Good Beer Hunting
About This Show
In the midst of a sea-change, you don't just build a boat. You make the wave. Good Beer Hunting is how industry strategist, writer, and photographer Michael Kiser is crafting the story of beer around the world — not from the outside looking in, rather, from the center of the movement. GBH is the chronicle of the most compelling people, places and products he encounters on his travels. In addition to the website, the podcast is devoted to using craft beer as a bridge between other types of businesses, craft-oriented cultures, and what we eat and drink. Interviews with brewers, aficionados, and makers of all types with one thing in common — a fascination with what's happening in craft beer. Recorded at GBH Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Join him on the hunt.
Most Recent Episode
EP-125 Scott Ungermann of Anchor Brewing and Distilling
< 1 day ago
In the age of hyper-local craft, we have a competing or perhaps complimentary narrative in the US — and that’s heritage brands.
You may have heard my counter-part, Matthew Curtis who is based in London mention the UK traditional breweries more than once. It’s an interesting dynamic having young, upstart craft brands entering the market alongside these traditional brands, sometimes hundreds of years old, both trying to reach the drinker with message about quality and craftsmanship.
To US ears, it’s a bit like listening in on a bizarro universe because we simply don’t have much of that traditional brewery credibility left due to prohibition. Most US drinkers only rewind the tape as far as Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams. If your from Pennsylvania, like me, you might think of Yuengling from 1829. Or in Minnesota, perhaps Schell’s comes to mind from 1828. But those are the wonderful exceptions that prove the rule - by and large, the US doesn’t have a traditional brewing scene.
One exception on the west coast is Anchor. Founded in 1896, it’s largely known for its Steam Beer, or the California Common, arguably the only wholly-American-invented style of beer. It even owns the trademark on that. It operated in regional obscurity for almost 100 years before Fritz Maytag bought it and saved it from closure. Without it, the story goes, breweries like Sierra Nevada may have never started.
Anchor is still brewing its open fermentation beers, as well as many newer styles, in the location on Potrero Hill it moved to in 1979. But in 2010 it was purchased by The Griffin Group, an investment company specializing in alcoholic beverages, and shortly after the brewery also started distilling spirits.
Through all those years, the changes have been few, including the changes in brewmaster. And the latest shift in that role happened quite recently, leading to a host of new beer offerings that straddle the line between the traditional brewing approach of Anchor, and the constantly evolving craft beer industry of 2017.
Scott Ungermann has taken the weighty rings of Anchor Brewing and is bringing his long-standing desire to have his own brewery, combined with his experience at Anheuser Busch, to help bring Anchor along into the next generation ever so delicately.
Episodes of This Show
7 days ago