Monday, October 1, 2007

Anchor Porter

Today has been a hell of a day. After having a great weekend, I come back to work to be kept continually busy with meetings and things going wrong. I thought I was going to go insane with all the problems that kept cropping up. It was like facing the Hydra; when one problem was finished, two more popped up in its place. Then, on top of all that, my wife and I were cooking a pizza when it slipped off the oven rack during removal, having it land on the bottom of the oven and catch fire. We managed to smother the fire and wave out the smoke, but now our place smells like burnt pizza, and we of smoke.

That's when I decided to crack open one of the beers I purchased last Friday: an Anchor Porter. The Anchor Brewery was opened during in San Francisco in 1871 by German immigrant brewer Gottlieb Brekle as something different (name and date unknown). It was bought by another German immigrant brewer, Ernst F. Baruth (with his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr.) in 1896. It was at this point that it was renamed the Anchor Brewery, and it continued the tradition laid down from its previous owner producing steam beer (or beer brewed under primitive conditions with no ice), or California Common beer. Steam beer is now a trademark of the Anchor Brewery. After surviving the 1906 earthquake, sudden deaths of owners, Prohibition, fires, and World War II, the effect of 1950's television advertising by the big boys hurt craft brewers, and the brewery was on the edge of closing for good. In 1965, a man by the name of Fritz Maytag bought a majority of the brewery for a few thousand dollars and slowly, but surely, turned the brand around. In 1972, their Anchor Porter was first brewed, bottled for the first time two years later. They now brew 8 beers at their Mariposa St. brewery and show no signs of stopping, thanks to the current microbrew wave that's been growing since the mid-1970's. (Anchor's history parts 1, 3, 5, and 6, Anchor Porter homepage)

Here are the stats:

Anchor Porter
BREWERY: Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA, USA
ABV: 5.6%
MALTS: 2-row barley

I got the first-brewed, ABV, and malt information from the Anchor Porter website. I will call the brewery tomorrow for some addition information.

This beer was a very dark brown, almost black color with a billowing tannish head that bubbled furvently, then suddenly stopping to keep its pillowy form. When I poured the rest of the beer, the head looked like a mountain range:

The aroma was a faint hint of dark chocolate, but its taste was more of a caffeination transitioning to a black coffee flavor. I certainly appreciated that their porter had a lot more flavor than the others had. The problem is with the aftertaste; it just kept building as I drank the beer, something I tend not to like about most beers in general. But, like I said, it had a good taste, so I can't complain.

I liked this beer a lot better than their Steam Beer and Liberty Ale, but that's my opinion. It has a rich enough flavor to stand out from other straight porters I've had before (save Alaskan's Smoked Porter). Pick one up the next time you're out and about.


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