Anchor Steam Beer
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Anchor Brewing has been crafting their famous Anchor Steam Beer since 1896. Yes, 1896. Anchor is one of the oldest breweries in the United States and the steam beer was their own creation all those years ago - it is in fact one of just a handful of beer styles considered to be indigenous to America. The beer came to be all of those years ago as Anchor used a lager yeast, but fermented at a warmer than usual temperature as the beer would be cooled and fermented on the brewery's roofs in San Francisco rather than in a traditional cold cellar. The natural way of cooling the beer on rooftops is what led to the nickname of a steam beer seeing as the warm wort would create clouds of steam in the sky.
Enjoy the modern version of this ancient, at least by American standards, beer poured into a heavy pint glass, allowing it to stay cool after handling. You'll notice immediately toffee copper hue, white head and glorious lacing as it settles into the glass. The use of caramel malt and a specialty hop known as Northern Brewer are what provide the distinct aroma and flavor to Anchor Steam. The nose wafts with dark caramel, fresh grain, wood, and perhaps just a subtle hint of mint. The flavor lends notes of tree bark, hints of caramel, spice of Ceylon tea, and the herbaceousness of lemon leaves picked straight from the tree. The finishes hits with a distinctive hop bitterness, but nothing to be scared about.
The beer is reminiscent of the great Oktoberfestbiers of Germany or perhaps a more robust variation of the Vienna lager. It's a perfect beer for those looking to take a step further down the flavor spectrum from the traditional lagers, but aren't yet ready for the bursting hops of an IPA or the richness of a stout. Then again, it's a perfect beer for those who already love those beers, but want a break from those intense flavors without sacrificing quality or character. Being an old time California beer, pair your Anchor Steam with a couple of charred carne asada street tacos or a fresh avocado and grapefruit salad.