Anchor Brewing Blog

A look at the brewing process, traditional recipes, specialty beers and brewing history.

Brewing Insights

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What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Brewery Historian Dave Burkhart and Brewery Loyalist Melba Moeck on Anchor’s “Earthquake Beer” A few months ago we received this nice email from longtime Anchor fan Melba Moeck: After the 1989 earthquake Anchor Brewing bottled beer with upside-down labels. If someone at Anchor Brewing is interested in a six-pack of these unopened bottles that could… read entire article

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Fermenter Installation – March 19, 2014

If you were in our neighborhood on Potrero Hill in San Francisco Wednesday morning, you might have noticed some activity and lots of heavy equipment outside as two new fermenters were delivered for installation. The fermenters were guided into place with the help of two industrial cranes. With the new fermenters in place, our fermenting capacity… read entire article

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A Saison for the Season

By Dave Burkhart, Anchor’s Design & Graphics Production Manager and Brewery Historian Saisons originated with the rustic farmhouse ales of Wallonia, the mostly French-speaking, southern region of Belgium. Bière de saison was brewed during the saison froide (cold season) for consumption during the warmer months. In other words, Belgian farmers brewed their farmhouse ales/saisons “in… read entire article

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A Traditional Label for a Traditional Beer
ANCHOR’S 2013 CHRISTMAS ALE

By Dave Burkhart, Anchor’s Design & Graphics Production Manager and Brewery Historian Anchor has been brewing its uniquely traditional Christmas Ale since 1975. The recipe is different every year and so is the tree on the label. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.… read entire article

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Craft Brewing Insights: Open Fermentation

Fermentation is an integral part of the brewing process. Fresh wort from the brewhouse is placed into vats or tanks and yeast is added. The yeast consumes the sugars in the wort and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide, and along the way, generates heat and multiplies exponentially.   In today’s modern brewing, fermenters… read entire article

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Cellar Tank Installation – July, 2013

Four shiny new cellar tanks enchere recently added to our cellar room here at the brewery. We caught up with cellarman Ryan Akers, who shared a few details about the new tanks and how they will be used. What will the new tanks be used for? Ryan: The new cellar tanks will be used for… read entire article

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Brews & Barrels: The Story of Barrel-Aged Beer

The craft beer industry has seen a lot of activity in recent years having to do with the resurrection of the use of wooden barrels during the aging process. While today’s brewers are producing many differing styles that employ wood vessels somewhere along the way, the history is a bit simpler. Back in the day,… read entire article

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The Many Voyages of Export Stout

As a seafaring nation, England was at the height of its empire through much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With far-flung colonies, a mighty navy, and one of the the world’s largest merchant fleets, the British were a dominant force in global trade for the better part of two centuries. British merchant ships like… read entire article

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Anchor Terminology: D.E.

Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse.   What is “diatomaceous earth”? Abbreviated as D.E., we use diatomaceous earth as a beer filtering agent. D.E. occurs naturally as a mined substance comprised of the fossilized silica… read entire article

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Anchor Terminology: Dry Hopping

Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse. What is “dry hopping”? This brewing term refers to the process of adding hops to the beer while it is in the cellar tank, in addition to the hops… read entire article

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Anchor Terminology: Kräusening

Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse. “Kräusening” is the process of adding a proportion of active wort to cellar tanks containing fully-fermented beer.  The term “kräusen” refers to wort when it is at its most… read entire article

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Small Beer, Big Flavor

Much maligned in history and literature, small beer actually was a popular drink in medieval Europe. Essentially a low-alcohol brew made for the masses, it was considered a healthy drink in the days of unsanitary water supplies. However, in an age where strong ale was celebrated, small beer was looked down upon as an inferior… read entire article

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The Tale of Pale Ale

Pale ale has an interesting history that involves invention, foreign trade, geological proximity, empire, and the roots of the industrial revolution in England. Much has been written about the genesis of pale ales, but it is generally agreed that the development of coke as a fuel for the roasting of malt, first recorded in 1642,… read entire article

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Anchor Terminology: Hot Wort Tank

Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse. What is a “hot wort tank”? This brewing term is exactly what it sounds like, a tank that holds hot wort. After the strike and hop separation, the hot… read entire article

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American Wheat Beers: Heritage and History

When Anchor Brewing Company first brewed a wheat beer in 1984, it was the first time that a wheat beer had been produced in America since Prohibition. Before Prohibition, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several styles of wheat beer were being produced by the largely immigrant German brewing industry that flourished during… read entire article

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Anchor Terminology: Coolship

Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse. What is a “coolship”? This brewing term refers to a very large, shallow vat that was originally used to facilitate the cooling of hot wort in the days before… read entire article

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Anchor Terminology: The Strike

Bob Brewer, Anchor’s resident expert on beer & brewing, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft brewing process and the terminology used in the Anchor brewhouse. The Strike The strike refers to the emptying of the brew kettle after the boil is finished. At Anchor, the strike also involves the removal of the spent hops… read entire article

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It’s All About Bock

There’s a lot of lore surrounding bock beer. What is it? What’s up with the goat? How did it get its name? Is it really made from the residue at the bottom of the tank? The beer we now know as bock originated in the Northern German city of Einbeck, probably as far back as… read entire article

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Zymaster™ Series No. 1: California Lager – Part 2

In part one of our post, we introduced No.1 California Lager – the inaugural brew of our new Zymaster™ Series. In this second part, we take a closer look at how lager beer came to be brewed in California and the breweries that led the way. THE CALIFORNIA LAGER REVOLUTION “The meaning of the word… read entire article

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