North America / See

Authentic San Francisco Brew: Anchor Steam

Ever thought 10 am was just a tad too early for a beer?

If you answered no, then you’ll be pleased to know we’re on the same wavelength. If you answered yes, what are your thoughts on champagne breakfasts?

During my last week in San Francisco, I had time to visit the Anchor Brewery and join one of their free brewery tours and beer tastings. The guide was young, tall, handsome and very knowledgable in the history of the brewery and the brewing process (turns out his grandfather used to work at a brewery so it kinda runs in the family).

Anchor Brewing Company has all the elements of a success story; rough startup, near bankruptcy, death, earthquake, Prohibition, emergence of the megabreweries, new brewing techniques and brewery expansion. Read more here.

Steam beer (also called Californian common beer) is a style of beer that came about because the brewery couldn’t cool down the worts in the traditional way (refrigeration). It was a cheap and common beer for the blue-collar workers however “modern-day” steam beer is seen to be a boutique beer.

Brewing happens in the copper brew house. These vats are where they mix the hops into the worts.

Hoppity hop hops. The room was sweetly fragrant from the 4 batches of hops.

Rows and rows of cooling tanks line the basement. The beer cools here before going to the bottling and packing room (an area where camera are prohibited for legal reasons).

The tour ends with a walk down memory lane in the Anchor Steam gallery. You can find all sorts of historic brewing gear and photographs of the men who start it all.

Important ingredients that go into every drop of their fine beer.

The Anchor range. We tried 7 that morning including the Christmas ale in the lead up to the festive season. My favourites are the Liberty Ale (light, easy to drink and what I’m used to) and the Bigleaf Maple Autumn Red (light but the sweetness gets a bit sickening in my opinion).

Apparently they sell Anchor in Perth so I’m off to the bottle-o. They’re also looking to expand in the new year so watch out for their ever-growing range of beer.

Enjoy! xx


Anchor Brewery
a: 1705 Mariposa St, San Francisco
t: +1-415-863-8350


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