Mendocino Brewing Company

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Mendocino Brewing Company
IndustryAlcoholic beverage
HeadquartersUkiah, California, US
OwnerVijay Mallya, UB Group

Mendocino Brewing Company (OTCQBMENB) is a brewery founded in 1983 as the Hopland Brewery in the Mendocino County town of Hopland, California. The brewery expanded and moved its operations to a larger Mendocino County facility located in Ukiah, California in 1997.


The Hopland Brewery was founded in 1983 by homebrewers Michael Laybourn and Norman Franks who purchased the brewing equipment of the closed New Albion Brewing Company. Former New Albion brewers, Jack McAuliffe and Don Barkley, were hired to operate the brewery.[1] The flagship beer was named Red Tail Ale, named after both the beer's color and also a local hymn titled "The Redtail Hawk".[1] The company continued to name all its beer varieties after birds.

Opened on August 14, 1983, the Hopland Brewery was the first California brewpub ‒ a brewery licensed to sell both its own beer and food at the same location ‒ as well as the second in the United States.[1][2][3]

In 2014, Northwest Labor Press listed Mendocino Brewing as the only unionized craft brewery they could find. The Ukiah facility is represented by the Teamsters.[4]

Mendocino Brewing Company ceased operations in January 2018. In March 2019, investors and several former employees announced that they had re-started operations and brewed Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk for limited, local distribution.[5]

Public offering[edit]

In 1994, the company went public in a direct public offering, advertising its share offering with flyers in six-packs of its beer.[6] In 1997, Vijay Mallya, owner of the UB Group, bought a significant portion of the company,[7] and was the beneficial owner of approximately three-quarters of the company's stock.[8]


The company's beers include Red Tail Ale, Blue Heron Pale Ale, Eye of the Hawk Select Ale, and Black Hawk Stout, as well as several other regular offerings, and various short-run seasonal offerings. Their products are all named for birds of prey, except Blue Heron, and feature images of the birds on their labels.

As part of the acquisition by UB Group, the company owns a brewery in Saratoga Springs, New York, and produces Kingfisher brand beers for the U.S. market.


The brewery is also the official sponsor of the Mendocino Steam Donkeys Rugby Football Club, a local men's Division III rugby union team.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ogle, Maureen (2006). Ambitious Brew: the story of American beer. Orlando: Harcourt. pp. 306–08. ISBN 0-15-101012-9.
  2. ^ Acitelli, Tom (2011). "New York's Beer Debt to California". New York Observer. Retrieved 2011-05-17.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Virgin, Bill (March 2, 2006). "Grant's brewpub leaves legacy to drink to". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  4. ^ McIntosh, Don (29 July 2014). "A quest to find Union Beer". Northwest Labor Press. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ Brodsky, Carole (2019-03-21). "Red Tail, 2.0: Bringing the beer back to the people of Mendocino County". Ukiah Daily Journal. Ukiah, California. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  6. ^ Client Summaries - Mendocino Brewing Company
  7. ^ Mendocino Brewing Company - Company History Archived 2006-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ SEC Info - Mendocino Brewing Co Inc - DEF 14A - For 10/4/02
  9. ^ "Mendocino Rugby Football Club | Steam Donkey Rugby | Giving Blood since 2006". Retrieved 2019-02-21.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°7′33.74″N 123°12′1.9″W / 39.1260389°N 123.200528°W / 39.1260389; -123.200528