Anchor Brewing Blog

A look into our culture, history, and insights into the Anchor Brewing process.

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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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“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
Say What? Says Who?

Anchor Brewing historian Dave Burkhart uncovers the truth behind one of the most famous quotes about San Francisco that Mark Twain didn’t say. Mark Twain is what Fred Shapiro, author of the Yale Book of Quotations, calls “the great American quotation magnet.” If it’s clever, witty, or ironic, it simply must have been Twain (AKA… 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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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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Much Ado About Small Beer

By Anchor Brewing historian Dave Burkhart Although we’ve been making our Old Foghorn® Barleywine-Style Ale since 1975, it wasn’t until 1997 that we tried—or assayed, as Shakespeare would have called it—to make a small beer from the same mash. The tradition of brewing two distinct beers from one mash is an ancient one—as Fritz Maytag… read entire article

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A Return to Maidstone, The Origin of Mark’s Mild

In the dark of night well before dawn, a Volkswagen bus travelled past the hedgerows and hop farms of Kent County, England. Mark Carpenter was behind the wheel on holiday, in September of ’69, two years before he joined Anchor Brewing. He was headed to the city of Maidstone, where unbeknownst to him, a single… 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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A Revolutionary Label for a
Revolutionary Beer

Anchor Brewing historian Dave Burkhart tells the story of Liberty Ale’s first ride. 1975 was a banner year for Fritz Maytag, his brewery, and the history of craft beer in America. In that one year we added three new beers—Liberty Ale, Old Foghorn, and Our Special Ale, AKA Anchor Christmas Ale—to our “lineup” of Anchor… 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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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

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Anchor Terminology: Salad Shooter

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. “Salad shooter” is an Anchor-specific term affectionately given to the device that moves the spent hops from the hop separator to the spent grains silo.   In our ongoing… read entire article

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The Key to Summer Beer

Anchor historian Dave Burkhart explores Anchor’s first brew and bottling of Anchor Summer® Wheat, with a little help from former Anchor brewmaster Fritz Maytag. We first brewed Anchor Wheat Beer—now known as Anchor Summer® Wheat—in 1984, in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the first brew in our Mariposa Street brewery. This is our sixth… read entire article

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

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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

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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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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The Ballad of Steam Beer

Anchor historian Dave Burkhart tells the story of balladist Billy Barnes and his paean to San Francisco’s favorite libation. “The old days might not have been better,” penned Herb Caen in One Man’s San Francisco, “but they were certainly different in the nicest possible way.” The intrepid columnist was referring to “a piece of doggerel… read entire article

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Brews & Baseball: Building Anchor Plaza at AT&T Park

Fans of Brews & Baseball have something new to look forward to this spring, summer, and fall in San Francisco. You may have already heard about Anchor Plaza at AT&T Park, an outdoor taproom that offers a selection of hand-crafted beers from Anchor Brewing, spirits from Anchor Distilling, and a delicious variety of food options… read entire article

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