Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Steamy Day 15
Now here's one that I'm a little embarrassed to admit I've never tried. Anchor Steam holds a very important place in American brewing history. It's been made in San Francisco since 1896, which makes it only 137 years younger than Guinness, and only 67 years younger than Yuengling, America's oldest brewery. So they've been around for a while.
More importantly, most people agree that the whole craft beer movement started in 1965 when Fritz Maytag bought the Anchor Steam Brewery and -- well, I'll let a San Francisco beer blogger explain it:
Maytag’s and Anchor’s contributions to the microbrewery revolution cannot be overstated. They gave us the first authentic American beers since Prohibition by brewing beers with real flavor and body. Today, there are once again 1,500 craft breweries in the US, and nearly all use stainless steel, brew all malt ales (instead of cheaper adjuncts such as rice and corn), experiment with whole hop cones and dry-hopping for added bitterness and fragrant aromas, and create dozens of styles. But it all started with Anchor during its first decade under Maytag’s watch and wallet. While California Commons (Anchor trademarked the word “Steam” beer), porters, American pale ales, barleywines, and wheat beers are pedestrian today, imagine trying one for the first time. That’s exactly what area beer drinkers did back in the ‘70s entirely due to Anchor.
It should perhaps be noted that Fritz retired this year and sold the brewery to the Skyy Vodka people.
Okay, let's get to drinking:
APPEARANCE: Pours a deep, rich amber with ruby highlights tat show when held to the light. Nice head of about an inch that leaves lace as it slowly dissipates.
AROMA: Mild maltiness, like the kitchen when your grandmother baked biscuits three days ago.
TASTE: I don't know what happened to that malt I smelled, because all I taste is hops -- well, hops and a sort of metallic taste. I know it came from a bottle and even modern cans don't leave the beer tasting like tin anymore. But I swear this tastes a little like 1970's cans.
BURP TASTE: Yes, I'm adding my own category. The can taste is even more pronounced as an eruction.
MOUTHFEEL: Nice level of effervescence. Enough alcohol that I'm starting to not mind the metallic taste.
DRINKABILITY: Most of the beers I've been drinking this month are not ones that either my wallet or my waistline could afford to drink on a regular basis. This one feels more like an everyday beer. For somebody else not for me.
It occurs to me that this beer might work better paired with some foodstuff. This is something else I'm interested. Beer-food pairings. I've got some gouda, hang on.
Well, no, that didn't help much, but the cheese did sop up some of the metallic taste.
CONCLUSION: Damning with faint praise is about all I can do here. I don't hate this beer and I certainly will not be adding it the list of beers I will never try again, like I did with beer #6. But I'm not going to seek it out either.