Sacramento was the West Coast Beer Capital.
Fresh mountain water, rich hops and barley, experience from the beer making centers of Europe and proximity to major distribution routes enabled over 16 breweries to thrive on our downtown grid. Sacramento, with the addition of the refrigerated railcar, became home to the largest brewery west of the Mississippi river! (note: St Louis, home of Anheuser-Busch, is west of the Mississippi river).
Brewing beer is what we were made to do…it’s what we were born to do…it’s what we did best until the government came and killed the best thing we had and replaced it with itself!
The leading brewer of this era was Captain Frank Ruhstaller. A Swiss marksman who emigrated to Sacramento as a young man, helped found the largest brewery west of the Mississippi, and at the age of 35, in 1881, opened his third Sacramento brewery, his crown jewel: The Ruhstaller Brewery.
It was Sacramento’s, and arguably California’s, first premium craft brewery – producing Steam beer 15 years before Anchor Steam was founded.
Captain Frank Ruhstaller embodied the Spirit of California.
The Ruhstaller legacy continues today.