The North Coast’s evocative coastline and foggy, redwood-studded interior is a perfect setting for a local brew. And from Boonville to Eureka and everywhere in between, beer is waiting to be sampled. Consider following this “beer-cation” itinerary from the North Coast Tourism Council, or create your own from the list below.
Start at Ukiah Brewing Company, “America’s first organic brewpub,” and taste one of its dozen or so organic brews on tap in its pub. Just south in Booneville, Anderson Valley Brewing Company has been satisfying locals since 1987, especially with its Boont Amber and Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. The company names its brews in a local, mostly forgotten dialect called Boontling. So take a chance on one of the oddly monikered taps and let out a hearty “Bahl hornin’!” (Cheers!)
In McKinleyvillle, Humboldt Regeneration Brewery & Farm focuses on organic and sustainable practices, and was confirmed by the California Craft Brewers Association to be the first brewery in the state to grow, malt, roast, and brew with their own ingredients since Prohibition. A pet- and family-friendly tap room has more than 20 beers. The town is also home to Six Rivers Brewery, where the focus is on small-batch English-style ales and porters.
On the coast, Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewing Company, founded in 1988, is a must-stop, especially for award-winning Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. Humboldt County’s lumber-industry past is immortalized in Eureka at Lost Coast Brewing and in Fortuna at Eel River Brewing: both are housed in the remnants of old lumber mills. Not far from them, in sleepy Blue Lake, are the craft beer vets (in business since 1989) at Mad River Brewing; their John Barleycorn Barleywine and Serious Madness Black Ale are local favorites.