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Beer of the Month

Beer of the Month

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By Ted Bruning

beer1 july16-webIt would be unthinkable not to raise a glass of an American beer on our Transatlantic chums’ Independence Day, so let’s mark 4th July with an oddity from San Francisco.

Anchor Steam, a 4.8% amber beer, has been brewed on and off at various locations in San Francisco since 1871, when it was first produced by a German-born bar-owner named Gottlieb Brekle. Clearly – and like literally hundreds of migrant German brewers in the American Midwest – Brekle intended to brew something like the lagers of his homeland but without the right ingredients or any means of refrigeration. He ended up using lager yeast but ale malts, the floweriest local hops available and instead of a properly chilled fermenter a big shallow open affair up on the brewery roof.

Well, mongrels make the cutest pups and Anchor Steam, although definitely a hybrid, isn’t half bad. The nose is malty and grassy and a bit spirity, too; the mouth feel is creamy and viscous, with an earthy flavour underlying a sharp aggressive citrus tang. The finish is bitter, dry, and for an American beer, very long. So… not a bit like Bud.

Our second beer for July couldn’t be more English. Thwaites’s Wainwright Golden Ale was first brewed as a seasonal special for summer 2007 and commemorated the famous fellwalker and author Alfred Wainwright who, like Thwaites itself, was a native of Blackburn in Lancashire. It was such a success, and with good reason, that the brewery kept it on as a regular.

It’s been brewed by Banks’s in Wolverhampton since Thwaites decided to scale back its brewing operations a couple of years ago, but it’s none the worse for that. A quaffable 4.1% alcohol, it’s a very pale lemon yellow, with a soft nose of lemon jelly and hints of apple overlying a biscuit malt base. The palate is much sharper and hoppier but also has more depth; the finish returns to a rich but dry maltiness. One to broach on 30th July as you celebrate the golden anniversary of England’s World Cup win!

It would be unthinkable not to raise a glass of an American beer on our Transatlantic chums’ Independence Day, so let’s mark 4th July with an oddity from San Francisco.

Anchor Steam, a 4.8% amber beer, has been brewed on and off at various locations in San Francisco since 1871, when it was first produced by a German-born bar-owner named Gottlieb Brekle. Clearly – and like literally hundreds of migrant German brewers in the American Midwest – Brekle intended to brew something like the lagers of his homeland, but without the right ingredients or any means of refrigeration. He ended up using lager yeast but ale malts, the floweriest local hops available, and instead of a properly chilled fermenter a big shallow open affair up on the brewery roof.

Well, mongrels make the cutest pups and Anchor Steam, although definitely a hybrid, isn’t half bad. The nose is malty and grassy and a bit spirity, too; the mouth feel is creamy and viscous, with an earthy flavour underlying a sharp aggressive citrus tang. The finish is bitter, dry, and for an American beer, very long. So: not a bit like Bud.

Our second beer for July couldn’t be more English. Thwaites’s Wainwright Golden Ale was first brewed as a seasonal special for summer 2007 and commemorated the famous fellwalker and author Alfred Wainwright who, like Thwaites itself, was a native of Blackburn in Lancashire. It was such a success, and with good reason, that the brewery kept it on as a regular.

It’s been brewed by Banks’s in Wolverhampton since Thwaites decided to scale back its brewing operations a couple of years ago, but it’s none the worse for that. A quaffable 4.1% alcohol, it’s a very pale lemon yellow, with a soft nose of lemon jelly and hints of apple overlying a biscuit malt base. The palate is much sharper and hoppier but also has more depth; the finish returns to a rich but dry maltiness. One to broach on 30th July as you celebrate the golden anniversary of England’s World Cup win!

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