Back in 1983, in a small Californian hamlet appropriately called Hopland, the Mendocino Brewing Co. was born. Using equipment and staff from Sonoma-based New Albion Brewing which closed a year earlier, the brewery was the first brewpub in California and only the second in the entire US since Prohibition. It quickly established a name for itself and people travelled from across the state to visit the pub.
By the end of 1983 they were producing 400 barrels plus the “World’s Largest 6-Pack” featuring 6 magnums of their flagship Red Tail beer.
The brewery continued to expand and in 1997, the company was purchased by Dr. Vijay Mallya, a global entrepreneur and head of the UB Group which amongst other things owns the Kingfisher brand of lager. With Mallaya’s expertise, the company’s revenues grew from $3.6 million to roughly $25 million within 6 years of the acquistion. In the late 1990’s, the brewery moved to new facilities in nearby Ukiah, CA.
Location and Interior
The brewery continued to use the original Hopland brewpub until 2010 and on June 2nd, 2011, a new pub was opened in Ukiah. Located on Airport Blvd, just a short distance from the brewery, the pub features the full selection of ales, food and merchandise.
The modern building is located amongst other retail buildings and consists of one large room plus a seating area outside. The interior is modern with a large bar the full selection of their beers along with Kingfisher lager.
I visited on a weekday in September shortly after opening time and as you’d expect I was the only one there but speaking to the barmaid she did say that due to the Ale House’s location it hadn’t quite taken off. A little advertising would help encourage more to visit.
The full selection of beer is available including their Red Tail Ale and Lager, Blue Heron Pale, White Hawk IPA and Black Hawk Stout. As with most brewpubs, taster trays are available and it’s the best way of trying all on offer.
More Photos of the Mendocino Brewing Co., Ale House
Mendocino Brewing Co., Ale House
1252 Airport Park Boulevard
Ukiah, CA, 95482
Tel: (707) 467-2337
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