Short Story
The Cold Beer and Hot Sausage Saloon
Scott A. Gese


It was a family business looking to expand. Colorado turned out to be the perfect location.

Cold BeerEldon Akyurt/Unsplash

For over 100 years the Keller family had been in the business of making some of the finest beer and best tasting sausage in all of Germany. Ernst was the latest of the Keller family to inherit the business. He was ambitious and interested in expanding the families fame and fortune beyond the borders of his home country. He saw great potential for the beer and sausage trade in America. Especially out west where a great migration had recently taken place. Many of these new mid-west cow towns and gold field towns were continuing to grow. Some showed no sign of slowing down. He felt it was the perfect time to expand the business in America.

Ernst was smart. He sifted through all the outright lies, deception and hyperbole he was hearing about this recent expansion. He took a close look at the growing economic opportunities in the American west. He made an honest assessment of the bigger picture. He felt by expanding the family business in America he could build upon the families growing fortune. He discussed his idea and his strategy with his siblings and they all agreed it was a sound business plan. Ernst was sent to find a suitable location for the business.

He took a steamer across the Atlantic to New York city. From there he boarded a train. He was heading for a town called Santa Fe in the state of New Mexico. Somehow there was a mixup and he soon found himself in a town called Denver in the newly formed state of Colorado.

He fell in love with the beauty of the area and decided to look around and see what he could come up with. Unfortunately he couldn’t find what he needed most of all. A flowing artesian well. Only artesian water would do for Keller family beer. He searched towns for miles in all directions, but none met his needs. After several months of chasing false leads he was becoming discouraged. Time was running out. If he couldn’t find what he was looking for he would have to abort the plan and return home empty handed.

He may have been discouraged but he didn’t give up. A new lead to a small ranch just outside of town looked promising. He had gotten wind of an old rumor that it had a source of water that flowed up from the ground. No one had actually seen it. But just the same Ernst was excited at the news and quickly paid the ranch a visit. The owner was hesitant to discuss the well with Ernst. If fact he outright denied it. But Ernst was persistent and eventually the rancher gave in. He took him to the source. It was exactly what he was looking for. Water, clean and ice cold bubbling up from the ground.

He made an offer to buy the ranch right then and there, but the owner was unwilling to sell his property at any price. Ernst, being an honest man, made one last offer to the rancher.

Since there were two other sources of water on the property, Ernst offered to buy just one acre of land on each side of the well for a total of four acres. He offered the rancher five times what the property was worth. He would also give the rancher a small percentage of his businesses profit. Plus he would buy cattle and hogs from the rancher as the only source of meat for his sausages. The rancher was no fool. He knew a good deal when he saw one. He agreed and a deal was made.

Ernst contacted the family and they agreed to send all the funds and equipment necessary to get the business up and running. Ernst went about constructing a small brewery and factory to make the families famous German beer and spicy sausage.

The front of the building was turned into a fashionable saloon. It took a full year of hard labor before the factory produced its first batch. The saloon, known as the Cold Beer and Hot Sausage Saloon held a grand opening with much fanfare. It sold its famous German beer made with artesian water and spicy hot sausages. The beer was 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 saloon quickly built a fine reputation. Soon the beer and sausages were being shipped as far west as San Francisco and many towns to the East.

Over the years Ernst made a fortune for the family business and for the rancher who agreed to sell him the well. Eventually the rancher sold the rest of his property to the Keller family for a large profit. The Cold Beer and Hot Sausage Saloon became a historic landmark and thrived for many years.

© Copyright 2024 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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