I have stopped by the historic site for the Auburn Brewery in Auburn, California, several times in the last few years. Recently I had the mind to take a few pictures and share them with you. The site is found just a few blocks down from the new and fantastic Auburn Alehouse. If you’re a fan of old things, you might enjoy the shots. All the quotes here are from the Placer County Historic Society’s page about this historic brewery.
Can you get a better cross-street to put your brewery? Brian Ford at the Auburn Alehouse must love pulling into work each day – his brewery is just behind that brick wall.
The first brew of steamed beer was run into some old whiskey barrels, the liquor being sold around the camp by the gallon. The mash tub was made by joining wooden planks roughly together, the kettle having a tin bottom and a wood box on the top. Afterward, the Kaisers made their own kegs. During the heyday of the brewery, some of the establishments in Lower Town had beer kegs just rolled down the lane to their door.
Rechenmacher learned brewing steamed beer from his father-in-law, Jacob Adams, who was a brewmaster in San Francisco. Before Fred closed his brewery in about 1908, he had won two world prizes for his steamed beer, one at the Worlds Fair in St. Louis in 1904.
Russian River hops and Placer Co. barley grown in Roseville and Lincoln were used to produce the steamed beer.
On the third floor, the grain was stored and the cellar was where the grain was sprouted. A large wooden flat ladle was used for the carding and mixing of the sprouted grain. A third kiln was used for heating the resin that was used to keep the kegs from leaking. There was also a large room for workers to spend the night. A road circled the building that provided entrance to the second level and farther up the hill was a two story barn and to the right and higher on the hill, was the Rechenmacher home.
The Brewery was a huge three story building. The lower part had a shed over the roadway now known as Brewery Lane. There was large area for washing kegs, and a pipe that came out of the brick wall that ran continually with the famous spring water. Near the spring water outlet was a large sliding door leading to two expensive brick cellars. Back of one of the cellars was a tunnel for an air vent. Another pipe came out of the brick wall in the corner into a large wooden tank that was supplied from the concrete reservoir up on the hill. Just under the stairway leading to the second level, was a side room where people could stop by and taste or have a glass of beer for free. There was a downstairs office and on the street level was a place for wagons to load kegs of beer. Close to the driveway was a huge black vat in which the beer cooled. Outside was a large copper kettle in which the beer was made. The kettle was built in a square brick setting with a casement under it. In front it had two iron doors.
When lager beer began to be produced, Rechenmacher felt it would be too expensive to compete and sold the brewery and went to produce beer in Truckee.