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Walnut Creek Magazine

Take a San Francisco 'Beercation' at Anchor Brewing

Aug 06, 2018 11:55AM ● By Fran Miller


What comes to mind when considering the most quintessential San Francisco manufactured items? Ghirardelli chocolate? Boudin baked goods? Maybe Levi’s jeans? For many, Anchor Steam beer is at the top of the list. Nothing says San Francisco quite like the blue bottle-capped, golden anchor-bedecked bottles that pair especially well with a San Francisco Giants game.

Founded during the gold rush by German immigrants, Anchor Brewing makes its beer pretty much the same way as it did in 1896 - with four simple ingredients: malted barley, hops, water, and yeast. Considered an original artisanal brewery, one could say Anchor paved the way for the current proliferation of microbreweries. Find out exactly how their many varietals are made – as well as a history of the company - during their 1.5-hour Anchor Brewing Tour at their Potrero Hill, San Francisco brewery. 

Recently named the number one brewery tour in the nation by USA Today, beer lovers and history buffs both find much to love during an Anchor Brewery tour which begins in the ‘tap room,’ where antique plaques and memorabilia grace the walls. Look for the black and white photos of Janis Joplin. Straight from Texas, the husky-voiced singer, then unknown, shot her first San Francisco promo shots at Anchor Brewing. And check-out the display of Christmas Ales and their distinctly different tree labels -  a different one for every year since 1975, each designed by the same Sausalito-based artist. 

A tour guide explains the brewery’s history, and the various steps in the brewing process. After a walk through the brew house, the fermentation rooms, the conditioning cellars, and the bottling shop, guests land back in the taproom and belly-up to the bar to enjoy several pours of classic and experimental beers, arguably the best part of the tour. 

Guests can keep the party going by stepping across the street to Anchor Public Taps, home to The Potrero Project—a collection of beers exclusively brewed in Anchor’s pilot brewery for Public Taps guests. The pilot brewery and bar features indoor seating with a giant television screen on which the day’s sporting events air, as well as some of the best local food trucks, patio seating, and two corn hole games, making it an ideal place to spend a sunny San Francisco weekend afternoon.

Anchor Brewing: 1705 Mariposa Street, San Francisco

Anchor Public Taps: 495 DeHaro St, San Francisco

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