- After 15 Years, the ‘Humboldt Brewing Co.’ Name is Back in Humboldt Hands, and Locally Produced Red Nectar Ale is On Its Way
If you’re one of the many folks in Arcata’s Westwood neighborhood who were shocked to discover that you could no longer grab a cup of joe at Mosgo’s Coffee House, the café next to Murphy’s Market on Alliance that recently closed, you’ll be happy to know that the coffee shop will soon reopen under the ownership of a familiar local company name. And it will be even better, because there will be beer.
The space was recently taken over by Humboldt Brewing Company, as you may have noticed if you’ve passed the signs already hung above the doors. Humboldt Brewing is leasing the space that previously held Mosgo’s, along with the space next door that most recently held Eco-Groovy Deals. The plan is to turn them into a café and on-site brewery, meaning Red Nectar Ale and other famous Humboldt Brewing beers of yore will once again be brewed in Arcata, the company’s birthplace.
“We want to get back to the Humboldt Brewing Company Roots,” David Ardell, owner of Humboldt Brewing Co. told the Outpost in an interview at the space on Thursday morning. Ardell said that once the brewery is up and running, Humboldt Brewing will be brewing Red Nectar, Nectar IPA and the Hemp Ales for which the company is famous.
David and his sister, Julie Ardell, co-own Humboldt Brewing Co. and their brother, Andy Ardell, owns HumBrews in downtown Arcata, which, many years ago, was the brewing site for the company. After changing hands and locations a few times, Humboldt Brewing was bought by the Ardell family in 2021 and returned to the Humboldt homeland.
Six Rivers Brewery, which now owns the old Humboldt Brewing equipment, took over production, brewing the famous Red Nectar and a new Smoky Hazy Hemp Ale. Six Rivers brewer Carlos Sanchez was one of the original brewers of Red Nectar back in the day. (You can read more about Humboldt Brewing’s history here.)
Since the Ardell siblings bought the company they’ve been looking for their own brewing space, and when Mosgo’s closed they knew it was the perfect spot. The owners plan to knock down the wall separating the coffee shop from the next door space and open a connected brewery and café. They will continue to work with Six Rivers to brew Red Nectar but will be able to expand production to include the other flagship beers and eventually start experimenting with some new brews as well. But it is a pretty small space and they’ll be using a nano brewery system, which includes four fermentation tanks along with the other tanks and equipment.
“It’s not a big footprint overall. It’s pretty small,” Ardell said. “But it can pump out some beer.”
A lot of permitting and construction will need to happen before the brewery is up and running, which will probably not be for at least a couple of months. In the meantime, the owners plan to open up the café in the old Mosgo’s spot. This will be a much simpler process, since the space already has the necessary coffee-making equipment.
As for their vision for the café, the owners want to keep the laid-back vibes of Mosgo’s, which was a popular place for students and other community members to work, study and socialize. Julie said they are planning to expand the food menu, adding a broader range of hot and cold breakfast and lunch options. It still won’t be a full-on restaurant menu, though, because the space does not have a full kitchen. The café will still have the classic coffee and espresso drinks, as well as “mud water” – a coffee alternative made from a blend of chai and mushrooms.
Of course, they will also serve plenty of beer. Once the brewery is fully up and running they will serve beer brewed on site. Until then, the owners plan to serve their own Red Nectar as well as many other local brews on tap.
This will be the first time the space will have a license to sell alcohol, which will go into effect mid-October. If all goes to plan, the owners are hoping the café can open and serve food and coffee as early as Oct. 1. But that might be wishful thinking, they said, as there are still a lot of kinks to work out and they really want to make sure that they do this right.
Initially the hours will likely be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. As the business grows, the owners said, they plan to stay open later and even offer live music, open mics and other events.
But the owners wanted to be clear that they don’t want this to become a rowdy spot, and they plan to keep the hours and the noise levels reasonable.
“Obviously beer is the focus of the company,” Julie told the Outpost. “But we’ll leave the bars for downtown.”