Tue June 3, 2014
Charles Kappler of France Brews Beer in Etna, Calif.
In 1868, Kappler bought a brewery from A. P. Hartstrand located three miles east of Etna before building a new brewery in 1872 in Etna. A fire destroyed it in 1875, but Kappler rebuilt it, enlarging and modernizing the operation. Kappler’s had an enormous three-story home on Main Street, where sometimes Catholic services were held. It also functioned as a school and workers’ boarding house. Kappler built the first ice plant in Scott Valley and installed the first electric lights in Etna in 1898. From an electrical plant on Johnson Creek, he powered fans to cool the ice house and brewery, which produced 30,000 gallons of beer each year that was shipped all over Southern Oregon and Northern California. Etna Beer won a gold medal at the 1915 World’s Exposition in San Francisco. Although the brewery closed with Prohibition, a new Etna Brewery opened in 1990 on the original site. Today Etna Beer has been dubbed the “official” beer of the mythical State of Jefferson.
Source: Ball, Lottie A. Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. 2nd ed. Vol. 8. Yreka: Siskiyou County Historical Society, 1956. 33-34.