Brewer Bytes with Anchor Brewing Co.
An Interview with Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster
Posted on 2/21/2013 by Chops
Mention the Anchor Brewing Company in a beer conversation and you're bound to discuss their Anchor Steam flagship, a delicious California Common Beer. Anchor is one of the very few breweries who craft the style, which was first brewed in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. It originated as an improvised brew crafted with lager yeast and lack of refrigeration. Anchor has long since perfected the Steam Beer style and is now synonymous with it. Anchor was founded in 1896, making it one of the oldest breweries in the US. We recently caught up with Anchor Brewmaster Mark Carpenter, who happily agreed to provide some Brewer Bytes.

What inspired you to get into brewing?

In 1971, I met Fritz Maytag and then visited the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco. From then, I knew I wanted to brew beer for a living.

What do you feel sets Anchor apart from other breweries?

For one thing, Anchor Brewing has been around since 1896. We are one of the most traditional breweries in America, yet we have a history of innovation. We made the first Barleywine-style ale in the U.S. called Old Foghorn. Liberty Ale is the first dry hopped ale in the U.S. and there's also Anchor Porter, the first modern American porter. Before the terms "microbrewing" and "craft brewing" were even coined, we were already doing all of those things.

What style of beer would you suggest for craft beer beginners?

Anchor Steam is always a favorite.

What inspires you as a brewer?

History, San Francisco, and good beer.

What is the best or most rewarding part about what you do?

In a lot of ways, I do have the best job in the world. Working for Fritz Maytag and watching the craft beer industry grow has been an amazing experience.

What's new from Anchor this year?

We just announced Anchor California LagerĀ®. It's our own re-creation of the first genuine lager brewed in California, and proceeds from the case sales will go to support the California State Parks Foundation.

Where can it be found?

Anchor California Lager can be found in the Anchor Brewery Taproom and in bars and retailers throughout California.

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Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing Co. (photo by Anchor Brewing Co.)
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