As an antidote for all the holiday hustle and bustle, my wife and I decided to take a quick year-end road trip. Of course, to me this means beer trip.
I set my sites on Humboldt County and Southern Oregon, since I haven’t tasted in those regions.
It’s a six hour drive from our house to Eureka, so naturally my first stop was in Healdsburg for lunch at Bear Republic.
I’ve been here several times and it never disappoints.
I love their Brewers Mac & Cheese; what a tasty lunch! I paired it with something different than my usual IPA…I tried their winter warmer Old Saint Chango. Loved the hint of Mexican chocolate.
Bear Republic’s Mac & Cheese
We hit our first Humboldt destination, Eel River Brewing, at 4:20 p.m. (seemed appropriate). There was a lively crowd watching the final 49ers game of regular season.
We chose to treat Humboldt County as a “progressive dinner,” so we ordered an appetizer (potato skins) and a sampler of five beers.
Acai Berry Wheat
California Blonde Ale
Organic Amber Ale
Everything Eel River brews is organic and all tasted fresh. All five beers were good, but the Porter was the best of the bunch.
The crowd at Eel River
My Eel River flight
The next stop was Lost Coast Brewery in the heart of Eureka. This was to be the biggest disappointment of the day.
The restaurant was busy. It’s in an old building and I noticed a variety of odd scents (non-food) as we entered.
We ordered clam chowder and salad here. I decided against the sampler of 10 beers and instead ordered their Indica IPA.
Oddly, I never got my beer! That was a first…going to a beer joint and the beer order disappears. Probably a good thing, as the Lost Coast beers I’ve had in the past have never ranked very high on my list.
We finished our first course and headed on.
The crowd at Lost Coast
My empty coaster at Lost Coast
Next stop: Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake.
This was a nice comfortable pub, a place where a local could hang out and socialize.
No food here, but I sampled five serviceable brews.
Steelhead Extra Pale Ale
Jamaica Brand Sunset IPA
Steelhead Double IPA
Steelhead Extra Stout
The Gimme S’more stout was a treat.
Mad River Brewing
My flight at Mad River Brewing
On to our dinner course at Six Rivers Brewery, the second female-owned brewery in California.
Even though we arrived after 8 p.m. on a Sunday, we had a 45 minute wait. There was a youthful, vocal crowd and it was trivia night.
The service wasn’t as bad as some of the Yelp reviews suggested (although the hostess was a little sour).
We decided to share some nachos with tri tip and I ordered a half flight of beers:
Six Rivers IPA
Sasquatch Double IPA
Hammond Trail Cream Ale
Yule Winter Spiced Ale
I was disappointed by the IPAs. Neither were hoppy at all. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the Yule Ale. It had a enjoyable blend of spices.
The crowd at Six Rivers
My flight at Six Rivers
The enormous nachos!
We booked a room at the historic Eureka Inn.
It’s a cool old hotel, reminiscent of the hotel in The Shining!
Super big rooms but cold as Hell! Bring extra blankets if you stay here in winter. Although, what I found in the nightstand led me to believe they expected us to keep warm another way.
At least it was still in the wrapper!