Farmers Brewing Company was founded by Bill and Kristin Weller, both fifth-generation farmers. Located in sprawling Princeton, CA, with a population of 407, the family farm has been in operation since the 1800s, currently producing rice, almonds, walnuts, and wheat. GPS-guided tractors have since replaced the mule-driven machinery used to till the same soil a century ago, but much remains the same.
Bill started helping on the farm when he was about 8 years old. Chores included mowing roads, cleaning shops, repairing combines, and driving tractors after school. He later earned a BS in Agricultural Engineering Technology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and realized living in a big city or working a desk job was not for him. In 2001, he met his wife, Kristin, who also had a farming background spanning five generations, and the rest is history.
Farming requires a tireless work ethic, attention to detail, organization, patience, and balance between tradition and innovation. Those same qualities transfer to brewing beer. It started out as a casual hobby, brewed in the garage, partly on his pick-up tailgate. After that first successful batch of home-brew Bill was hooked and the seeds were sown to create a great family-owned brewery. What separates Farmers Brewing Co. from other craft breweries? Their brewery is 100% family-owned, situated on their farm in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley, among acres of rice and wheat. Many of the grains used in making their craft beer are grown right on their farm, so they can truly say they are a “Farm to Glass” brewery.
Home-brewing in the garage eventually expanded into brewing on a home-built, 1-barrel system in an old barn not utilized on the family farm. With the aim of producing beer commercially, the original plan was to build a small, 7-barrel brewery. The vision expanded when stumbling across a defunct 50 BBL brewery for sale in downtown Phoenix, AZ. After several months of negotiating and solving relocation logistics, a deal was struck. After 3 years of planning, retrofitting equipment, permitting, and construction, the new facility brewed its first batch of beer on January 13, 2020!
Beginning from the ground up has allowed Farmers to build a very unique brewing facility designed specifically for their style of beers and ensuring the highest quality end product. The focus is creating sessionable-style* beers that are clean, crisp, and easy drinking. (*Note: “sessionable” is commonly used to suggest something is easily drinkable, light, refreshing, or any combination of the three.) They pride themselves on crafting high-quality, locally produced beer that appeals to everyone. And their family has been involved in every aspect of developing Farmers Brewing Co.