A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
For over 100 years, Ernst Keller and his family had been in the business of making some of the best beer and sausage in Germany. Ernst saw great potential for the trade in America. Especially out west where a great migration was taking place. Land was cheap and newly formed gold field towns were busting at the seams.
Ernst was smart. He sifted through all the outright lies, deception and hyperbole he was hearing about the western expansion of America and made an honest assessment of the bigger picture. He felt he could expand the family business in America and build upon their growing fortune. His family agreed and Ernst was sent to find a suitable location for the business.
Upon reaching California he scouted the town he had in mind. Unfortunately, it didn't have what he needed most of all. A flowing artesian well. He searched towns for miles in all directions, but none met his needs. He was becoming discouraged. If he couldn't find what he was looking for he would have to return home empty handed.
A small town in Northern California looked promising. It had plenty of water, but no artesian wells. He inquired about his needs to several business owners in town and soon heard about a small ranch a mile to the East that had water flowing from the ground. Ernst was excited at the news and quickly paid the rancher a visit. It was exactly what he was looking for. Ice cold water bubbling up from the ground.
He tried to work a deal with the rancher, but he was unwilling to sell his property at any price. Ernst, being an honest man made the rancher one last proposition. Since there were other sources of water on the property, sell him one acre of land including the well at a handsome price and he would give the rancher a small percentage of his businesses profit. He would also buy cattle from the rancher when he needed the meat for his sausages. The rancher, knowing a good deal when he heard one, agreed and a deal was made.
Ernst contacted the family and they agreed to send all the equipment necessary to get the business up and running. Meanwhile Ernst went about constructing a small factory to make German beer and a very spicy sausage from an old family recipe.
It took a full year before the factory produced its first batch. The front of the building was turned into a fashionable saloon. It sold German beer made with artesian water, and kept ice cold in vats of circulating water coming directly from the well. It was the best tasting and coldest beer for miles around.
The Cold Beer and Hot Sausage Saloon quickly built a fine reputation. Soon the beer was being shipped as far south as San Francisco and North to Portland, Oregon.
Ernst made a fortune for the family business and for the rancher who agreed to sell him the well.
© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.