Lost Coast Brewery is gaining national recognition.
The Eureka company was named No. 37 out of the top 50 U.S. craft brewing companies for 2013, and No. 48 out of the top 50 overall U.S. brewing companies by the Brewers Association. The list is determined by beer sales volume.
”It feels good to be one of the top echelon breweries in the United States,” owner Barbara Groom said, adding that the business has made the list for a few years in a row. “When we get the new brewery built, we hope to move that up into the top 20.”
The company is in the middle of expanding to a 9.3-acre parcel located east of South Broadway between Sunset Road and the Ocean View Cemetery.
When the new 55,000-square-foot building is complete, beer lovers will find a brew house from Germany, a bottling line, small store, tasting area, new fermentors and a 120-barrel brew house in the facility. Groom said she hopes to start testing the new equipment at the end of June.
The company produced 70,000 barrels of beer in 2013, she said. The new location will top out at 300,000.
With the ability to quadruple its sales, Groom said the company hopes to start selling to states in the South and on the East Coast.
”We have a lot of places to expand into, but I've kept it at a certain limited number of states so we would not disappoint distributors,” Groom said.
The Brewers Association -- a membership-based trade organization that promotes small brewers -- conducts the survey every year. Staff economist Bart Watson said the data is compiled from each business' taxable sales.
”We see this as one of the most effective fiscal tools we can use,” Watson said. “Basically, what we're looking for is growth in the industry, growth in the number of barrels. This allows us to get a comprehensive survey of what's going on in the industry.”
The craft beer industry grew 18 percent in volume and 20 percent by dollar sales in 2013, according to the association.
”We saw growth across the country at a variety of size points,” Watson said. “It's really a great time to be in the craft brewing industry.”
Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Tony Smithers said recognition by the Brewers Association increases the county's visibility.
”There are beer tourists out there who go to destinations to check out their favorite brewery,” Smithers said. “Lost Coast is definitely in that category.”
The attention also will help the existing breweries in the region grow, Eureka Councilman Mike Newman said.
”The economic impact would be to attract more of these microbreweries into the area, and also it will help expand the other ones in the area,” Newman said.
Groom said making the list was welcome news.
”It means our beer's popular, and that's gratifying,” she said.
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.