Mendocino County loves beer! And if you do too, there’s plenty to choose from – from the first organic brewpub in the nation, to some of the early pioneers of the microbrew movement, to fantastic pubs and pizzerias with world-class beer lists. Drink up!
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
For the bahlest* brews in town, head to the Tap Room at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. The Tap Room has beers you won’t find outside of the brewery and, if you listen closely, you just might hear some locals harpin’ Boontling. Take a tour of the brewery and learn some of Fal Allen’s (the brewmaster) secrets, have a picnic under the valley oaks, or play a round of disc golf on the brewery’s course. AVBC hosts the Boonville Beer Fest every year so be sure to check their calendar for this lively event!
* That’s “best” to you Brightlighters!
North Coast Brewing Company
A pioneer in the craft beer movement, North Coast Brewing Company opened in 1988 as a local brewpub in the historic town of Fort Bragg, located on California’s north coast in Mendocino County. In addition to Red Seal Ale, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Scrimshaw Pilsner, and other fine North Coast brands, the brewery has resurrected the old Acme label with a heritage dating back to the San Francisco of the 1860s. Take a seat in the Taproom or snag a table in the restaurant; order up some grub and indulge in a flight of sudsy fancy.
Ukiah Brewing Company
Mendocino County is full of “firsts” and the Ukiah Brewing Company holds the distinction of being the very first certified organic brewpub and the second certified organic restaurant in the United States. Located in the heart of Downtown Ukiah, the UBC Brew Crew focuses on “Making Beer, Not War” and creating hearty and robust organic IPAs, lagers, and more, unfiltered and handcrafted in small batches. The pub features great music most weekend nights and on their Tuesday open-mic nights.
The brand new player on the coast is Overtime Brewing tucked on Elm Street just up from the world-renowned Glass Beach. Founded by two longtime beer lovers, this restaurant and pub is the culmination of a lot of dreams and hard work. Creative brews team up with a seasonally changing food menu to give visitors and locals a real taste of the county.
Piazza de Campovida
Your first stop in Hopland is at Piazza de Campovida, which offers fresh small-batch brews handcrafted Oakland’s famed Linden Street Brewery in a convivial setting in the beautiful Sanel Valley area. On a warm day, take a cold brew and head out to the patio where the fountain plays a constant tune and in the early evening, is illuminated by the reflections from the fire pit. Order up a pizza or two, and dinner’s set!
Housed in the building that was home to the first brewpub to open in California following the repeal of Prohibition, the Hopland Tap is a friendly place for Hoplandians and visitors to enjoy. Run by Ron Lindenbusch, who brewed for Lagunitas Brewing for many years, the Tap House serves a fine selection of ales, local wines and great food. The outdoor area is perfect for a lazy afternoon and on weekends, put on your dancing shoes for some rocking music!
Piaci Pub & Pizzeria
Home of the adult pizza in Fort Bragg, Piaci’s also offers a wide selection of brews from around the world, on tap and by the bottle or can. Sit at the bar with the locals and enjoy the chatter about fishing conditions, where the whales are, and the best time to go tide-pooling. There’s nothing quite like freshly baked pizza, one of the best Caesar salads on the coast, and a brewski or two to inspire an afternoon of coastal exploration. Stephen changes up the brews on a regular basis so keep checking back for new ones!
Head for downtown Ukiah to experience brews with an attitude at Cultivo. This lively restaurant serves an outstanding selection of beers and cider on tap that are on regular rotation in addition to wood-fired pizza (are you sensing a beer and pizza theme yet?) and other food selections. Thursday nights are Pint Nights when a particular brewery is the featured pour and the brewmaster is on hand to answer questions.
With its wide selection of beers and ciders on tap, Shanachie Pub is the place to hang out, relax and enjoy the vibe where everyone counts as “local.” The pub features regular live music events and there’s an outdoor seating area for warm summer nights.