Eel River Brewing News

Co-Founder Margaret Frigon to retire

Margaret Frigon and her husband Frank Elam with grand kids Rhys and Madison

Margaret Frigon and her husband Frank Elam with grand kids Rhys and Madison

We welcome the public to join us in a celebration at the Pub on Thursday, April 13 from 4 to 6pm

It is with great respect that Eel River Brewing Company announces the retirement of co-founder and CFO, Margaret Frigon. Her contribution to the company spans over 20 years. She helped build the brewery and its pub and restaurant from the ground up in Fortuna.

Frigon said that nothing could have prepared her for the roles she’s played at Eel River Brewing. She and co-founder Ted Vivatson always wanted the company to be big, but the way the brewery grew was a natural evolution. The two were married when they broke ground on the historic site of the Clay Brown Redwood Mill in 1995. Raising 4 small children was their primary focus as they started the business, “you put your nose to the grindstone, keep your head down and just keep going and before you know it…” she muses.

When asked about big moments that stand out over the years, Frigon recalls when Eel River won their very first medal – a Silver for Ravensbrau Porter – at the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado. She tells the story of how they were new to the event and had no idea what to expect. As she and Vivatson sat in the audience listening to the winners for each category, she never thought they’d hear their names being called. The look the two shared was of complete shock – “Are you freaking kidding me?!,” she laughs. This was pre-cell phone era – in 1997 – and after the ceremony there was a mad stampede to the banks of payphones lining the walls in the lobby as all of the winners ran to share the news with the folks back home.

Eel River went on to win a Gold at GABF the following year for their Climax California Classic American Style Amber Lager in 1998. She said that one “put her over the edge” and she remembers “crying her eyes out” at the Denver Chophouse completely ecstatic and elated.

As the years passed, while Vivatson focused on growing the brewery operations, Frigon took on the duties of running the pub. The restaurant on Alamar Way is one of the busiest in the county. She looks forward to coming in and sitting at her favorite table now that she’s retired. She said going into retirement she was terrified thinking she wouldn’t know how to handle it, but now that she’s in it – she loves it! The responsibilities have been taken off her shoulders and the weight of running such a busy business is melting away.

For Frigon, retirement means getting to spend more time with her family and getting out and doing things, “because she can.” She jokes that the restaurant will always “be her baby” but that she’s most looking forward to spending time with three grandchildren – Rhys 7, Madison 2, and Juliette 10 months. In her own words, “I don’t think I’ll ever look back. I’m proud of what I built and accomplished and it was time for me to turn the page.”

Eel River Brewing Company’s pub and restaurant is located at 1777 Alamar Way in Fortuna. For more information please visit their website at or contact Jen McFerrin in Marketing via email at or by phone at 707.764.1772

Eel River Brewing installs new custom canning line

SCOTIA, CA – Eel River Brewing Company is excited to announce their expansion with the purchase of a new custom canning line from Codi Manufacturing of Golden, Colo. This new equipment will allow the company to produce and package canned beer for distribution starting in April 2017. The brewery has experienced steady annual growth in their organic and non-organic product lines and is eager to offer this new standard in craft beer packaging.

The first two beers scheduled to be canned are their Organic California Blonde Ale and Emerald Triangle Pale Ale. The Organic California Blonde Ale is the most popular beer in their Organic craft beer line up – a light, crisp ale with a perfect balance of malt and subtle bitterness. Emerald Triangle Pale Ale is a core brand in their dry-hopped product line – a refreshing, light brew featuring a tropical fruit character.

Eel River Brewing is the first brewery in the Humboldt County region to invest in an in-house canning line. An area of coastal Northern California known for its pristine rivers, redwood forests, and wild beauty, Humboldt County is home to outdoor enthusiasts and a destination for adventure-seekers. Canned beer’s portability and emphasis on recycling and reuse are a natural complement to life on the North Coast. President and Founder, Ted Vivatson says, “I see cans as the ‘recreational vehicle’ that helps us to fully embrace the Northern California lifestyle. Our beer is uniquely Humboldt – combine that with our commitment to sustainability and our love of the outdoors – it’s all coming together.”

Cans of Organic California Blonde Ale and Emerald Triangle Pale Ale will be packaged in Paktech six packs and in 12 pack carriers. Both styles will be available for distribution beginning in April 2017.

Eel River Brewing is America’s first certified organic brewery, located in the heart of the redwoods in Humboldt County. Established in 1995, their pub and restaurant are open 7 days a week in Fortuna, CA.