Anchor Brewing Blog

Anchor’s resident beer expert, Bob Brewer, answers your questions about the world of beer & brewing.

Ask Bob Brewer

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September 5, 2013

Ask Bob Brewer: Zymaster Series

Bob Brewer answers your questions about the world of craft beer and brewing. From Maria in Santa Barbara: I’ve just heard about your Zymaster series of special brews. I recently had a bottle of Ft. Ross Farmhouse Ale and loved it! The label says number four. How many have you made? Will there be any… read entire article

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August 2, 2013

Ask Bob Brewer: Whole-Cone Hops vs. Hop Pellets

Bob Brewer answers your questions about the world of craft beer and brewing. From Greg in Chicago: On your website you say that you use only whole cone hops, is this still true? I’m a home brewer and a big fan of craft brews and I have visited many brewpubs and craft breweries, both big… read entire article

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April 4, 2013

Ask Bob Brewer: Harvesting Hops & Recycling Spent Grains

Bob Brewer answers your questions about the world of craft beer and brewing. Katie: When are hops ready to pick? Bob: The easy answer is when they’re ripe. Hops usually ripen, if that’s the proper term, in late summer/early fall. The plant is a fast-growing perennial that dies back every year. The cones are ready for… read entire article

Ask Bob Brewer: Our Plate & Frame Beer Filter

Anthony: How much faster is your new plate and frame filter than the old one? Bob: It’s not necessarily any faster than the old one because the pumps, centrifuge, and pasteurizer still run at the same speed. The big difference is that there is a lot more filter surface, which means that we can run much… read entire article

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January 23, 2013

Ask Bob Brewer: Bottle Conditioning

Bob Brewer (yes, that’s his real name) answers your questions about the world of beer & brewing. John: What should I look for on a bottle if I want to take a yeast culture? Bob: John, almost all bottled beer these days does not contain any yeast. It’s all removed during the filtration process. There are,… read entire article

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September 18, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: Why do craft breweries not use twist off bottle caps?

Dylan: Why do craft breweries not use twist-off bottle caps? Bob: There are several reasons why. From a marketing perspective, twist-off caps have sort of a down market/ big brewery/ domestic lager/ light beer image associated with them in the eyes of the craft/ import consumer. Imported beers all have pry-off caps, which supports an… read entire article

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August 8, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: What’s the Difference Between Ale and Lager?

A question that regularly pops up during our tours or at tastings and special events is “What’s the difference between ale and lager?” Or sometimes, “What’s the difference between ale and beer?” First, the beer question. It’s all beer no matter what you call it. Beer is the all-inclusive description for an alcoholic beverage made… read entire article

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June 13, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: The Type G Keg Coupler

Over the years, I’ve been asked innumerable times why Anchor Brewing chose to use the “Type G” keg coupler instead of the standard “American Sankey.” In 2017 Anchor finally transitioned to the standard 15.5 gallon “American Sankey” kegs, but up until then, our beer lived in fairly uncommon kegs. It’s an interesting bit of Anchor… read entire article

May 29, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: Adding Body to Beer

Blake: What’s your opinion of using Maltodextrin vs. Carapils to add body in a beer? Bob: For those of you who aren’t in the brewing industry or aren’t homebrewers, I have to first explain what we are talking about here. Maltodextrin is a commercially produced substance, manufactured in a powder form, that is added to… read entire article

April 29, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: How Long Does Beer Last?

  Dan: I was told that beer over 90 days old should be destroyed and yet I see all these imports and boutique beers on the shelves much longer.  What’s up with that? Bob: What’s up with that? While most beers are best enjoyed fresh, there is no time-lapse poison pill in the bottle that… read entire article

Ask Bob Brewer: How Long Does Beer Last?

Dan: I was told that beer over 90 days old should be destroyed and yet I see all these imports and boutique beers on the shelves much longer.  What’s up with that? Bob: What’s up with that? While most beers are best enjoyed fresh, there is no time-lapse poison pill in the bottle that spoils… read entire article

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April 26, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: Has Anchor Steam changed?

Chris: First of all, I am a big fan of not only Anchor craft beers, but the philosophy and care behind the brewing process. I have toured the brewery a few times and was blown away by the small size and also that the beers are still essentially made by hand, not a machine. Keep… read entire article

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March 29, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: Food Pairings for Brown Ale

Remco: What kind of food or flavors go best with Brekle’s Brown? Bob: When pairing food and beer, the standard thinking is to either match intensities, complement one another, or offer an interesting contrast. IPA with sharp cheese, porter with robust meats or BBQ, wheat beer or pilsner with lighter fare – these are examples… read entire article

Ask Bob Brewer: What’s The Best Temperature To Serve Beer?

What temperature is Anchor Steam best served at? – Jim Bob: Jim, whatever temperature you find most pleasing is the right temperature for you. There are several schools of thought on the subject, but you should choose for yourself. Taste is subjective. No two persons experience taste exactly the same. There are those who would… read entire article

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January 26, 2012

Ask Bob Brewer: Consistency In Large Batch Sizes

Steven: “How do you maintain consistency over large batch sizes?” Bob: Product consistency is one of the most important components of commercial brewing and is achieved by meticulous attention to detail in all phases of the brewing process. There are no shortcuts or a single magic step. We start with top quality malt and hops… read entire article

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