The discovery of Gold in California brought about a mass migration of people to San Francisco during the mid 1800’s in search of a new way of life. Unfortunately, only a handful of people were able to find the infamous riches. A rapid growth of population from 1,000 to 25,000 people in two years put a strain on San Francisco’s public system. With extremely inflated costs of rent, city leaders had the difficult task of expanding infrastructure to meet the needs of the city.
With no exports at the time and the cost too high to make the return voyage, ships became abandoned, littering the bay. Out of necessity and practicality those ships were repurposed as saloons, shops, hotels, and as a prison. San Francisco’s first jail had become inadequate to service the needs of the city. Utilizing one of the abandoned ships seemed to be a good and cheap solution of replacing the jail.
The ship, Euphemia, was purchased and started taking prisoners in February 1850 It was quickly filled beyond capacity. Living conditions on the Euphemia were below standard. By August of 1850 the State of California prompted the town council to build a new prison to accommodate the prisoners. Euphemia was abandoned as a prison by mid 1851. Euphemia was forgotten until it was found in 1920. When the excavation work was being done during the construction Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. It was found at the corners of Battery and Sacramento Streets.
We chose the ship Euphemia to represent our brewery because of our passion for San Francisco history and especially our connection to the maritime history and culture. We respect and honor the history that has shaped our city, San Francisco, into the place that it is today. The Euphemia underwent many a metamorphosis over the years but it remains anchored to San Francisco. We can only hope to do the same, making great beer for great people in a great city.