In 1872, the Rueter Company, which produced ale and porters at its Highland Springs brewery, was considered the largest ale producer in the United States. The brewery was well known for its Irish-style ales and porters, and its Sterling Ale, with a high alcohol content of as much as fifteen percent, was popular for its potency. The company also won a first prize for ale in the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Rueter also served as the president of the American Brewers Association, which held off the temperance forces as long as it could.
The main brewery building still stands today, as does the smaller (but architecturally interesting) refrigeration building located in the rear of the complex. You can see the “ghost” of the words “Highland Springs Ale” along one side of the large brewery building, which later housed the Oliver Ditson Company (also visible), the Boston-based music publishing firm, the Croft Company (another brewer) and then finally served as the Roscoff Pickle Factory. The brewery building is currently being redeveloped for housing.