Many craft breweries are cults of personality. But when these icons eventually fade, we’re left with the next generation to think about, as the brewery must go on. Craft brewing has always been a business.
If you’re a fan of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, the blues-rock band formed by Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson, you know that Anchor’s Brotherhood Steam Beer can is a new experience for Captain Nebula, the “intrepid interspace gnome” who appears on CRB artwork.
Incorporate Anchor Steam, an iconic Bay Area brew, and Junípero Gin, San Francisco’s original craft gin, to create a cocktail that celebrates not only San Francisco, but also a new-age drinking tradition.
News of a fast and cheap way to explore the nuances of dry-hop character—pop open a Bud Light, drop some hops and re-cap it—has spread like wildfire. The great thing about this technique is the endless variety.
Auburn University to offer a major in brewing science; Budweiser responds to suit alleging Bud “watered down” brews; Philadelphia sues Yuengling for $6.6 million in back taxes; a brewery expansion roundup; and Scottish brewery chastised by anti-alcohol groups over “breakfast beer.”
Today, the Bay Area is home to over 60 breweries, and the city itself boasts nine beyond Anchor Brewing Co. … and that number is growing. In fact, the SF Brewers Guild recently decided to bring the contract and gypsy breweries into the fold, so now membership stands at 15.
Labatt’s dismantlement of Lakeport brewery draws local resentment; Obama receives Maine beer package; Boston Beer founder Jim Koch petitions for national Patriots’ Day; San Francisco’s iconic Anchor Brewing sold.
Even amidst the constantly buzzing news of special-release beers from exciting new breweries from Dallas to Denmark, let’s take a moment to remember the craft brewing pioneers and help them celebrate their achievements.
For craft brewers tempted to focus their attention on high-priced, limited-edition beers that appeal to a tiny fraction of beer lovers, it’s telling that the original craft brewer, Anchor Brewing, has not embraced the high-alcohol and hop-bomb craze.
Geoff Larson, co-founder and brewmaster at the Alaskan Brewing Company, has overseen a gold rush of a different sort: He has won more Great American Beer Fest medals than any brewery in the festival’s history.
Both musicians and brewers express themselves as artists by putting a lot of themselves into their craft; be it a new Stout or a new song. It’s no huge surprise then, given these fundamental similarities, that many brewers are also musicians and many breweries have their own bands.