Though Humboldt County in Northern California may be well-known to some people as the primary home of California’s grey-market cash crop, cannabis, it’s also home to a sophisticated beer culture and plays host to a number of fine breweries and brewpubs. Lost Coast Brewery & Café is one such establishment, and is also notable for being a woman-owned brewery – unusual (but refreshing) in the brewing industry, which is often regarded as a man’s world.
Lost Coast’s story begins in 1986 when founders Barbara Groom and Wendy Pound were bit by the brewing bug and set out on the path to own their own brewery. Years of intensive homebrewing and education ensued. Groom formally studied brewing at UC Davis as well as Chicago’s famed Siebel Institute, and the pair traveled to Britain to visit dozens of pubs across England and Wales. After quitting their day jobs (Groom was a pharmacist and Pound a family counselor), in 1989 they purchased an historic building dating from the late 1800s to serve as their brewpub location in Arcata, CA. They spent the remainder of 1989 and the first half of the next renovating the building, known as Pythian Castle (the former local home of The Fraternal Order of the Knights of Pythias), and installing brewing equipment. Finally, in July 1990, Lost Coast Brewery & Café opened to the public. 1990 proved an excellent time to open a brewery as the American craft brewing renaissance built up a massive head of steam in the ‘90s. Lost Coast grew strong and steady, and by 2000 their brewing operations had outgrown the Pythian Castle location. A larger building was acquired nearby in Eureka, CA to house a larger brewing system.
To learn more about the brewery, their brewpub, or their very solid lineup of beers, visit them at www.lostcoast.com
or give ‘em a ring at (707) 445-4484. And, if you’ve ever considered a drive along the northern California coast (Route 101), do it. The mixture of gorgeous ocean views and awe-inspiring redwood forests is amazing, and then when you reach Eureka you can enjoy the inviting atmosphere, great food, and well-crafted beer of Lost Coast Brewery.