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Bay Area beer tour, Part 6: Anchor Brewing Company

July 19, 2011 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Travelin'

Anchor - outside

In the early days of Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, the brewers had a unique way to chill their wort during the brewing process.

Without a source of refrigeration, they cooled the beer in long, shallow vessels on the rooftop of the brewery. The “cool ships” were open, and the steam rose up from the brewery into the San Francisco air.

Some think that’s how “Steam Beer,” also known as California Common beer, got its name.

Anchor, founded in 1896, still uses traditional methods to produce 90,000 barrels of beer a year.

The beer is fermented in open stainless steel pans, but not on the roof. On a recent tour of Anchor, I got to watch the beer bubble inside a sterile fermenting room. It stays there for several days before it’s pumped into the cellar where it finishes aging in tanks. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t take photos of the open pans — just the copper kettles and the sampling room.)

Anchor - former breweryHistoric photo of Anchor Brewing at a former location.

Anchor- old signIn the old days, beer was CHEAP.

Anchor - brew tanksMash tun, lauter tun and boil kettle at Anchor Brewing.

Anchor - mash tunAnother view of the mash tun.

Anchor- lauter and boil tanksThe lauter tun and boil kettle.

Anchor - grains & hopsIngredients for beer: grains and hops.

Anchor - beersBeers made by Anchor Brewing: Christmas Ale, Liberty Ale, Old Foghorn, Porter and Anchor Steam.

Anchor - pouringTime for some samples.

Anchor - sampleCheers!

Anchor - truckThe beer is now on its way to you.

This is the last installment for the Bay Area beer tour series. Read previous posts:

Part 1: Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse || Part 2: Jupiter brew pub || Part 3: Toronado || Part 4: Suppenküche || Part 5: Vesuvio Cafe

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