Tapped In: A visit with the craft beer kings of San Francisco

I’m a convert. Pinot Noir at $100.00 a bottle or a fine bottle of craft beer for $1.50?


The Anchor Brewing Company, opened in 1896, had fallen on hard times when it was bought in 1965 by Frederick Louis “Fritz” Maytag III. Rather than compete with the macro breweries of the time, he decided to try something different, offering his flagship product at a higher price — and discovered there was a market for more expensive beer.

“Certainly Steam beer is responsible for starting [interest in craft beers] because every other beer in the U.S. at the time was a yellow beer,” says Mark Carpenter, Anchor’s brewmaster.

Since then, the greater Bay Area has become a haven for beer drinkers. The San Francisco Brewers Guild reports there are 20 breweries within the city limits. Another 90 reside in surrounding counties. And the beer is worth the trip.

I recently visited with some of the more established breweries in the San Francisco area to get a better sense of…

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