A recent trip to California to go camping in Redwood National Park also gave me the opportunity to visit some breweries in a new state. With the town of Eureka not far away I was able to visit the largest brewery I have reviewed so far, Lost Coast Brewery. I’ve had several of their beers before and enjoyed what I have tried, so I was excited to stop in. Sadly, their brand new main brewing facility and tap room were closed however their original location downtown (more of a brew-pub but where it all started) was open so we stopped in for dinner and a drink. Grab a pint of Great White, sit back, and enjoy our first California review!
- Beer – Options, options, options abound for beer choices. While hop heavy choices are the mainstay of their tap list, there are some pleasant surprises to be found. In particular, their 8-ball stout was a solid offering for a dark beer and my favorite. There is not much in the way of experimentation, either with grain and hop combinations or other flavor additions but it does not detract from the overall quality of their beer. A little more uniqueness and this score would be higher. Score: 3.5/5
- Brewery – While this was not their fancy new brewery, this was their original facility and restaurant. Located in a 100+ year old building in downtown Eureka, it has a restaurant feel when you walk in, but you can still see the influence of the original tap room in the back. A large bar dominates the ample seating area with several arcade style games and comfy chairs towards the rear of the building. The décor, as my wife put it, looked like a Tiki bar vomited on Halloween. A combination of a giant spider that would ascend and descend as the door was opened and closed with a beach bar feel characterized the interior. After the décor, the next most important aspect was the food, and it did not disappoint. Maybe we were hungry after a long day of driving, but our meals were excellent, and the portion sizes were large. The prices are little on the high side for pub food, but I think that might be the case in all of California. Rounding out the brewery were ample televisions for all manner of sporting events, but I did not see anywhere for live music or evidence that they have it at all at this location. Perhaps they do at the main brewery as it seems they have lots of fundraising events there, but it would have been nice to see it here too since they have much longer hours. Score: 3/5
- Ambiance – Once again, more of a restaurant feel to the place however once you went in the back you got more of the tap room feel. With so many televisions and video games to play, they do a good job of creating a friendly and inviting atmosphere, encouraging you to stay for one more drink after dinner. I enjoyed the feel of the place and appreciated the continuous prank of the spider over the door. We had great seats to watch people jump when they first walk in. It kept things very light-hearted and jovial inside. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – The downtown area of Eureka is probably overlooked by people traveling through, but I highly recommend you walk around it after stopping in at Lost Coast. With plenty of parking around and tons of other fun looking bars and restaurants, not to mention the ocean just a few blocks away, make for an excellent spot to put a brewery. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – Despite it being extremely busy we were seated quickly and had our drinks and food in a timely manner. Our server was fantastic, always checking in with us and making some great suggestions for food. All around top notch customer service here. Score: 4.5/5
Total Score: 18.5/25
Final Thoughts: While I would have loved to see their new facility, I think the brew pub is worth stopping in if you are in the area and the beer/food pairing is wonderful. I recommend ordering the Hot Brown and an 8 Ball Stout while you watch folks jump when the spider by the door scares them. It should provide tons of entertainment while there.