Review by Rob
Anchor Steam’s® roots go back to the Gold Rush, long before icehouses and modern refrigeration made traditional lagers a viable California option. In 1876, thanks to an ice pond in the mountains and a belief that anything is possible in the Golden State, a little brewery named Boca created California’s first genuine lager. Anchor California Lager® is our re-creation of this historic American beer.
Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast, this all-malt brew is kräusened and lagered in our cellars. Its golden color, distinctive aroma, creamy head, balanced depth of flavor, and smooth finish make Anchor California Lager® a delicious celebration of California’s unique craft brewing heritage.
The California grizzly bear on our Anchor California Lager® label is from a woodcut by Durbin Van Vleck (1833–1898), courtesy of The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. First published in 1856 in San Francisco, it is a superbly crafted rendering of an original illustration by Charles Christian Nahl (1818–1878), who had painted both eastbound and westbound versions of this bear. Nearly a century later, Nahl’s bear served as inspiration for the design of the bear on California’s modern state flag. Although that bear is heading west, our bear—like the bear on Boca Brewing’s historic lager label—is heading east.
California’s first genuine lager reborn.
In the states they do tend to love a 330ml can of beer, Lord knows why – perhaps they think “a publican’s friend” drinks alcohol in larger vessels.
Not much to say about this one, it’s a lager, while considerably better than a “UK” offering such as Carling, Fosters, Carlsberg, Heineken, Stella, etc… this doesn’t set my fire alight, personally.
If I’m in a pub and all they have is piss water on tap and/or a badly looked after ale, I immediately look towards a bottle for safe haven, if I’m in a pretentious pub/wine bar, they might have a fridge full of these, and in that instance you’ll be better off buying this California offering than some of those aforementioned piss water drinks.
If you love your lager, this is highly recommended.