A SAN FRANCISCO BASED IMPORTER, MARKETER AND MERCHANT OF BOTH IMPORTED AND DOMESTIC DISTILLED SPIRITS SINCE 1851
Haas Brothers is a United States distilled spirits wholesaler handling various lines of imported and domestic spirits. We do not sell direct to the public; our brands are available only through regional retailers. Founded during California’s Gold Rush of 1849 by a family of German-Jewish immigrants from Bavaria, Haas Brothers began as a trade operation between brothers and cousins settled in Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Haas Brothers has stayed with the changing times, from becoming an early innovator in America’s fascination with white spirits, to importing relevant and exciting foreign brands. Since 1851, we have been purveying spirits for the pleasure of fine-liquor connoisseurs. What began as the brand of choice for Western miners has continued to prosper for now more than a century and a half.
IN THE EARLY 1800S, IN THE TOWN OF RECKENDORF, GERMANY, A LEGACY BEGINS…
Kalman Haas was born into a poor Bavarian Jewish family of nine. Eager for a better life, he set sail for New York at the age of 19. With nothing but ambition to call his own, Kalman worked as a peddler, selling merchandise in the East. After creating a fair amount of savings for himself, he headed west where he, another newly arrived friend, and more soon–to–be–famous members of the Haas family, would assist in writing the golden history of the American West.
The year is 1851; the city, bustling San Francisco; the climate – pure gold! The City by the Bay was aglow with gold galore due to the famous rush of 1849 when Leopold Loupe and Kalman Haas set their sights on its lustrous streets. Loupe, a former peddler himself, partnered with Haas and the two German natives began a general–store variety of business, Loupe & Haas. Together, they supplied groceries on the corner of Davis and California streets. In 1865, love beckoned Loupe to return to Europe where he married and remained.
Over time, Loupe & Haas became a family affair for Kalman when his brothers Charles and Samuel, and cousins Jacob, Samuel, Abe, and William integrated. The firm became Haas Brothers Wholesale Groceries. This burgeoning success was renowned in the wholesale dry goods business and assisted in stabilizing the financial market of California during its 1875 panic. Then, disaster struck with the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, leaving Haas Brothers in temporarily ruin. However, this would only prove to be a minor setback for the strong–willed, resourceful family. The company soon was thriving again, and on its road to becoming an even more prominent establishment.
A NOBLE HISTORY.
Haas Brothers continued to flourish. A major portion of their business was derived from offering spirits to Californian, Nevadan and Alaskan miners. One of their favorite libations was named after a distillery worker–turned–legend for falling into a vat of whiskey. Cyrus Noble Bourbon achieved critical acclaim thanks to the wholesale liquor business entrepreneur, Ernest Reuben Lilienthal. This soothing sour–mash bourbon wove its way into miners’ saloons, as well as San Francisco’s up–scale homes and bars.
The superior whiskey played a role in further establishing the Haas Brothers name when Ernest’s son, Ben Lilienthal, gave the trademark recipe to his brother Samuel, post–prohibition in 1931 for distribution under the Haas Brothers brand.
Haas Brothers continued to change with the times. In the 1950s, the firm began distributing another top–seller: Royal Gate Vodka; later Tanqueray Gin and Stolichnaya Vodka.
THE LEGACY LIVES ON.
Today Haas Brothers 1851 is one of the oldest and most–respected companies in the Bay Area. Their countless contributions to California, as well as their place in the state’s history, make them as vital a part of its character as sunshine–filled days and pristine beaches. A beacon to their success stoically resides in San Francisco at 2007 Franklin Street: The Haas–Lilienthal House. This extravagant Victorian home, built in 1886 for Bertha and William Haas, was donated to the city by the family and is open today as the sole private–period home available for viewing.
There you have it. Haas Brothers – the epitome of the American Dream. We hope you have enjoyed reading a bit of our history as much as you enjoy savoring our splendid spirits. Cheers!
Rich Quality, Rich History.
1851: Kalman Haas and Leopold Loupe establish Loupe & Haas—a grocery operation serving the booming gold rush settlement of San Francisco.
1871: Haas Brothers adds Cyrus Noble Bourbon Whiskey from Kentucky to its selection of offerings.
1897: Haas Brothers is incorporated as a California corporation under the direction of William Haas.
1906: The San Francisco earthquake destroys Haas Brothers’ downtown storefront, and a grand new building is built on the corner of 3rd & Canal St.
1917: The Prohibition Act is passed, causing Haas Brothers to rely on the wholesale of green coffee beans to San Francisco roasters to survive.
1934: With the repeal of prohibition, Haas Brothers returns to trading in wholesale spirits with renewed determination.
1945: Sumner Burrows joins the company after serving in WWII, and envisions the growth of ‘white-goods’ spirits gin and vodka.
1954: Haas Brothers closes its grocery business to develop a trade in world-class spirits.
1961: Sumner Burrows is elected president of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.
1968: Haas Brothers appointed as the Western master distributor for Tanqueray Gin.
1973: Haas Brothers appointed as the Western master distributor for Stolichnaya Vodka.
1975: Haas Brothers appointed as the Western master distributor for Canadian Mist Whisky. Present: Haas Brothers continues to attract and nationally develop world-class spirits brands in innovative and emerging categories. California.