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.
Dave & Dia Utterback
Farm Name: Utterback Farm
Location: Sloughhouse, Sacramento
Hop Varieties: GrassHop’r, Cascade, Nugget
Found in: Hop Sac, Utterback IPA, Bale 21
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. We have since been growing with them and harvesting their hops which have been used in Hop Sac for the last 3 years, in Utterback IPA, and Bale 21.
Farm Name: Lang Farms
Location: Elkhorn Slough, West Sacramento
Hop Varieties: Yolo Gold
Found in: Lang IPA
Lang Farms is nestled on a bend of the American River and was a large Hop Farm before the Lang family purchased the land to grow walnuts in the 1960s. When Calen discovered these funny green buds growing in the ditches he decided to try his hand at growing hops. Calen has been growing hops with us for about three years now. He started off primarily as a walnut farmer but he loves growing everything from persimmons (Barn Owl), peppers (Nighthawk), hops and even peaches (hmm, perhaps…?).
Farm Name: Ruhstaller Farm & Yard
Location: Dixon, California
Hop varieties: Cascade, Nugget, Chinook, Centennial
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 expanded our 1 acre hop farm to nearly 8 acres. Together with the Utterbacks and Langs we grow enough hops for all of our beers…only 5% of the hops we use are not grown by us because they are patented varieties. When you enjoy a pint of Ruhstaller, you are enjoying the flavor of Sacramento’s hops.
Read more about the Farm & Yard here.
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.