What follows is the August 7th edition of my weekly column written for DIG Magazine.
As the oldest craft brewery in the U.S., Anchor Brewing has survived good times and bad since 1896. Actually, this San Francisco brewery was founded in 1871, but was purchased and renamed Anchor a quarter century later. In 1971, their flagship beer – Anchor Steam – was bottled for the first time, and remains a craft beer staple today.
Anchor Steam is known as a California Common, a style brewed with a blend of pale and caramel malts, then fermented with lager yeast, but at typical ale yeast temperatures. This results in a hybrid beer with characteristics of both. It pours a clear amber color with a finger of creamy head that dissipates quickly. A sweet malt aroma is present with some floral and fruity notes. The taste is biscuity with a hint of fruity bitterness, and the finish is clean and dry. At a mere 4.9-percent ABV, this is a light and refreshing beer that you can drink in quantity on a hot summer day.
Anchor Steam is a great stepping-stone into craft beer for those who are used to drinking light American lagers. Six packs can be found at most grocers for around $9-10, and on draft at places like The Bulldog and The Chimes.