Anchor Brewing

Beer Review – Anchor California Lager

Anchor California Lager

There isn’t much of a back story associated with the acquisition of this particular bottle of Anchor Brewing’s California Lager. I had it a couple months back, really liked it, and then decided to pick up another bottle for a review. BOOM! End of story.

Here is what the good people at Anchor Brewing have to say about their California Lager:

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 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 brewing heritage.

Let’s get on with it…

  • Appearance: Pale orange with a thin layer of off white foam that covers the top of the beer.
  • Aroma: A hint of orange zest scented hops along with some doughy yeast.
  • Taste: Lightly carbonated. Very smooth and easy drinking with a lightly sweet biscuity malt flavor at the onset followed by a wee bit of citrusy hop bitterness. Crisp, clean, and well balanced finish with a melange (fancy!) of lightly sweet and bitter flavors in the aftertaste.
  • ABV: 4.9%

Beginner Whisky Geeks and Craft Beer Geeks share a similar snobbishness. The moment any of us get serious about a subject, our head becomes filled with notions about what’s good and what’s dreadful. Scotch loving Whisky Geeks turn their noses up at blended whiskies and hail anything called a Single Malt. Craft Beer Geeks mock anyone that dare order a Lager in their presence since they associate it with Bud/Miller/Coors and assume that all Lagers suck and that all Ales are vastly superior. How do I know this? Because I am 1000% guilty of both!

Thankfully, I have learned a lot over the years about Whisky and Craft Beer. There are oodles of amazing Blended Whiskies out there (I’m looking at you Compass Box!), and I have enjoyed a multitude of deliciously flavorful Lagers. I am happy to report that Anchor’s California Lager has made it on to my Fabulous Lagers list! This is a delicious and versatile beer that I will definitely seek out again and again. Well done Anchor!

5 replies »

  1. You want a back story? I’m sure I could handle that for you. But given your association with the masters of back stories (none other than the Wedding Crashers themselves) I’m surprised to see you at a loss for one. So here goes….

    You’re outside in the rice paddy with limpd contorting yourselves into all manner of grotesque positions offensive to the Bible Belters (though with hands to yourselves) just so that you could the correct angle of light into the prismatic spectrometer so as to accurately calculate the correct proportions of various free range dyes into the upper paddy in hopes of a resulting rice harvest of seafoam green. You hear a distinctive whistling sound from the sky but before you can look up to ascertain its source you’re struck in the head by an object which descended therefrom. Fortunately, it was only a glancing blow. The object careened towards limpd who dove instinctively towards the sand box. Unfortunately for him, he landed upon a collection of Jello-O pudding cups which had been carefully placed in sequential order of fat content for an ongoing evaluation by industrious and curious offspring.

    Moments after his embarrassing plunge you both found the object which occasioned the preceding chaotic moments. It was none other than an glass bottle labeled “Anchor California Lager.” As craft beer researchers and bloggers you steeled yourselves and engaged upon a quest to acquire a full example of this apparently heavenly created brew. Upon arriving at WineWorks, you walked up to the craft beer manager and said “ch–clk–rrk–chr–ok”. Thankfully, the manager’s former roommate at Weber State was from Namibia and taught him just enough of the Khoisan “click language” still spoken in some parts of the Kalahari Desert and African Rift Valley to understand that you were looking for a bottle of Anchor California Lager. He was kind enough to translate your payment negotiation at the checkout station and, soon enough, you were on your way home with the bottle pictured above……

    I don’t know why you didn’t just say that in the first place.

    Anyway, I’ve fallen into the same unfortunate stereotype regarding lagers more than once despite having enjoyed a few that were quite good. Anchor California Lager is one of the better ones I’ve had. Crisp and flavorful with a hint of complexity, citrus and toasted malt. Victory Prima Pils and Trumer Pilsner are my two favorite lagers (though not quite the same style as Anchor’s).

    Glad you were able to shake the Khoisan click language thing before you typed this post or we’d all be cutting and pasting from Google Translate until next Arbor Day.



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