The Anchor Brewing Tour is the most iconic San Francisco brewery tour. I can’t recommend it enough. There’s lots of chances to sample the beers, see how it works and to hang out with a friendly bunch of guys.
The Best San Francisco Brewery Tour
Anchor Brewing is one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. The beer and ales are so popular in the states that locals can’t seem to get enough of this brewery. And since my visit I’ve been hooked. An Anchor Steam has been my all time favourite beer ever since my trip to San Francisco.
Anchor Steam Beer
Anchor Steam Beer was made famous way back. There’s a whole line of hand-brewed drinks from Anchor Brewing for all tastes, with Liberty Ale (first made in April 1975), Christmas specials and more.
Each brew has its own unique story about its humbling beginnings. Every year since 1975 they’ve made a distinctive, limited edition ale that’s sold over the Christmas period. It’s a different each and every year, so there’s always a lot of excitement to taste the special batch.
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The Team at Anchor Brewing
And the bearded guys (and the few girls) are probably the biggest reason why Anchor Brewing is so popular. They have so much passion and love for this brewery, and are really proud of its roots.
They’ve shunned shiny machinery that would probably make their jobs a lot easier in favour of making their craft with their bare hands.
They get to enjoy a little glass of their favourite brew once they’ve worked a chunk of their shift. Just watching them kick back and relax with a glass in their hands and a smile of their face makes you realise how loved it is.
After all those hours of hard graft they’re not sick of it and most of them go out after work for more Anchor Steam Beer!
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The Brewery Tour
The Anchor Brewery tour costs £20. You can pay £30 for a private tour and tasting session. If you’re a big fan you can pay £40 for an Anchor all-access tour. Book ahead via their website.
You’ll see how the beer is brewed and find out all their secrets. No, really. You can take photos during most of the tour, but all cameras have to disappear for a bit in the middle. It’s not one of those boring tours that sends you to sleep. It’s casual and fun, but informative.
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Tasting the Beer
The best bit is getting to taste five or six of the different brews. From lights to darks, ales to beers, you can try a variety. Hand on heart, they are all delicious – the kind of delicious that makes you want to buy your own box.
We were the only two English people on the legendary Anchor Brewing tour and the only ones who had never heard of Anchor Steam Beer, let alone tasted it.
Or at least that’s what we thought. Turns out that the charming eighteenth century former pub that we live in is connected to Anchor Brewing. Our house retains its old signage: “Praed’s Noted Ale And Stout”.
Before we bought the house we did some digging and discovered that
…Campbell Praed & Company started brewing in Wellingborough in 1878. One of the Praed brothers, Arthur, was one of the founding directors of a company called San Francisco Breweries Ltd. It may be connected to what we know as Anchor Brewery.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling such a heartfelt connection to San Francisco, even before I visited.
Whatever my story, I’m pretty sure you’ll love this laid-back tour (and the samplers even more so).
You can find Anchor Brewing at 1705 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.
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Have you been on this tour or tried their beers and ales? Are you a fan of brewery tours?