Anchor Brewing Blog

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

Tag Archives: Types of Craft Beer

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Shining Light on the Subject of Dark Beers

Bob Brewer debunks a few of the common myths associated with dark beers. Don’t be afraid of the dark. On February 5,  2015, Anchor Brewing Company announced the release of Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout, which first saw the light of day last year as the third release in our Zymaster Series of limited edition brews. We… read entire article

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Lager: The Most Popular Beer on the Planet

Bob Brewer looks at the history and evolution of lager, the most popular beer style on the planet. Many of us who inhabit the craft corner of today’s American brewing industry, myself included, have at times tended to dismiss the vastly greater and hugely popular pale lager style of beer. As of early 2014, the… read entire article

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Ask Bob Brewer: Is Liberty Ale an APA or an IPA?

Bob Brewer answers your questions about the world of beer and brewing. Brian (via Twitter): Love your Liberty Ale, is it an APA or an IPA? Bob: This is a good question, Brian, and the answer requires a bit of history. When we first brewed Liberty Ale in 1975, the term “IPA” (India Pale Ale)… 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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Ask Bob Brewer: Porter vs. Bock

Bob Brewer answers your questions about the world of beer and brewing. Ward: Anchor Bock seems similar in style to some porters. What characteristics differentiate Anchor Bock? Bob: To start with, Ward, one of the key distinctions between bocks and porters are their respective origins – bock being of German origin and porter originating in Ireland… read entire article

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A Handmade Label for a Handmade Beer
BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red

By Dave Burkhart, Anchor’s Design & Graphics Production Manager  and Brewery Historian Early in 2013, we made the final decision to create a new fall seasonal. The choice of what style to brew, what it should taste like, how to brew it, what to call it, and what the label should look like are five… read entire article

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The Season for Saison: The Story of Farmhouse Ale

Farmhouse ale, or “saison,” as it is now more commonly known, originated in Wallonia, which is the French-speaking part of Belgium. The style is historical and has strong artisanal roots, having been brewed in a distinct region for several hundred years by individual farmers rather than by commercial breweries. Belgian saisons were traditionally brewed by… 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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The Barleywine Tradition

Although the term “barleywine” has been around for a lot longer – some historians have traced it back as far as ancient Greece – barleywine as a commercial product was only first labeled as such by the Bass & Co. Brewery in 1903. Stylistically-speaking, barleywine is an ale that is characterized by its full body… 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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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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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

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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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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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Porter: The Entire History

Bob Brewer looks back at the rich (and dark) history of porter. All historical references to “porter” seem to go back to 1722 and one Ralph Harwood, a London brewer. Harwood created a beer that was originally called “Entire.” Entire previously had referred to a blend of three separate beers, consisting of one third each… read entire article

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Brekle’s Brown: A Brief History of Brown Ale

Anchor Brewing’s Brekle’s Brown was first brewed in December 2010, but its name can be traced to Anchor’s pioneering brewer, Gottlieb Brekle, 140 years ago. The brewcraft lineage of Brekle’s Brown extends back for centuries. For fans of Brekle’s, and of brown ales in general, here are a few words about how we got here.… read entire article

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