Preamble: I read with interest about the significance of Anchor Brewery in the world of US craft brewing, especially in consideration that this is one of the oldest beers (first brewed in 1896) still being brewed in the US (that can still be considered a drinkable beer) and the fact that it was bought and rejuvenated by a member of the Maytag (washing machine) family. It doesn’t help matters that the beer has been sitting in the cupboard for a few weeks pretty much forgotten about; probably worse will be the numbers of times I have ventured to San Francisco I have also managed to miss this brewery (and beer) prefering to concentrate on the wines of the region. It is so, much delayed, that this beer can now be sampled and savoured. This is another style of beer that I have not been aware of before – California Common/Steam Beer
The Beer: Anchor Brewing Anchor Steam Beer, 4.9% abv
Aroma: Malty, lightly roasted – enough to still get the gentle roasting out of it; little or no hops that I could find, simply malt
Appearance: Golden brown, plenty of carbonation; light fluffy head that quickly goes
Flavour: Malted, somewhat tending towards the light side, but again that lightly roasted element comes out enough to be found, bitter in fair doses.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, somewhat light bodied, somewhat gassy but not too much
Other than the beer being enjoyable, at least not offensive, the specific design of the bottles and labels of Anchor Brewing’s beers are quite endearing. They can draw on a long history and use the nautical theme, hence creating a distinct image of something that has a heritage about it. Whether or not this beer remain true to the original beer it would be hard to tell, but it is something to be enjoyed on a summer’s day, and not to be ignored or pushed to the back of a cupboard and forgotten about.
Website: Anchor Brewing