© Mendocino Brewing Company
It started as a dream... Or maybe a flashback. Back to the days of the hometown brewery…before Prohibition. A time and a place where citizens in towns and districts all over America rallied around beer that was theirs. Beer that was crafted for them, in accordance to their tastes. Beer that was an expression of their lives and passion. This passion, in a tiny tucked away town aptly called Hopland, drove the dream into existence in the humble but intrepid foundation of the Mendocino Brewing Company on August 14th 1983.
The Hopland Brewery was the first brewpub opened in California (2nd in the US) after the repeal of the 18th Amendment (by the 21st Amendment) in 1933. The passion, it seems, was a shared one (currently there are about 1500 craft breweries in operation in the United States). It did not take long for the Hopland Brewery to become a landmark, a point of pilgrimage on famed California Highway 101 (“take the Golden Gate Bridge out of town for 2 hours; the brewery is on the right”).
In December ’83, the brewery rolled out the “World’s Largest 6-
Within 5 years of that first batch of Red Tail, distribution had increased to 300 outlets in Northern California. Red Tail, Blue Heron, and Black Hawk had extended their habitats to 14 states nationally. By 1989, the demand of distributors made plain the need for 12oz bottles.
Putting beer into 12oz bottles was easy enough, but the question of how to adequately
represent not only the beer, but the raptors for which they have been named became
paramount. After searching for an artist with not only the ability to represent
the creature, but with an exceptional grasp of the subtle power of color, Randy Johnson
brought forth the Red Tail, Eye of the Hawk and Black Hawk labels as well as our
Expansion and Growth
By the 1990's, the need for a dramatic expansion became evident. Land was acquired
in Ukiah, CA, the facility remaining near the scenic California 101, just 12 miles
north of the Hopland Brewery. Architects were charged with making the facility appealing
to the eye in its surroundings as well as providing for efficiency and growth in
the interior. A Mission style was chosen and the building is still timeless in its
backdrop of the golden-
It’s been a long strange trip from Hopland in 1983. We’ve trekked from a 1983 production
of about 400 barrels (5500 case equivalent) to the current production of about 75,000
barrels (over one million cases)…from distribution over the bar in Hopland to nearly
nationwide distribution in countless stores, restaurants, bars and tap houses. As
we roll into the second decade of a new century, we’ve come from making a handful
of ales to the manufacture and distribution our Seasonal Releases, the new Imperial
Series, (IPA, Stout & Barleywine) Organic Ale and Lagers (under our Butte Creek Label),
our industry jarring Cast-
It’s here, that we at Mendocino Brewing would like to thank the great list of founders, shareholders, and employees past and present that have kept MBC strong in all kinds of weather. As MBC has grown and changed, we’ve stood on the shoulders of those who came before us.
Moreover, we’d all like to thank the millions of beer enthusiasts (those whose bottoms seem to graft seamlessly to barstools) who have, by their consumption of our beer at the pub, at the game, at meals (or as meals), or at home, have bolstered our passion and carried the dream into the ever expanding future.
Thanks and Here’s to You!