Humboldt Regeneration Brewery

If you happen to be in Humboldt County in northern California and you see a sign for McKinleyville, do yourself a favor and take the exit. Google Humboldt Regeneration and plug the address into your GPS. Then follow it to a nondescript business park. Wander around in there until you see the brewery tucked into a small industrial space.

Inside you will find a couple of guys making some pretty great beers. Ok, there are a LOT of great independent breweries around. So what makes these guys special? They are making beer from ingredients they grow and process themselves. I'll let their web site describe it:

Humboldt Regeneration is proud to be the first brewery in Humboldt County to use home grown ingredients. Our beer farm is located down the road from the brewery in McKinleyville, California. The farm has several acres of Radiant Barley, interplanted with red clover. The hop yard is currently planted with Cascade, Centennial, Zeus, Mt. Hood, Magnum and Nugget hops.The farm uses sustainable agricultural practices including: companion planting, bio-intensive crop rotation, organic soil building techniques, mulch gardening, dry farming, and no till soil management.

Inside the brewery you will find an area where they allow the barley to sprout, and a small kiln (a converted grill) where they dry the barley. That's right. They MALT THEIR OWN GRAIN.

They also barrel age some of their beers. This, of course, is a good thing.

They sell beer by the glass and also in growlers. They have some nifty pressurized growlers available that will keep the beer super fresh and ready to drink. They are literally a community supported brewery - members of the community buy shares that entitle them to a weekly growler fill for one, three, or six months. I would love to see more local nano-breweries adopt this model.

These guys are making really good beer, and doing it in a way that gives them control over all their ingredients. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi. In the meantime, you can find them on their web site and on their Facebook page.