Posts Tagged ‘anchor’

steam beer results

Friday, February 26th, 2010

so, after I kegged my steam beer clone I was itching to try it out.  the problem was, I already had 2 kegs on at the house and no upcoming events that needed a keg (sad to say).

  • fortunately, when TB and CB had their baby, CB mentioned that his kegerator was currently empty-  it was the perfect excuse to roll a keg over.  who needs a pint more than a new parent after a long day running on fumes?
  • luckily, the keg had carbed up nicely and the first few pours resulted in a nice head.
  • thankfully, my fermentation temps seem to have been kept low, as the beer is smooth and malty without any noticeable phenols.  the beer has a smooth bitter finish much like the beer it’s modeled after.  there some chill haze that affects clarity, but it’s not too bad.
  • overall, I’m pretty happy with how the beer turned out, and will probably whip up another steam beer in the future (this time, however, I will go all-grain, and hopefully use a temp controlled environment).  it was pretty neat making a steam beer using local water and fermenting under ambient temps, similar to how it was done back in the day.

sf beer week opening gala

Monday, February 8th, 2010

getting a pour of the imperial barrel aged common

last friday I was lucky enough to attend the opening gala for sf beer week over at the yerba buena center for the arts.

  • the brewer/beer lineup was great, and I was able to try quite a few brews I had been missing out on, like firestone walker’s lil’ opal and anchor’s humming ale.
  • however, my favorites of the night came from unlikely sources.  drake’s 1500 dry hopped pale really opened my eyes with its great aroma and bitter bite.
  • also, valley brewing’s cuvee d’evil was pretty fantastic.  pomegranate honey and brandy barrels? sign me uuuup.
  • in fact, all of valley’s offerings were memorable – I would have to say they were my favorite booth of the night.
  • it was also great to meet some big names in the SF beer scene.  jay over at brookstonbeerbulletin, jesse over at beer and nosh, and sean the homebrew chef were all very approachable and friendly in spite of the packed house.
  • the gala turned out to be a well-planned (and well-attended) event, and I was glad I had the opportunity to hit it up.  on with beer week!

the first pour of the night

lil' opal pour

the crowd at the gala

strong presentation!

music to go with the brews at the gala

anchor christmas ale 2009

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

anchor xmas ale

ever since the 2009 anchor christmas ale magnums popped up in stores I was itching to pick one up.

  • they were pretty inexpensive (>$15 from what I remember) and looked like a great gift/party idea.
  • however, I wasn’t too keen on the last few christmas ales from anchor, so I wanted to try a little taste before jumping in head first.
  • I found singles for sale somewhere (was it city beer?) and picked one up for a taste test, but before I got to try it i buckled and got a magnum for UD for his birthday.  it didn’t hurt that dave over at healthy spirits gave the ’09 a good review, so I had some faith going into it.  and, well, shit, any russian river offering short of blind pig or pliny costs more than this magnum, so it’s all relative…
  • anyhow, I’m glad I grabbed these bottles.  the brew has a super piney hop aroma with a smooth spicy malt back.  I can’t overemphasize the “piney-ness” here – it is very woodsy and earthy.  however, spiced beers get to me a little – I can’t really drink more than one or two of em.  this is a great example of a christmas “winter warmer.”

anchor xmas ale in the glass

anchor xmas ale in the glass v.2

taps petaluma

Monday, November 9th, 2009

the bar at taps

after doing some biking and meeting up with my cousin TF up at sonoma state, AP and I dropped by petaluma on our way back to the city.

  • AP had done some research and told me that taps in petaluma looked like a good place to stop by for a brew.
  • I was a little hesitant at first, since we only had time for one stop, and lagunitas was right around the corner.
  • however, as soon as we sided up the the bar, I knew there weren’t going to be any regrets.
  • with a name like taps, you would expect at least a few good offerings on draft here.  true to its name, taps offered an outstanding tap selection, ranging from numerous local kegs to plenty of belgians.  the even had a cask of bourbon ruben and the jets from lagunitas on hand pump!
  • in fact, I was so torn over what to choose first that Ana, the bartender, took it for confusion and quickly poured me up a couple samples she recommended.
  • I finally settled on (surprise!) moonlight’s 40 to life.  Eric, one of the owners (along with his wife, Wendy), told me that it was a one-off keg that Brian made by blending 20 to life and 60 to life to get an appropriate amount of sourness that he felt was appropriate for the crowd.  the beer was outstanding – very drinkable, tart and sour, but well balanced.
  • AP had an anchor small beer on my recommendation.  although this beer doesn’t get much love, I think it’s because it’s not categorized as a small beer and appreciated for what it is.  personally, I love it’s grainy bite and sessionability.  it’s like a modern-day table beer.
  • to finish off, AP and I shared a black xantus, an imperial stout from nectar ales.  I heard hype about this beer for over a month, and it definitely lived up to it – it was very complex, and had great subtle notes of oak, coffee, and roasted malt that all blended perfectly.  in a world of boozy, high gravity imperial stouts, black xantus was a smooth, drinkable alternative (although it still clocked in at 11%!).
  • on a non-beer note, the sausages and dogs at taps are great as well.  my chicago dog was definitely the best I’ve had outside of illinois, probably because, as Eric mentioned, all the ingredients (down to the buns) are brought over from the windy city.
  • overall, taps turned out to be an impreessive establishment with outstanding beers, friendly staff, and good eats.  it is definitely on my must-visit list every time I come near petaluma from now on.
  • more info on taps can be found on this blog post.

ruben and the jets hand pump

40 to life

the beer list and some empty samplers

anchor small beer

black xantus

one of the tap lineups

go bistro SFO

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

anchor steam and fat tire

when AP and I flew down to LA last week our flight was delayed at SFO, so we set up shop at go bistro in terminal 1 to kill some time.

  • usually we go over to legends of san francisco for a beer and some popcorn, but go bistro caught my eye as we were walking past and I figured we should give it a shot.  that, and the place was right next to our gate.
  • I ordered up a staple, anchor’s steam beer.  AP had a fat tire.  both beers were as expected (although AP noted a little funkiness in her brew that I couldn’t detect – I doubt these guys clean their lines that often…)
  • we didn’t try any food, but the selection looked pretty varied/interesting.
  • this place is pretty decent, about average for an airport bar.  I wish SFO had something like the pyramid ale house over at OAK though.

the bar at go bistro