Willits, CA is the Gateway to the Redwoods, as the town sign says. It’s also home to a long history of the logging industry and the railroad, the two being interconnected, of course. One spot where maybe a little bit of all of that comes together is North Spur Brewing Company on the northside of town.
The patio outside was welcoming and once inside, I immediately felt at home. The vibe was easy-going and friendly. The lineup of beers was varied, offerings for everyone’s preferred style were on the board. Note: they also serve local wine, and cider is available.
K.K. was in the house, an assistant to head brewer Jakob. We struck up a conversation about beer and not too long into it, we moved into mountain biking. It turns out that Kay – Kay. rides, though less than he used to, but K. – Kay said Jakob is a mountain biker and was out of town for a few days, riding somewhere.Nearby is a scout camp that seemingly is open to non-scouts, or something like that. Why mention this? The scout camp has mountain biking trails and every year a race is held there. There’s more riding access on that side of JDSF, though it likely is something you’d need to do with locals to know your way around, was my assessment after talking with K – K.
Not to forget the beer: the Lucky Logger Pilsner (4.2%) was ideal for a hot afternoon. Crisp, clean, straw colored with a tinge of pale white to lighten the hue, it was the “best” North Spur beer for me, until I got to the end of the round and had the 2022 Bourbon Barrel Aged Felix Stout.
The bartender opened up a secret little container and with small tongs, lifted a brown/black gooey nugget out of the container. He put a little chocolate truffle on a plate, handing it to me as an added tasting experience while sipping on Felix. Goodness gracious, where was I?! Some hipster joint in Cool City, USA? Nope. I was in logging country at a brewery that supports and loves mountain biking, and it also serves homemade chocolate truffles with a super delicious stout. No exaggeration, Felix was one of the best stouts of its kind that I’ve had in a looooooooong time.
The pales and IPAs were all solid, as I remember and my notes tell me, but I can’t say I was wowed by them. Maybe it’s my San Diego bias (!?!). Sidenote: the Locals First door sticker made everything taste better. Indeed … support local breweries/support local economies. Ride Mendocino and then have a beer at North Spur.