Eel River Brewing Co.

Eel River Brewing Co.Eel River Brewing Co.
Eel River Brewing Co.Eel River Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1777 Alamar Way
Fortuna, California, 95540
United States

(707) 725-2739 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 36 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of VashonGuy
VashonGuy from Washington

3.61/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

This is a pleasant brewery, with an outdoor garden (complete with horseshoe pit). The vibe is very mellow - what else would you expect for Humboldt County? There's a good selection of beers. None of the beers we had were outstanding, but they were all at least OK. The food was also OK without being exceptional.

This isn't a beer geek's destination, but it's worth a stop if (like us) you are driving along 101 and looking for a place to eat with some decent craft beer.

Sep 25, 2015
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Brolo75 from California

4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Visited on a Saturday evening, lots of people, good food, and excellent service. My family and I ordered food and I had a couple of their beers. I really enjoyed their blond ale and the Emerald Triangle IPA was okay. The customer service was really good as well but the beer and food quality is not on par with other breweries I have visited.

Aug 20, 2015
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good food, so very busy. Still, staff was friendly and knowledgable. Huge nachos. Bar was packed. Try to sample all 12 beers on tap, then take home a growler - all are available.

May 28, 2015
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

V: Local, friendly, families, relaxed, talkative.
Q: Beer is ok. Organic good. The IPA too thin, not sticky or interesting enough.
S: Excellent, friendly, engaging, fast.
Sel: Too few beers, oysters too small.
F: Solid k-babs, oysters ok, salad excellent. Well prepared.
Value: $$ Reasonable

Happy hour with organic pints.

You could bring your family here. Friendly place.

Near Humboldt Redwoods and the Avenue of the Giants!

Jan 30, 2015
Photo of RedHeadAle
RedHeadAle from California

5/5  rDev +22%

Great place, any time of year. The food is outstanding, the brews are out of this world, and the staff is always happy and hoppy!! ps. Love the Cats!!

Sep 05, 2014
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sierrrita from California

4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Great selection of organic beers here. The food is AMAZING and features a lot of seafood. The vibe is very local, lots of loggers and farmers are hanging out every time I visit. I just tried their new citra hopped rye when I was there last, forget the name but it was great! Almost a summer beer but tasted so good because of the hot dry weather we've been having.

Feb 02, 2014
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colonelforbin from California

3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This place looks it has been around for a while. Nice long bar inside and a bunch of tables spread throughout the rest of the place. Inside is a restaurant, aside from the bar. Nice enough atmosphere, seems like a lot of local families visit this place. A handful of TVs dot the restaurant/bar area.

Had 12 or so beers on tap when I was there, including a few barrel aged versions of some of their regular beers. Nothing really stood out too much. Pretty pedestrian beers by and large. The Raven's Eye Imperial Stout was OK and the barrel aged offerings were nice to try. Wouldn't call it mediocre, but nothing too special.

Service was fine, nothing out of the ordinary.

Decent atmosphere, decent beer. Worth a stop if you are in Humboldt County but there are other spots nearby that are better.

Nov 22, 2013
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williamjbauer from Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Wife and I stopped here while travelling through Cali on vacation and it was quite close to where we stayed in Ferndale, located near the beautiful Eel River.

Good sized bar, nice chill atmosphere, cool decor. A good locals joint. Beer is slightly above average and I respect the organic ingredients though not necessarily translating into a superior product. Selection was decent, had 8-10 samplers with a few limited/seasonal brews on tap. Food was quite good and organic as well.

May 22, 2013
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WheelsRule from Oregon

4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Atmosphere: 5

This place makes you feel at home. There seemed to be a lot of locals here and everyone was very friendly. Smiling, talkative, and courteous. The old-timers were there in full-force, and I think that's great. Everyone was super-cool. Despite the 'organic' tag and the quality beer, it struck me as a middle-class kind of place. I happen to like that. Also, multiple TV's, outdoor seating in a lovely's nice. Me and my girlfriend both loved the atmosphere.

Quality: 5

The beer was very good. It's fresh and organic. I did prefer the Earth First Double IPA, which was more expensive, but it was still cheaper than many of the breweries I've been to (especially Rogue - don't get me started). Burger and fries were outstanding. As I remember, they have land and cattle where they produce beef, but I may be wrong on that - check my facts there. Either way - this was good food. A great balance - good food and beer.

Service: 4

Service ranged from stellar to mediocre. We came in here 3 times - once at the bar and twice in the seating area. I think this is all about timing and who you get. Overall - no complaints.

Selection: 4.25


Food: 4.75

Excellent fries, burger, and free peanuts on Tuesday. Good food.

Value: $$ Reasonable

If your drinking the regular beer, the value is fantastic. They have a happy hour with cheap organic pints and even on a regular day it's not that bad. I happened to like the Earth First Organic Double IPA seasonal, so I paid more. Either way, this place is certainly reasonable, if not a great value.


We almost skipped over this place but decided to stop by and I'm very happy we did. We had a wonderful time here. The beer was delicious, the food was great, and the atmosphere was wonderful. Everyone was friendly. If I lived nearby I would go there again and again. If you pass through Fortuna and this lovely part of the real Northern California (I lived in SF for 15 years and that's Central Coast to me), you should stop here. There's even a few hotels next door (but not much else). Side note: also stop by Humboldt Redwoods and the Avenue of the Giants to be delightfully belittled by coast redwoods older than your great-great-great-grandma.

Apr 13, 2013
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htomsirveaux from Texas

3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Had a light snack here on 30 Aug 2012. Stop #5 on the tour up 101.

Fairly crowded when we walked in, and as we sat down we realized why. Thursdays are $2.75 pints all day. We lucked out! Seven regular beers on tap plus five specialties. Three TVs showing football and baseball. Beer garden outside, maybe 20 4 tops inside with space for 14 or so at the bar. Was actually pretty crowded, we briefly sat at the bar (mom inadvertently stole an older lady's spot and got the stink eye which was amusing) before a table opened up for us.

Lots of swag on the walls, flags, old saws, a buffalo head. Somewhat slow service and our waiter unfortunately had an amazing case of halitosis. Entrees a bit on the pricey side, but California + all organic = big money. We had the calamari, it was cooked well but slightly on the bland side.

$$$ for food everyday, $ for beer on Thursdays or during happy hour (1500-1830 daily).

Nov 09, 2012
Photo of dcsham
dcsham from California

4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I love the Eel River Brewery, since Fortuna and Humboldt County was my home for the first 42 years of my life. Now that I've moved to Sacramento, I visit the place every time I go home to visit family. This place has a great selection of craft brews that will please any palate. I actually drink their Blonde when I go there because I like the way it drinks easy and it doesn't fill me up so I can eat some of their fine food. They have everything from burgers to barbecue to steak and seafood so there is something for everybody. They use local fresh ingredients, and with the farms and ranches around the Fortuna area you can always expect to get the best quality local products in both their food and their beer. Service is friendly and, they all still know me when I go there so it feels like home. Try the Eel River Brewery out if you are on the coast, you won't be disappointed.

May 19, 2012
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rayzorwit from California

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

If you have time for only one brewery in the Eureka area, I would recommend going somewhere else. Otherwise, if you have a few days to spend in town, then this is worth putting under your belt.

I lived right around the corner from this place so it was convenient for me to stop in on a semi-regular basis. The ambience is fine, and it's the only outdoor dining area for a brewpub in town. I've met a couple of patrons and will say there are some good folks here (this is Friendly Fortuna at its best). The food is good. Exceptional to note are their beer battered onion rings.

As far as beer, I would deem it as okay. I have yet to try a beer that really called my attention, with the exception of their Exultation, which is definitely a must try as far as their beers are concerned. Unfortunately, any good beer of theirs usually fetches a higher price. Overall, you're looking at spending a little bit more money for food and drink.

Feb 23, 2010
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CanadaBlue from California

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Eel River Brewing was a little hard to find, but it was a real gem!

We sat outside at the picnic tables to start with. There is a nice patio and gardens for relaxing in. The fat cat meandered by, seeming to be at peace with the world, living in a beer garden.

It had been a long day of driving so I couldn't have but one beer. I choose the Raven's Eye Imperial Stout. This is a certified organic beer (not that I care), and regardless of this, it was a really worthy RIS. After sipping on the beer we ordered the food, and then found a table inside. It's rustic and a little crowded - just how I like my beer joints. The food we got was well prepared and presented. And the prices were very reasonable as well.

It was an enjoyable evening. My only regret is that I couldn't try any more beers, and that this was likely my one and only visit to the area.

Aug 12, 2009
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

When it opened in 1995, it was America's first Certified-Organic brewery.

Tucked away between a Super 8 motel and a self-storage facility, the porch and overhang on the motel side opened onto a sea of standard restaurant tables and chairs. The short, all-wood, "L"-shaped bar was on the left side, headed aft. Off to the right was a really extensive biergarten populated by some VERY skittish kitties. The kitchen was all of the way aft, along the back wall. The brewhouse and several FVs were visible behind the back bar. Outdoor were several cement slabs from the former Clay Brown Mill, on whose site the brewpub now exists. A new facility, nine miles away, was soon to come on line with national distribution forthcoming.

Update: It has not only happened, but we actually get their beers in PA!

Their philosophy included five (5) credos which all revolved around good customer service. Our server's name was Yuneun (Yoon-Win). David Bourn was their kitchen manager. I had Italian chicken noodle soup for lunch. It should be noted that they also offered fresh baked pies.

History: As regards their logo, the Olympic and Eel River RailRoad (O & E R R.R.) used to haul lumber and gives its name to the Climax California Classic Lager. Along those lines, be sure to take note of the B & W photos along the right wall.

Beers: CA Blonde (5.62); Organic Extra Pale Ale (4.8); Organic Amber (4.7); Organic IPA (7.0); Organic Porter (6.3); and Hazlnut Porter.

Aug 24, 2008
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VegasBill from Nevada

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is one micro that I have been looking forward to returning to.The inside is very big even huge and there is an outside patio, they call it a beer garden, with warmers for the spring and fall.The beer is very good quality and they have won hundreds of awards including some at the GABF. I found a new appreciation for the Triple Exultation which I tried last time I was here and did not care for but this time I was talking with the bartender and he explained that this is a version of Old Peculiar but with a lot more hops. Well mention hops and you have my interest, so therefore the new appreciation.
The food served here is organic even to the point of raising their own beef . The food is very tasty and high quality , during the day and early evening the restaurant is very busy with food customers and little beer being served, what a shame. That changes later in the evening. I like this micro so much that next time I head up the coast I will arrange more time for Fortuna.

Aug 04, 2007
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rkuhnel from California

4/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I go here occassionally, and have never had a bad visit. it is located just off the 101 Freeway and sits between a couple hotels. Lots of parking and a nice long bar and lots of tables. Service is always excellent and the staff is very friendly. They have an excellent selection of beers. The last time I was there I had their Fish and Chips, and the fish was about as good as you can ask for. Very nice atmosphere, better than average brewpub food, and an outstanding seleciion of beers makes this a place a beer lover will really enjoy. Their Ravens Eye Imperial Stout and Triple Exultation Old Ale are worth trying, and I also like their Organic IPA.

Apr 09, 2007
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TheLoneGunman from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is an excellent organic brewery. The food was tasty and I must say the onion rings rivaled Hop Leaf's. That's saying a lot.

The bar is huge. I mean really huge. The dining area is very comfortable and they even have an outdoor area. This is a great example of a brewpub that caters to families during the day. Lots of locals eating and many of them were not drinking beer. Things liven up in the evening and the beer really starts flowing. As I said, the food is good and the portions are BIG.

The beer is darn good. I wasn't disappointed in any of them. Whether it is by chance or not, I don't know. But I have not had good luck with other organic breweries. If you are in Northern California, you really should check them out. They deserve your time.

May 12, 2006
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psychoholicagogo from Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

In the midst of a late summer weekend trek, I stopped by Eel River on a crisp Sunday morning. Right away I felt very comfortable. The inner workings of the place were quite visible from my position at the bar. They even had a nice veranda outside to take in the excellent Cali weather. The beers were good and reasonably priced as was the food. Speaking of food, I think the onion rings I ordered were amongst the best I've ever had. If I was still living in that neck of the woods I would probably frequent it often.

Nov 13, 2005
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Troyone from California

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Located in a suburban area, this is an interesting Brewpub. Lots of local regulars frequent this location. There is advertisements for live music on certain nights, an outdoor patio, and the brewing room can be seen from the bar.

Most of the tap nozzles were brass at least one was stainless steel. The wood tables, chairs, and bar were nice. The kitchen was not in the open and the restroom was clean.

Service was friendly, prompt, and apparently some remember the names of the regulars.

Good selection of their own beers and no cask. Most of their beers were organic and all were possible notables. The Ravens Eye Stout was a definite notable.

The food was not bad but not cooked on a real grill. They do have organic and hormone free options.


Jun 11, 2005
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RootedFool from California

4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is easy to miss, tucked behind a couple of hotels and a Denny's, with an inconspicuous facade (basically a barn-like structure). Nevertheless, the dozen or more times I've been here the place has been bustling, and deservedly so: the ambience, the food, the beer, and the service are excellent.

The food may seem a little over-priced, but the portions are more than generous and the service never leaves you hanging. Usually six beers are available on tap: their usuals, such as the organic IPA (delicious!) and the California Blonde (also delicious), with usually one to two seasonals on tap. I was lucky to catch their barleywine one night -- amazing stuff.

Inside the brew pub you'll find a large narrow room with a large bar on the left. Various posters, objects, and flags related to local history adorn the walls and hang from the very tall ceiling beams. The atmosphere is cozy and open, simulataneously. There's a lovely beer garden outside, always tended to -- i.e., it's not littered with garbage and someone obviously pays attention to the landscaping -- and there are big heating lamps for cold Humboldt county nights.

Eel River is a place beer lovers who pass through the area must visit.

Jan 11, 2005
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beerguy101 from California

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

After spending most of the day driving down the Oregon and California coast. I stopped at Fortuna for the night. After checking into a motel, I asked the desk person if there was anywhere to eat except the Denny’s. She said “well there is this brewpub right over there!” Brewpub?? Damn how did I miss that? Located in a big rustic barn like building, it captures the mood of the North Coast well. The waitstaff was great; my waitress didn’t charge me for the samplers I tried. There were at least 8 beers on tap. The menu was varied with lots of selections: burgers, salads, pasta and the like. The food is plentiful and excellent. I was too tired to spend more time there than a few beers and dinner. But it was totally packed by 7 PM on a Thursday night. It is most definitely worth a stop if your in the area.

Oct 14, 2003
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Mark from California

4/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A nice pub in a big rustic barnlike building. Friendly servers, great food, and good craft beer. When we were there the lunchtime crowd was NOT drinking beer. Way up in the boonies from the Bay Area, but worth a visit if your up in that direction. Fortuna seemed a friendly but unspectacular town.

Jun 20, 2002
Eel River Brewing Co. in Fortuna, CA
Brewery rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 2198 ratings