Anchor Releases California Lager

Last night I atended a special release party at Anchor Brewery for their newest Beer, Anchor California Lager. It’s the same beer that was the first in their Zymaster series. According to Anchor co-owner Keith Greggor, the reaction to the beer was overwhelmingly positive, especially from distributors, and that persuaded the brewery to release it as a year-round beer in 12-oz. bottles. The release also coincides with a new partnership between Anchor and the California State Parks Foundation, where a portion of the proceeds from the beer will be donated to the parks foundation, a very worthy cause in my opinion. For now, the beer will only be available in California.


From the press release:

Today, Anchor Brewing announces that Anchor California Lager®, California’s first genuine lager reborn, is being added to our core lineup of distinctive beers with case sales supporting the California State Parks Foundation. This new release is currently available in California only.

Anchor California Lager was the first beer in our Zymaster® Series, originally released as a limited draught beer in early 2012.

“Our first release of this historical brew was immensely popular with the public and also with our Anchor employees,” said Keith Greggor, CEO of Anchor Brewing Company. “From day one, Anchor California Lager resonated with us not only because of its distinctive flavor, but also because of the rich brewing history that it celebrates.”

Anchor Steam’s® roots go back to the Gold Rush, long before icehouses and modern refrigeration made traditional lagers a viable option. In 1876—thanks to an ice pond in the mountains and a belief that anything is possible in the Golden State—a little brewery named Boca created California’s first genuine lager. Anchor California Lager is our re-creation of this historic beer.

Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast, Anchor California Lager is kräusened and lagered in our cellars. This all-malt brew is a delicious celebration of California’s unique brewing heritage.

The California grizzly bear on our Anchor California Lager label is from a woodcut by Durbin Van Vleck (1833–1898), courtesy of The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. First published in 1856 in San Francisco, it is a superbly crafted rendering of an original illustration by Charles Christian Nahl (1818–1878), who had painted both eastbound and westbound versions of this bear. Nearly a century later, Nahl’s bear served as inspiration for the design of the bear on California’s modern state flag. Although that bear is heading west, our bear—like the bear on Boca Brewing’s historic lager label—is heading east.

Anchor California Lager (4.9% ABV) is unique. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, its rich golden color, distinctive aroma, lingering creamy head, balanced depth of flavor, and incredibly smooth finish are like no other lager today.

Anchor California Lager is now available year-round in 6-packs, 12-packs, 22-ounce bottles, as well as on draught at select bars, restaurants and retailers throughout California.

Anchor’s history, California’s first genuine lager beer, and our state parks were all born in the second half of the 19th Century. To celebrate California’s unique heritage, we are proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds from Anchor California Lager case sales will support a new partnership with the California State Parks Foundation. As a tribute to our shared history and traditions, we’re forming an Anchor California Lager Grant, to be awarded by the California State Parks Foundation as a part of their Discretionary Grants program to benefit state parks.

California State Parks Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California’s 280 state parks – the largest state parks system in the United States. California State Parks Foundation’s work revolves around the belief that all Californians deserve access to excellent state parks – from beaches to mountain ranges, deserts to redwood forests, and everything in between.

From last night’s release party:


And finally, here’s a new video about the beer:

Craft Beerds On Tour Beginning Tonight

My neighbor, friend and colleague Fred Abercrombie, is debuting his new book, Craft Beerds, tonight at Taps in Petaluma. The book is a raucous look at nearly 200 beer labels involving beards, or beerds, and it’s just in time to kick off SF Beerd Week.


Pick up your own copy of the book, signed by the author.


I’ll be there at least the first hour, too, but if you can’t make it tonight at Taps, consider one of the other book signing events taking place during SF Beer Week. First, there will be an event at 21st Amendment on Tuesday, February 12 (Lincoln’s birthday) starting at 6:30 p.m.


The next night, Wednesday, February 13, beginning at 9 p.m. they’ll be a book signing at Zeitgeist in San Francisco. They’ll also be featuring LagunitasSoCo ‘Stache Stout.”


UPDATE: Author Fred Abercrombie with his bearded fans from last night’s book release party: