Our Farmers

At one time, Sacramento was the world’s largest hop growing region. After Prohibition, a focus on quantity (i.e. yield per acre) led to the rise of the Pacific Northwest as the nation’s leading hop region. Yet California remains the best place to grow any crop in the world, including hops. Together with the pioneering farmers listed below, Ruhstaller is reclaiming our region’s identity as a producer of high quality Sacramento hops grown in the heart of California’s mighty Central Valley.


Hop Farmers

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Dave & Dia Utterback

Farm Name: Signorotti Hop Ranch
Location: Sloughhouse (Sacramento)
Hop Varieties: Signorotti
Found in: Hop Sac Flight 2013

The Signorotti family ran the last commercial hop farm in the Sacramento area in Sloughouse off the Jackson Highway. Today Dave & Dia Utterback live on the former Signorotti homestead and continue to farm and harvest the abundant Signorotti family hops that grow around their home. Ruhstaller took great honor in purchasing the Utterback’s entire crop in 2013 to use in Hop Sac Flight, a special 4-pack featuring hop-yard-specific beers from four small hop farms in the Sacramento region.


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Claudia & Marty Kuchinski

Farm Name: Kuchinski Hop Ranch
Location: Lake County, California
Hop Varieties: Cascade, Chinook, California Cluster
Found In: Every Ruhstaller beer, including the Indigenous version of 1881

Marty, Claudia and Max (the farm mascot, a friendly German Shepherd) farm organic hops on 200 acres of rich volcanic soils created by nearby Mt. Konocti. The Kuchinski’s run California’s largest hop ranch, and are always looking for ways to make their operation more sustainable. In addition to growing certified Organic hops, they harvest solar electricity that helps power the farm’s drip irrigation system. In 2013 we partnered with the Kuchinski’s to produce 1881 Indigenous, a version of our 1881 California Red Ale brewed exclusively with Kuchinski hops native to Lake County, California.


DicksonsTim & Doug Dickson

Farm Name: Pole # 167 62
Location: Yolo County, California
Hop Varieties: Yolo Gold
Found In: Hop Sac Flight 2013

Tim is a graduate of the California Farm Academy (a program of our partner organization the Center for Land-Based Learning) and talked his father, Doug, into starting a hop program on their Yolo County Farm.


Ross Peabody, Suzanne Ashworth & Dan Ramos

Farm Name: Elkhorn Slough
Location: Yolo County, California
Hop varieties: Yolo Gold
Found In: Hop Sac Flight 2013

Dan Ramos and Ross Peabody embraced an idea put forth by Ruhstaller’s J.E. Paino to plant hops and, together with Ross’ wife Suzanne, planted and harvested their first crop in 2013.



Farm Name: Ruhstaller Farm & Yard
Location: Dixon, California
Hop varieties: Cascade, Centennial & Nugget
Found In: Hop Sac First Leaf 2013, Hop Sac Flight 2013, Nugget Ale (releases April 2014)

The Ruhstaller Farm & Yard was founded in 2013 to grow high quality Sacramento ingredients for our beers. Together with the pioneer Sacramento farmers listed above, we are carrying on the Sacramento region’s heritage of hop growing. In 2014 we are expanding our 1 acre hop farm to nearly 8 acres and installing a hop kiln that can be used by farmers in the region to dry their hops.

Read more about the Farm & Yard here.


Barley Farmers


Ron & Ann McGill

Location: Klamath River Basin, Northern California
Barley varieties: Metcalf, Copeland
Found In: Every Ruhstaller beer

Ron and Ann grow 2-row California barley in the beautiful Klamath River Basin of Northern California.