The Beer Nut: Anchor Beers Stand the Test of Time


It seems like every week a new brewery opens, or a craft brewery announces that it is expanding. They should all thank Anchor Brewing Company.

When Fritz Maytag (yes, of the Maytag Corp., the washer company) bought the struggling Anchor Brewing Company in 1965, he did more than save a struggling business — he helped start the craft beer revolution that continues to grow today. Without Anchor, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the craft beer industry would be far behind where it is today.

You don’t hear much about the Anchor Brewing Company nowadays — most of its beers were created in the 1970s. Anchor hasn’t released a new beer in two years.

However, just because they are not making news every other week with new releases, it does not mean Anchor is not a fabulous brewery. The beers Anchor created in the 1970s were the first of their particular styles brewed in the United States since the end of Prohibition — and they still stand the test of time.

The brewery’s most famous beer is the Anchor Steam (a lot of people think that’s the name of the brewery). Steam beer is a style of brewing where lager yeast, which is usually fermented at colder temperatures, is fermented at the warmer temperature of an ale. It was a style that was created during the gold rush in California, and this San Francisco brewery still brews it. They have also trademarked the name. Any other beer that uses this method of brewing is called a California common.

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