Mammoth Brewing Company – Mammoth Lakes, CA
Tours Offered: No
Food Service: Yes
Kids & Pets: Kid and dog friendly (dogs outside only)
A Brief History
Founded in 1995 by Sam Walker, Mammoth Brewing Company is the highest elevation production brewery on the West Coast. Their beer is brewed with the freshest Alpine water at over 8,000 feet above sea level, validating their slogan “The Brew with Altitude.”
In 2007, Sean and Joyce Turner purchased the company. The brewery operated in a rented space at the Whiskey Creek restaurant, with their corporate offices and tasting room several blocks away on Berner Street.
Whiskey Creek went out of business in 2014, and Mammoth Brewing Company was able to secure a lease for the entire facility. Not only were they able to increase production to around 8,000 barrels a year, they remodeled the building to accommodate an on-site tasting room, as well as food service in their new “Eatery.”
Mammoth Brewing Company has won several prestigious awards:
- Bronze – 2012 World Beer Cup: Real McCoy Amber
- Gold – 2012 World Beer Cup: Double Nut Brown Porter
- Gold – 2013 CA State Fair: IPA 395
- Gold – 2014 GABF: Double Nut Brown Porter
Mammoth Brewing Company is distributed on draft, or 12 and 22 oz bottles in most areas throughout California and Reno, Nevada. You can fill their branded growlers, as well as blank containers at the brewery.
More Pictures from Mammoth Brewing Co.
Our Visit to Mammoth Brewing Co.
How many other breweries in America serve up their tasty beers with the snow covered mountains of a ski resort as their backdrop? We are fairly certain the answer is not that many!
One theme we picked up on immediately was how Mammoth Brewing Company tried to add unique, locally sourced ingredients to their recipes whenever possible. Besides freshly collected Sierra Nevada mountain water — sage, juniper berries, boysenberries, and pine needles appeared in various recipes. Their friendly staff was more than happy to walk us through all of their beer to not only make recommendations, but explain what was unique about each release.
Although Mammoth did not offer tours, the layout of their facility allowed visitors to get as up close and personal to the brewing process as possible. Outside, you could not help but notice the cluster of fermentors by the entrance, which you could literally walk right up to and touch. Once inside, an “L” shaped set of windows separated additional tanks and the bottling line from the tasting room and eatery. The mash tuns could also be observed through a window upstairs in the dining area.
As you would expect, Mammoth Brewing Company’s decor was very rustic, with lots of hardwood, and exposed rafters that created a ski lodge-like vibe. Most seating was available upstairs, at either handcrafted wooden tables with barstools, or picnic style benches. The mountain view from the dining room level was amazing, along with a much shorter beer line from their second tasting bar upstairs.
The food from Mammoth’s “Eatery” came from a very creative menu, and there was no way we could pass on hopped tots, their house made tater tots. Other choices included a bison burger, braised oxtail, bahn mi flatbread pizza, and “It’s Not a Philly Cheese Steak.” Eye-catching options are one thing, but their food was delicious and super-filling with large servings of everything. One of their kids menu flatbreads could have fed both our children.
Whether you are looking for a brew with a mountainous view, or a cold one to wrap up an epic day on the slopes, a visit to Mammoth Brewing Company is a must.
What Was on Tap
While the kids enjoyed their root beers, we tried out some tasters of their seasonals, and then moved on to full pours of Mammoth’s core line-up bottled for distribution:
- Golden Trout Pilsner: 3.5/5
This beer was brewed as an ale until 2007, when Mammoth decided lager fermentation would yield a cleaner finish, and boy were they right. A bit heavier body for the style, but it still ended on a crisp note. It really hit the spot after the long drive.
- Epic IPA: 4/5
A full bodied IPA that was a little on the malty side, but still plenty of floral and citrus notes to carry it. As they told us in the tasting room, if you are after a more hop forward option between their two IPAs, this was it. Two pounds of Horizon, Citra, and Amarillo were used in each barrel.
- Wild Sierra Farmhouse Ale: 3/5
One of the clearest looking saisons we have experienced in a while. Bright, almost transparent, and golden in color with plenty of effervescence, this farmhouse ale was brewed with fresh pine needles that added extra earthiness to its Belgian and Saison yeast strains.
- IPA 395: 3.5/5
Mammoth’s other India Pale Ale (a double) brewed with Centennial hops, juniper berries, and sage made for another earthy experience. This dark IPA featured spruce aroma and piney bitterness, along with a spicey herbal kick and jasmine in the finish.
Don’t miss out on their Double Nut Brown Ale, which we reviewed previously.