Grace Brothers Brewing

  • The Grace Family Saga

    The Grace family currently spans six generations in Sonoma County history. It is a proud history and I hope to do it justice in the following pages. Some timeframes are covered more fully than others. The family’s departure from Ireland and their beginnings in America are a bit scant. The major areas I have covered […]

  • The 1890’s Through 1919

    Frank P and Joe Grace opened a grocery store on 4th and A Streets in the 1890’s and slowly expanded into wholesale groceries and produce. According to Gaye LeBaron’s history of Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa: A Nineteenth Century Town), they hauled potatoes from Bodega for 45 cents a sack to sell in town. Prior to […]

  • Prohibition 1919-1933

    1918 opened a far different chapter for the brewery and for the country. The anti-alcohol voices were gaining momentum, and the tide was turning against the production of alcoholic beverages The concern of the movement was the affect of strong drink on the family, and that it robbed the working man of ambition and work […]

  • The Five Grace boys and the 1920’s

    The ice, dairy products and soft drinks enabled the family to prosper during the 1920s. Frank and JT kept the business side flowing, and the brewery produced a variety of income-earning items. Money came in, and the five sons of Frank P attended and graduated from Santa Rosa High School. The brothers’ dates of birth […]

  • Back to Business 1930’s-The Five Boys Take Over

    On August 6 of 1930, Frank P. Grace died, and Frank P. Jr, known as Moses, became president of the Frank P. Grace Company. He was 27 at the time, the oldest of the five boys. Tom was 26 and just a few years out of college (He earned a masters from Harvard in business […]

  • The Brewery 1933-1946

    But when the boys reopened the brewery in Santa Rosa, they had an excellent local market to supply, but they saw the need to expand so they could grow and continue to modernize. They did this for another 33 years (with a brief recess from 1953-1958). And thankfully they did. By the time they were […]

  • The War

    December 7 1941 woke America from its isolationist stance, and the country jumped into battle with the Japanese and the Germans. The whole nation got into the war effort. The brewing industry was asked to do its part. Breweries were put on a malt allocation, and a general shortage of materials limited production. In addition […]

  • After WWII

    After the war, the brewery again was remodeled to a new appearance of enameled metal, plate glass front (of bottling house), and red tile building face. The capacity in early 1947 was 120,000 barrels of beer/year (approximately 1,000,000 cases of beer). A new bottle shop opened with a capacity of 260 bottles a minute that […]

  • Conclusion

    You must consider all the total of the Grace family experiences: Purchased the brewery in 1897, only to see a fire burn it down a few months later; the brewery’s survival of Prohibition; the death of Frank P in 1930; the closure from 1953-1958; the deaths of Frank, Jim, Bill and then Jack that left […]

  • Afterthought

    If I had a dollar for every time one of us lamented we weren’t able to keep the brewery going or keep the Healdsburg ranch until the grape boom, I would be a rich man. We could have joined Fritz Maytag with his rejuvenation of the Anchor Steam Brewery. In the 1970’s the Baby Boomers […]