The Davis facility was intended to be the brewing center which would supply a large and growing chain of restaurants. For a number of years Sudwerk's output was prodigious, 6000-8000 barrels a year.
In 2003 the momentum started to wane. The Sacramento restaurant location soon closed and the chain idea went with it.
I loved standing in the largest lagering room I have ever seen (kept cool to account for the lower fermentation temperature required for lagers). Seeing as how I believe we need more lagers, this is where I expect them to come from. Maintaining this equipment isn’t cheap and this results in slim profit margins.
Good Beer loves a Good Barkeep
As a result small brewers want to limit their sales to merchants who let the product get stale on the shelf, such as low turnover liquor stores, and bars and restaurants where beer does not turnover fast enough.