Anchor Brewing Blog

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

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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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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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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

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The Early Days on Telegraph Hill

Visitors to Coit Tower—if fortunate enough to visit on a clear day—will appreciate Telegraph Hill’s spectacular view of modern-day San Francisco. It is one that San Francisco’s early settlers not only appreciated but grew dependent upon, thanks to the small windmill-like structure that once sat atop Telegraph Hill. According to San Francisco pioneer and painter… read entire article

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St. Nicholas: Patron Saint of Brewers

Anchor historian Dave Burkhart looks beyond the sinners to the saints associated with brewing. Oh, when the saints go mashing in Oh, when the saints go mashing in Lord, how I want to be in that brewhouse When the saints go mashing in! For visitors to Anchor Brewing, the most obvious occupants of its brewhouse… 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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