For the Hass family, the concept of a family tree is quite literal, as Rudolf Gustav Hass grew an avocado tree that would change their lives.
Rudolf’s avocado business began when he purchased an acre of avocado trees in La Habra Heights, California. When those trees weren’t producing enough, Rudolf went to a local nursery and bought a bag of avocado seeds that were said to come from Central or South America.
Of all the seeds he planted, a single seedling grew into a tall and healthy tree. When this seed interbred with the other trees on the farm, it produced a unique, rough-skinned, dark-skinned avocado, something the world had never seen before.
After Rudolf sold the fruit in local markets, the Hass avocado became popular for its rich, creamy taste. It now accounts for nearly 90% of avocados sold worldwide.
It was this heritage that inspired Tim Hass, Rudolf’s great-grandson, to open his own business in Chandler. In January 2022, Hass opened patent 139 Brewing Co., named after the U.S. patent granted to Rudolf on August 27, 1935 for the “RG Hass Avocado”.
Founded on the legacy and intuition of his great-grandfather, this new business was more than a continuation of the Hass family history, but an establishment in its own right.
“For me, I’ve always been in the hospitality business since I was 15, so when the time came when I started to really think about it, I thought to myself, no one has ever used our family history,” Hass said.
With the last name and a business plan in hand, he pursues his dream of owning a brewery and rents the space in July 2021. The idea was to create a welcoming brewery for everyone, craft beer lovers or not.
“We wanted to open a place where no matter what, you’ll find something for someone to enjoy,” he says.
While family history is enough to help Patent 139 stand out in a crowd, Hass knew the menu had to be equally unique. So he hired longtime friend and colleague, Jared Martinez, as his restaurant’s executive chef.
As former colleagues working in the California restaurant industry, Hass and Martinez saw the need for breweries with interesting and unique menus. At the time, most California breweries either didn’t have kitchens or rented food trucks, Martinez says. The duo decided to do something different, while still offering the classics.
“You can come here if you’re just looking to watch the game and have a few beers, we’ve got nachos, we’ve got wings, we’ve got burgers, whatever you want, but then like you’re actually at the looking for a culinary experience, you can start with the feta dip, move up to lamb or octopus,” says Martinez.
Their menu does not stop there. Martinez invents a new avocado dish every morning, and the green fruit is incorporated into nearly every dish. From the avocado honey created by bees that only pollinate avocado blossoms to the garlicky avocado oil they use in cooking, Hass avocado is restaurant essentials. Martinez estimates that they consume 600 avocados each month.
Creativity and experimentation are at the heart of Patent 139. The menu changes seasonally as Martinez updates and refines recipes, such as replacing cherries with peaches in Brussels sprouts. He also tries to substitute ingredients for avocados to make dairy-free or egg-free recipes.
“It’s really nice to be able to cook the dishes you want and to have the support of someone like Tim,” says Martinez. “He’ll come out and sell it to guests as soon as I put it in front of him, that’s the coolest thing.”
Apart from the kitchen, the brasserie is Hass’ playground. Since the opening of the 139 patent, he has experimented with a one-barrel brewing system installed in a corner of the restaurant. Currently, there are two Patent 139 beers on the menu, the Willowood IPA named after the street Hass grew up on, and the Neons Nancer-Blaster Blonde, named after his mother Nancy.
The brewery will soon launch a German-style Kolsch beer made with mashed Hass avocados, which Hass says will be the first avocado-infused beer in Arizona.
On Saturday, August 27, the 87th anniversary of US Patent 139, the beer will be released. Throughout “Patent Approval Day,” Valley residents can stop by for games, drinks, prizes, and a cornhole tournament.
Within months, Patent 139 has become more than a brasserie or restaurant, but a place where staff and locals can find camaraderie, say Hass and Martinez. What started as a simple avocado seed has become a family heirloom. Now the name continues with a Chandler waterer with avocado beer.
Patent 139 Brewing Co.
1949 West Ray Road, Suite 11-13, Chandler
Opening hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday