Sit back and let us tell you a story. A story of a rich, dark stout that found its way into brandy barrels, and eventually into our signature 1.5 L Magnum bottles. The story of this unique brew is really two stories: the story of the barrels and the story of the stout.
The story of the barrels starts with our Old Potrero Straight Rye Whiskey. Anchor has been making whiskey in San Francisco since 1993. Our straight rye whiskey ages for a minimum of 4.5 years in barrels made of new American Oak that are hand-charred to a heavy char. We have occasionally re-purposed the empty barrels in very unique ways, but generally we either age whiskey or beer in them.
Many years ago we emptied some of these barrels and filled them with then-owner Fritz Maytag’s Apple Brandy. The brandy was aged for several years in the barrels to impart a rich, velvety flavor while providing some color from the whiskey and char. Once we emptied the brandy out of the barrels in early 2015, we knew just what to do.
The beer part of the story begins in 2013 with the release of Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout as the third beer in the limited edition Zymaster Series. Named after a record-setting clipper ship, this deep, dark, rich, creamy export stout was brewed as a tribute to the stouts that came around Cape Horn to California for thirsty early settlers.
We liked this beer so much that we re-launched it as part of the Anchor Argonaut Collection in 2015. Since we had some beer left over after the end of the packaging run, we thought we’d make use of it in the tastiest way we knew.
So, we put the stout into the recently-emptied brandy barrels.
And we waited.
During this time, we were also aging other beers in used Old Potrero Whiskey barrels that would eventually be blended to create our Anchor Barrel Ale, another beer in the Anchor Argonaut Collection. When we tasted the stout aging in the brandy barrels, we knew they were exceptional. We decided not to incorporate this beer into the Anchor Barrel Ale, allowing it to age even longer. This spring, when the barrels hit the one year mark, we tasted them again.
It was time.
The Anchor Brandy-Barrel Aged Stout is as unique as it is flavorful. To commemorate how special this beer is, it was packaged in hand-painted, wax-dipped magnum bottles.
The beer is a deep, rich, jet-black, velvety smooth stout that weighs in at 9.7% ABV. It has a reddish mahogany head on top of an onyx glass of goodness. The tasting experience begins with aromas of very ripe apples, cherries, and chocolate malt with a hint of oak & smokiness. It tastes a bit boozy, but mellows out nicely with a chocolate & molasses silkiness that balances out into a long slow warming glow.
We packaged this beer in large format bottles that are perfect for sharing with family and friends, and we recommend enjoying it in a snifter with barbecued oysters or other dish that is suitably decadent.
Perfect for a foggy San Francisco summer night.
Anchor Brandy Barrel-Aged Stout Release Party
This one-time, limited-edition release will be available for purchase beginning July 19 at our San Francisco taproom. The release party for Anchor Brandy Barrel-Aged Stout is free with advance reservation and includes the following:
- Opportunity to purchase up to 2 magnum bottles of the Anchor Brandy-Barrel Aged Stout while supplies last (1.5L/50.7oz. $50 retail)
- Tastings of the Anchor Brandy Barrel-Aged Stout and Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout for a side-by-side comparison
- Tastings of Anchor’s signature beers: Anchor Steam Beer, Anchor California Lager, Go West! IPA, and Liberty Ale
- “Meet the Brewers” and a self-guided tour of Anchor Brewing
- Packaged beer, growlers, and other Anchor Brewing merchandise is also available for sale (Anchor Brandy Barrel-Aged Stout only available magnum format)
- Must be 21+ with valid ID
We hope you’ll join us at the brewery for the release of this one-of-a-kind Anchor brew. The event is FREE with advance reservation. To RSVP visit: https://brandybarrelstout.eventbrite.com.