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Stories from the valley

Farm to Glass

Contributed by Jennifer Harrison

The Sacramento Valley was once the beer capitol of our nation.  In the 1890s this was the largest hop-growing region and housed the biggest brewery west of the Mississippi. Prohibition changed that and once lifted other valley crops had taken hold.  Beer is back and in a big way.  Over 80 independent craft breweries can be found in the valley, and here’s a sampling of a few of them.  

Ruhstaller Farm

Watch beer grow. A highway of hops greets you at Ruhstaller Farm as you travel towards their tasting barn with a dizzying array of beers to choose from (lavender infused ale anyone?)  An additional 7.5 acres of hops grows nearby. 

Fun Fact: Named for Frank Ruhstaller a Swiss immigrant who was the prominent Sacramento brewer in the mid to late-1800s. No, he’s not the man on the logo.

Location: 6686 Sievers Rd, Dixon

Goat House Brewing

Have some foam on the farm.  Goat House Brewing makes handcrafted beer  

onsite alongside their fields of 20 different hop varietals, orchards and yes, goats.  

You can even go visit the friendly animals after sampling their thirteen different beers on tap in the tasting room. 

Fun Fact: Those goats help prune and fertilize the fields of hops.

Location: 600 Wise Road Lincoln, CA

Farmer’s Brewing Company

Rice is the name of the game here. California grown premium sushi rice (and soft white winter wheat) are the grains that go into Farmer’s Brewing Company beer. Famers are truly behind the brew.  Bill and Kristin Weller, both fifth-generation farmers produce rice, almonds, walnuts, and wheat in Colusa County.  As a hobby, Bill started brewing batches of beer in the garage and on the tailgate of his pickup truck! Today they have a taproom Princeton, and one coming soon in Chico. 

Fun Fact: Rice makes for a crisp and clean flavored beer.

Location: 880 County Road WW, Princeton, CA

Sutter Buttes Brewing 

The city slicker of this bunch, Sutter Buttes Brewing, located in downtown Yuba City but depends on the prolific agriculture nearby for some of its ingredients.  Their beers also pay homage to local heritage with names like Water Tower IPA, Flood Water Pale Ale and with the artwork on their beer cans that incorporates images of the nearby Sutter Buttes.  

Fun Fact: Beer and baseball!  They supply beer for the local Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox games in Marysville

Location: 421 Center Street Yuba City, CA