In the late seventies Brew Master Bob Smith, founder of the HOMEBREWERS Guild, dreamed of opening a small brewery specializing in craft beers. Excursions to buy brewing supplies led Bob to Ken Grossman’s Homebrew Shop in Chico, California. After Ken shared his plans to build Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Bob became determined to build a craft brewery in Humboldt County.
In 1989 construction began on what we know as Mad River Brewing Co. nestled in Humboldt County adjacent to the Mad River in Blue Lake, CA. During this start up year the locals enjoyed a good number of amazing brews as Bob and his small crew experimented and created the awesomeness we drink today.
Production and sales continued to grow and in December, 1990 the first weekly deliveries of Mad River Steelhead draft reached the local taverns. Within the next two months Mad River had purchased Sierra Nevada’s bottling line they had outgrown and Steelhead Extra Pale Ale was bottled and distributed throughout Humboldt County.
The brewery has always been about the beer and the hard working people that show up for work every day to produce the best handcrafted ales to share with family, friends and the rest of the world! Their dedication to Mad River’s Mission statement, “to produce the highest quality craft beer possible” has brought them to their third decade of production. There have been many changes in the last two decades, but one thing that never changes is the quality of the beer that this little plant on Taylor Way brews every day