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.

Alanna PowellComment