Report: Mendocino Brewing Co. Halts Production

Another large, legacy craft brewer appears to be in financial trouble.

According to an article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Mendocino Brewing Co. of Ukiah, California, has halted production and fired its sales force. Distributors have reportedly stopped receiving shipments from this legendary brewery.

Mendocino Brewing is among the country’s original craft brewers. Founded in 1983 as Hopland Brewery by homebrewer friends in Mendocino County, the producer eventually grew so successful that the staff became unionized, and the brewer went public in 1994. Its flagship beer was Red Tail Ale, and all other beers have also taken names from birds.

When the brewery opened in 1983 with a license to sell both its own beers and food onsite, it became California’s first brewpub. This location, the Mendocino Brewing Ale House, operated until January of this year, when it closed down.

The current majority owner of Mendocino Brewing is the beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

This news comes just weeks after fellow-legacy craft brewer Smuttynose Brewing was forced into auction due to poor sales performance. Craft beer sales have slowed somewhat in recent time, while the overall U.S. beer market is slipping.

Kyle Swartz is managing editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece 11 Trends Defining Craft Beer in 2018.

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