial winery.  It grew out of the back to the land movement and their vision to make quality wine with their friends from locally farmed, sustainable/organic grapes and offer it at a fair price so that friends could afford to drink it.  Though the formal beginning of the winery was in 1985, the story starts in the mid 70’s as they experimented with beer making, fruit wines and then home winemaking with grapes.  In 1977, Collins planted vines and started collecting temperature data.  At that time, there were a couple of existing vineyards in the county, but none in commercial production.  Local wisdom was that it was too wet and cold to grow grapes in Humboldt County.  The temperature measurements taken by recording the high and low each day between April 1 and the end of October on our front porch showed that it was slightly warmer in Briceland than Burgundy that same year.  I often joke - “So we all concluded…  I guess you can’t grow grapes in Burgundy either.”

Starting before the winery was commercial in 1983, Collins helped several friends lay out and plant small vineyards on nearby hillsides.  In this article on AppellationAmerica.com, there is more background.  Production started small.  Only a few hundred cases were produced in the early years, most of which came from Lake and Mendocino County Vineyards as we waited for the newly planted Humboldt Vineyards to reach full production.  Several of these early Humboldt Vineyards continue to produce some of our most delicious and well received wines. Slow, steady growth continued until production and sales reached around 1500 cases per year in the early 2000’s.  Since Collins was self employed as an architect, he had the freedom to devote his energy to winemaking when needed and gradually build up production in response to consumer demand.  Supply and demand remained in balance as Collins refined his winemaking and kept a close eye on how his wines were received the market.  This differs from many startups that are pressed by economics to produce large volumes and find a market for them.  

In 2008, my wife Rosie and I, along with our daughter Stella, moved up to Southern Humboldt to work in the winery and help Maggie and Joe retire.  I grew up in Briceland at the winery and attended UCSB and UC Davis.  I returned to UC Davis to study winemaking through the Extension Program there before I apprenticed with my folks to learn the ins and outs of Briceland’s winemaking, winery operations, and compliance.  In 2011, Rosie and I began the process of buying the winery and my childhood home from my folks.  Since our first vintage in 1985, Briceland’s wines have earned dozens of awards in prestigious competitions around the state.  In recent years, the Humboldt Pinot Noirs have earned accolades including numerous top reviews and scores ranging from 90-95 points.  

While our list of fans from around the country is growing, the vast majority of our wines are still sold and consumed inside Humboldt County.  On a Tuesday morning, I send out an email to our list of ongoing store and restaurant customers.  There are a few who I need to call.  On Thursday, we load up the truck and it heads north to stock stores and restaurants from Fortuna to McKinleyville, most of which have carried our wines for 20 years or more.  Our strong local reputation supports our growth outside the area.  So do wine review websites like PrinceofPinot.com, and Cellartracker.com.  With the addition of organically grown fruit from the Orleans area in Northeastern Humboldt, our production has increased to around 2000 cases.  With a small increase in outside the area sales, supply and demand remain in balance.

Posted on May 20, 2016 .

Scotch Caramel CAB Wrap

by Megan Wade

Interested in a healthy and simple way to stimulate all your taste buds? This recipe is straight from the creative kitchen at Six Rivers Brewery. A unique and tasty take on classic grilled chicken wraps; it features Beer Kissed’s Scotch Porter Caramel Sauce, and will leave your stomach smiling!

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

4 grilled, chopped 4-6oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 chopped tart apple 

8 slices cooked, chopped bacon

1/4 C warmed scotch ale caramel

1 1/2 C shredded green leaf lettuce 

1 C shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 C diced red onion

4 10" flour tortillas

.... Sriracha to taste

Serves: 4

Directions:  It’s extremely complex, pay close attention…. Warm the tortillas. Divide remaining ingredients between the tortillas, roll, and enjoy!

Note: Beer Kissed’s Scotch Porter Caramel Sauce is made with Mad River Brewing Steelhead Scotch Porter

Posted on April 26, 2016 .

Sun Valley Floral Farm

Sun Valley Floral

By Nora Mounce

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The coastal pastures northwest of Arcata are home to grazing cows, colorful Victorians and narrow, bumpy roads leading to the ocean. Blending easily with the bucolic scenery, a yellow farmhouse sits surrounded by acres of greenhouses – this is the humble home of Sun Valley, America’s largest cut flower farm. Since the first Dutch-style glass greenhouse was built on the farm in 1982, under the recommendation of today’s company CEO and President, Lane DeVries, Sun Valley Flower Farm has quietly, yet steadily grown their operations on Upper Bay Road. DeVries, who first immigrated from Holland to Oregon for a job growing lilies, signed on with Sun Valley after researching Humboldt’s climate. With an average temperature spread from 51°- 61° F, Arcata has one of the narrowest diurnal ranges in the country, a moderate climate that DeVries knew to be perfect for growing tulips and other bulb flowers. After joining the farm as greenhouse manager in 1983, DeVries purchased Sun Valley in 1991 with the help of two Dutch business partners, kick-starting an era of prosperity for the business. Today, the bulk of Sun Valley’s production is still the colorful trio of lilies, irises and tulips, but the company has purchased satellite farmland in Oxnard, California and continues to diversify their greenhouses with new colors and varieties of flowers.

 

Since Humboldt Made’s creation in 2009, Sun Valley has been a partner member and vital supporter of Humboldt Made. DeVries, who travels often for business, had been advocating for a collaborative marketing group to represent Humboldt grown products for years. Though eager to help Humboldt Made, Sun Valley’s Marketing Communication Specialist, Bill Prescott, is quick to mention how Humboldt Made is important in tying the flower farm to the local community. While Sun Valley has generously mentored several Humboldt Made businesses, a key advantage to membership, Prescott explains how the relationship between Sun Valley, the community and Humboldt Made is mutually beneficial. Humboldt Made has been instrumental in connecting Sun Valley to talented local professionals, such as photographer Amy Kumler and filmmaker Malcolm DeSoto, who Sun Valley utilized for successful marketing campaigns. In Prescott's own words, he reiterates the underlying Humboldt Made mission that, “Rising tides float all boats.” In short, the success of one Humboldt business is good for the economic vitality of the entire region.

“Rising tides float all boats.”
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When speaking about economic health, conversations about environmental impact and conservation are never far behind. Years before local or sustainable became household names, Sun Valley had been a leader of environmental responsibility in the flower market. As 80% of cut flowers sold in the United States are grown in South America, where environmental regulations are far less stringent, Prescott illustrates how there is little competition for a more sustainably grown stem than Sun Valley flowers. The farm is certified annually by multiple third-party regulating agencies such as Bloom Check and Veriflora. Such agencies award certifications to farms like Sun Valley for being in compliance with sustainability checks like ecosystem management, resource conservation, integrated waste management and energy efficiency.


This March, Sun Valley hosted a "Field-to-Vase" farm dinner, showcasing Eel River Organic grass-fed beef and local produce, prepared by Folie Deuce and Café Brio of Arcata, alongside wine from local artisan producer, Stargazer Barn and beer from Six Rivers Brewery. Dinner was served on one long, white table festooned with rightly bouquets of Sun Valley flowers. Rows, upon rows of tulips encircled the dinner guests as they honored the edible abundance of Humboldt County. Guests came from as far as Florida to literally dine among the tulips and enjoy great food, wine, flowers, and conversation. Stunning images of the feast, taken by photographer Amy Kumler, capture the elusive power and beauty of flowers, honoring their role in Humboldt’s agrarian landscape. With the diverse array of products grown behind the Redwood Curtain, Sun Valley Flower Farms reminds us that local flowers can sit on the dinner table every night.

Posted on April 12, 2016 .

Tlahtolli Audio: A 'Humble-oldt' Beginning

I’m Johnny Zhivago, and this is the first entry into a series detailing the progress of my research, development, and sales of boutique audio electronic products. Join me as I design and build and contemplate. I will share the creative output of those who use my products. Tlahtolli is quickly becoming a ‘tribe’ of musicians and audio engineers.

Recently, I have been finalizing custom [recording studio grade] condenser microphone designs inspired by the classic cold-war era circuits from Germany and Russia, but built with modern audiophile and aero-space grade components.

Something that intrigues me is the expression of culture thru electronics. Limitations of resources or the legacy of national scientist or international trade deals can all have a subtle effect on the problem solving and design execution within a society. Microphones are a perfect example of this cultural phenomenon.

(L-R Lika, Mila, Ilsa, and Gretta)

(L-R Lika, Mila, Ilsa, and Gretta)

Lika and Mila are inspired by classic cold war era Russian designs. Ilsa and Gretta are inspired by classic German cold war era designs.

Emma - a ribbon microphone in the American/British tradition. Emma has an added phantom powered preamp coupled to a transformer to increase volume levels to modern low noise standards.

WHAT DOES TLAHTOLLI MEAN ANYWAY?

Tlahtolli or [tlà-tōlli] 1. is a Nahtual (Proto-Aztec) word meaning sacred breath or human life-force as expressed by word, speech, language, and song.* Tlahtolli is also the origin of the cartoon thought bubble as frequently represented in the few remaining codex and most modern comic books.

2. A perfect word to describe “my brand” which seeks to find a balance between the world of high technology and the self-expression of the individual as an artist, musician, pod-caster. If you’ve got something to share with the world we are there to help you!

Note: Avacado, chili, peyote, cocoa, and tomato are all words with Nahtual origin. There are many in the modern English language.

*Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 3: Literatures, edited by Victoria Reifler Bricker, Munro S. Edmonson; Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred Healing Powers by Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, Christian Rätsch
Codex Borbonicus

Codex Borbonicus

Next month I'll discuss the unique challenges that miniaturization brings and my new affiliation with Humboldt Made.

Posted on April 5, 2016 .