In October 2019, the Yuroks joined a league of very few Tribes in the country to own and/or operate a brewing company with the purchase of the 30-year-old Mad River Brewing and its taproom and restaurant in Humboldt County, California.
Soon, Mad River Brewing Company’s award-winning craft ales will brandish a new illustration that honors the business’s deep roots in northern California, while clearly identifying it as a distinctly Yurok Tribe-owned entity.
“The new, Mad River Brewing Company logo pays homage to the business’s legacy as a consummate innovator in the craft beer industry and highlights the Yurok Tribe’s unyielding commitment to environmentally sustainable commerce,” said Linda Cooley, who is a Yurok tribal member and MRB’s Chief Operating Officer. “I cannot wait to see the artwork emblazoned on our exceptional line of handcrafted ales.”
The emblem features four natural components, including a traditional Yurok design known as sturgeon back, the iconic Coast Range of California, healthy redwood forests and the jumping steelhead, which has been synonymous with MRB’s flagship Steelhead Extra Pale Ale for two decades.
To establish the logo, Cooley shared with digital artist Jessica Carenco a concept for a piece of artwork that is distinctly Yurok and recognizes the company’s strong reputation as an environmentally conscious producer of quality ales.
“Jessica did a fantastic job in simultaneously capturing Mad River Brewery’s original ethos and our imperative to integrate the Yurok lifeway into everything we do,” Cooley said. “I am proud to say that environmental sustainability is a compulsory component in all of our economic endeavors.”
The sturgeon back design will feature prominently on Mad River Brewing Company’s line of fine ales, tap handles and ancillary merchandise. An announcement will soon be made about where to find the new merchandise.
Both Mad River businesses, the brewery and tap room, are located in Blue Lake, California, within the ancestral territory of the Wiyot people. In February of this year, the company purchased Wild Goose canning equipment in anticipation of entering into new markets with an expanded line of products.
The addition of the well-established maker of craft ales to the Tribe’s commercial portfolio is one component of a farsighted economic development plan. The Yurok Tribe is currently seeking new business opportunities both on and off the reservation.
READ MORE: Yurok Tribe to Purchase Mad River Brewing