Skip to content

Mad River Brewing Company, Blue Lake

Mad River Brewing bottles in a riverWith a small group of investors, Bob Smith founded Mad River Brewing Company in 1989.  Bob was committed to both brewing fine ales with traditional brewing methods, and using “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle” programs.  Mad River Brewing Company has achieved a 98% waste reduction rate.

In their 2nd decade of business, Bob hired Eric Spieth for his marketing department. When Eric first arrived at Mad River Brewing Company the accounting system wasn’t very developed.  They had been using some financial accounting methods but were unable to get reports until the end of the month.  Additionally, their marketing strategy needed some work.  That was, until Eric was introduced to some SBDC counselors, while working together at a local college business plan competition, Economic Fuel.

Eric made an appointment with SBDC and had a meeting with Michael Kraft and Colleen Trask.  The partnership led to the creation of an activity based cost system.  This allowed Mad River Brewing to track their costs from raw material to the finished product.  The cost system is a complex spreadsheet program that has allowed Eric to access the reports he needs in 10-15 days, rather than 30 days.  With these reports, Eric was able to implement the best marketing strategy and product mix for Mad River Brewing Company.  Colleen continued to conduct business counseling check-ins with Eric at Mad River.

Through the support and guidance of SBDC, Mad River Brewing Company has changed in leaps and bounds.  Mad River is now much more efficient and this had opened up the door to growth.  Previously, Mad River only employed one accountant.  After SBDC counseling, Mad River has been able to hire a few more accountants and a bookkeeper. 

"SBDC has taken us [Mad River Brewing Company] from the Dark Ages and into the 21st century.  The services offered by the North Coast Small Business Development Center were invaluable to us at Mad River Brewing Company." 

Mad River Brewing Company
195 Taylor Way, Blue Lake, California