Lost Coast Brewery
|Headquarters||Eureka, California, United States|
|~75,000 US barrels per year|
Lost Coast Brewery is an award-winning brewery in Eureka, California, USA, which produces year-round and seasonal products based on the owners' experience and research on English beers. The brewery expanded production from zero to 60,000 barrels between 1990 and 2011; a larger production facility under construction in 2014 will permit expansion to 200,000 to 600,000 barrels annually. The label of one of their products caused an international uproar and a lawsuit claiming damages from the imagery was ruled in favor of the brewery under First Amendment rights of free speech. After winning the court case, the company changed the label to prevent future problems. In 2012, the brewery ranked 38th in the nation for beer production by volume.
Lost Coast Brewery is unusual in the male-dominated world of brewing because it was founded by two women; it is one of only two female-owned breweries in Humboldt County, the other is Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville.
Lost Coast Brewery founders Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom developed the idea in 1986 and spent three years on research and development including visits to English and Welsh pubs, home experimentation and refining their techniques. In 1989, they bought the Fraternal Order of the Knights of Pythias Pythian Castle and opened the brewery and pub there in 1990. The brewery outgrew the original location and moved to a larger building in Eureka in 1994, where by 2011, they produced 60,000 barrels of beer which made it the 46th largest brewery in the U.S., even though they only distributed in 19 states at that time.
In 2012, the U.S. Brewers Association named Lost Coast Brewery one of the top 50 (by volume) craft and overall breweries and listed it as number 38 on their nationwide ranking. In 2012, following a decade of nearly 20 percent per annum growth, Lost Coast Brewery employed 80 people and embarked on a $15 million new free-standing facility in Eureka, on a 9.3 acres (3.8 ha) site. The plan will allow them to open a facility that will allow the company to produce between 200,000 and 600,000 barrels annually. When finished, the brewery will have newer and larger equipment as well as be open for visitors for the first time. It is expected to bring in $150,000 in sales tax per year.
In 2013, Lost Coast Brewery distributed beer to 21 states and 11 nations.
Lost Coast brews both year-round and seasonal beers.
- Downtown Brown was the first beer distributed by Lost Coast Brewery. It's a lightly hopped dark malt ale, without the brawny taste of a more robust beer. From 1997 through 2000, Downtown Brown was voted the number one beer in the Time Standard Reader’s Choice Awards as well as first place at the 2000 West Coast Beer Fest. In 2002, Downtown Brown received a gold medal at the LA County Fair and another gold in 2003 at the California State Fair.
- Great White is an unfiltered, Belgian Witbier. Its base is malted barley and unmalted wheat with citrus and Humboldt county herbs. In 2002 and 2003, Lost Coast’s Great White Ale was a silver medalist at the California State Fair.
- Alleycat Amber is a burgundy-orange ale with a sweet aroma, a caramel flavor, and slight bitterness. At the 1997 California Brewer’s Fest, the AlleyCat Amber won both a gold medal and Best in Show. At the California State Fair in 1999 and 2002, AlleyCat was the Bronze Medal beer.
- 8-Ball Stout is a robust ale where malts are roasted like coffee beans to give the beer its color and flavor. This stout was a two-time gold medalist at the Los Angeles County Fair in 2004 and 2005. It also won silver medals at the California State Fair in 2002 and 2003.
- Indica India Pale Ale is a combination of hops, herbs, and citrus flavors. The flavor is immense and creamy, with an alcoholic kick. Indica India Pale Ale was recognized as one of the World’s "Must Taste Beers" in the 2003 "All About Beer Magazine". The label design caused religious controversy that dates to 2004. A lawsuit on the design went to the California Supreme Court which decided the label was protected by free speech. The design was subsequently modified slightly; despite which the controversy has been discussed by the Parliament of India and resulted in dozens of angry complaints since. The beer itself has won many awards including a gold medals at the Los Angeles County Fair (2004), at the Humboldt County Fair (2001, 2003, 2006) and second place at the California State Fair (2012).
- Lost Coast Pale Ale is an American-style pale ale with a fusion of hop and malt flavor. Lost Coast Brewery blended a combination of Munich, Chinook and Cascade hops into this ale. The Lost Coast Pale Ale scored a 90 on the 1999 Beer Lovers Buying Guide and was a silver medalist at the 2002 California State Fair.
- Raspberry Brown is Lost Coast Brewery’s Downtown Brown with an infusion of raspberry and chocolate malt flavor. In 2003, the Raspberry Brown was voted best in California by the United States Beer Tasting Championships.
- Tangerine Wheat is a wheat beer flavored with a dash of lemon. According to the Los Angeles Times, it is a “charming outdoor sipper as the weather warms, and it has real potential as a food beer”.
- Winterbraun is Lost Coast Brewery’s seasonal "winter warmer." This ale has a mild sweetness due to the Saaz hops, and chocolate and caramel malts that are added at the end of the brewing process. This seasonal beer is only available two months out of the year: November and December. Winterbraun placed second in the 1998 World Beer Championship.
- Double Trouble IPA is a seasonal beer which contains a large amount of hops.
- The other seasonals may include Apricot Wheat, Humboldt Nation Stout, Harvest Wheat, Wheatbock, Barley Wine (Gold Medal, California State Fair 2002), Barrel of Monkeys (Silver Medal, California State Fair 2002), and Watermelon Wheat.
- Richey, David, California Craft Brewing Industry: An Economic Impact Study, California Craft Brewers Association, 2012, pages 18-19, accessed January 16, 2014
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- Lost Coast Brewery, Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2014
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- Jay R. Brooks (1 August 2013). California Breweries North. Stackpole Books. pp. 242–. ISBN 978-0-8117-1158-6.
- Lost Coast Brewery: Our Story and Beers, Lost Coast Brewery, 2014
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- Awards, Lost Coast Brewery, 2014
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- Beer of the week: Lost Coast Watermelon Wheat, Miami Herald, November 7, 2013, accessed January 16, 2014
- Team Lost Coast Brewery, 2013, accessed January 16, 2014