Anchor Unveils Taproom & Plaza at AT&T Park

Photo © Brian Stechschulte

When San Francisco Giants fans arrive for Opening Day on April 13 they’ll have a new watering hole to enjoy behind the centerfield wall on the upper concourse. Anchor Brewing has come on board as Giants sponsor this year by creating a signature taproom and beer garden called Anchor Plaza, which was unveiled yesterday during media day. They already sell more beer at AT&T Park than any other location in the country, so creating a venue for fans to enjoy their local beer while rooting for the Giants appears to be a win win for everyone involved.

At the heart of Anchor Plaza is a replica of their Potrero Hill brewery tap room. They’ll serve flagship beers, a few seasonals, and Junípero Gin and tonics thanks to their distilling operation. After getting a drink, you’ll then be able to relax in the beer garden on benches and still watch the game on TV’s mounted above the taproom. The space is also lined with a variety of concession stands so you can pick the perfect food to pair with your beer.

John Dannerbeck, president of Anchor Brewing, and owner Keith Greggor were on hand for yesterday’s unveiling and answered a few questions about the new plaza.

John Dannerbeck and Keith Greggor

How long has Anchor Plaza been in the works?

John Dannerbeck: It’s been in the works for about a year, but in all honesty it goes back to 2000 when the Giants built the ballpark. They’ve talked to Anchor Brewing about doing something every year and we’ve just politely declined, but Keith and Lynn Lackey (Marketing Director) really saw the opportunity here, to really expand our relationship with the Giants. We’ve sold beer here from day one and it’s our number one account. It’s a phenomenal account and we’re all huge Giants fans so why not build on that relationship. The Giants are great to work with, Keith and Lynn had some particularly interesting and creative ideas and the Giants really embraced it and then came back at us and challenged our creativity.

Keith Greggor: They really welcomed us. “How can you make this area more fun for us? What can you do to create an atmosphere for people back here?” That’s when the notion of the taproom we have at the brewery came in and we’ve tried to replicate that as best we could at the ballpark. Anchor’s association with baseball goes way back to the San Francisco Seals.

What were the key creative things you wanted to get out of this space, or project to people that come to the games?

Keith Greggor: We want it to project the Anchor brand and what we stand for, which is traditional, high quality brewing with no compromises. That’s pretty much what we do. We may do a few things a little bit differently, but the processes are exactly the same. We may bottle it a little bit more quickly, we might sell a little bit more aggressively, but our brilliant tradition is what we stand behind.

Can you talk a little bit more about the interest in replicating the brewery taproom? Is it simply a way to translate that experience to the ballpark?

Keith Greggor: Yeah, if anybody’s been to the taproom at the brewery you can see how it really fits into the building, which is an old 1930’s art deco building and so it really evokes that taproom of days gone by. We wanted to have something that felt traditional. We certainly weren’t looking for anything contemporary or have anything that was frivolous, but rather an expression of the kind of history and timelessness of Anchor replicated in this version of our taproom, which if you compare it to any other concessions around the ballpark looks very different. We’re hoping this draws people back here. One of the nice things about being back here now is that it enabled the Giants to put up some TV screens up here as well. There were no TV screens up here before, which prevented people from coming back here often. Now we think people will be more tempted to come back and grab beer or even a Junípero Gin and tonic. That’s one of the nice things about our relationship with Giants. We can have a relationship on the beer side, but also through Anchor Distilling.

Will any of the Zymaster beers show up here on occasion?

Keith Greggor: We’re just going to focus on our main beers, Steam, Liberty and Porter and occasionally a seasonal like Summer or Humming.

Anchor Brewing Steps Up to Help a Fellow Craft Brewery

Anchor Brewing has decided to lend a big hand to another craft brewer in need. Tony Magee, owner of Lagunitas Brewing, laid out the details on his Twitter feed below.

Anchor Brewing has decided to lend a big hand to another craft brewer in need. Tony Magee, owner of Lagunitas Brewing, laid out the details on his Twitter feed. Now the Lagunitas IPA on draft will keep flowing.


Anchor Brewing Overhauls Website with 21st Century Styling


When Anchor Brewing started tweeting back on November 21st, it was just a small sign of bigger things to come.  Yesterday they flipped the switch on a new website with a more modern flair. The previous version was outdated, appeared tired, and clearly wasn’t suitable for such a venerated and pioneering craft brewer. Now visitors will enjoy a more streamlined experience, gorgeous photos, informative videos, will easily find event news and have quick access to social media accounts.

From the outside not much has changed at the brewery since Fritz Maytag sold the company to Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio back in the spring of 2010. Could this be the beginning of more widespread change in 2012? Time will tell.

Below is a brief tour, but you should go experience it for yourself.

Most of the site functions like a large scrolling slide show. The brewery section, featured above, walks visitors through the Anchor facility, brewing process and ingredient selection.

Each Anchor beer also has it’s own page containing a description, historical background and the beer’s vital statistics. The crowning achievement for these pages, and maybe the whole site, are the short videos about each beer. They’re highly polished, informative, playful and feature the brewing crew who provide explanations and historical tidbits. The best video on the site is the closest thing to a TV commercial the brewery has ever produced. It could easily fit into a long spot between innings of a Giants game.

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A few other interesting things you can find on the site include a legend to the codes that appear on the bottles, news about events and an online store to buy Anchor gear. The latter section still utilizes the old sites look and feel, but that will likely change in the future. What won’t you find on the site? A blog.

Overall, the upgrade was a massive improvement over the old website. Anchor finally has an online presence that’s on par with it’s competition.

Photo & Video Recap: The Bay Brewed Rock & Roll Beer Festival

Photos © Brian Stechschulte

A sold out crowd of 300 people piled into the depression era Verdi Club this past Saturday for the first edition of The Bay Brewed Rock & Roll Beer Festival. City Beer Store, the San Francisco Brewers Guild and local indie music experts The Bay Bridged hosted the event. Performances by Terry Malts, Extra Classic, Sleepy Sun and Weekend stretched over five hours in that order.

Participating breweries nearly surrounded the dance floor. Members of the SF Brewers Guild, which included Anchor Brewing, Magnolia Brewing, 21st Amendment, Social Kitchen, Speakeasy and the Beach Chalet, occupied one side, while Ale Industries, Marin Brewing, Lagunitas and Drake’s Brewing sat along the other wall.

Festivities got off to a thrashing start with Terry Malts, but the crowd didn’t follow suite until the beer started to take effect and the lights began to dim. Most of the breweries served standard selections, but there were a few exceptions. 21st Amendment brought a keg of Allies Win the War, Lagunitas cracked a few bottles of Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale, and Marin Brewing brought their tasty chocolate Air Porter. A few taps ran dry early, but most of them lasted until nearly the end of the last set.

Overall the event appeared to be a resounding success. The crowd had ample space to roam and jump around, beer lines moved quickly and each performance was outstanding. The Bay Brewed should become an annual event.

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Craft Beer on Wheels Giveaway


Amgen Tour of California. Photo by Mike Baird on flickr.

If you’ve traveled any of the Bay Area’s scenic byways you’ve passed your share of bikers climbing steep hills or coasting around narrow corners. Their often decked out in the latest gear from head to toe, which usually includes a colorful jersey and hat. I’ve seen many branded with team names, sponsors and countries, but never a craft beer brand.

That might change with the latest edition of jerseys and caps produced by the Portland based apparel companies Retro and Micro Beer Jerseys. They’ve partnered with nine different breweries, including Anchor and Schmaltz Brewing, so bikers can tell us whose calories they’re burning. Anchor Brewing offered up it’s classic Anchor Steam and Liberty labels, while Shmaltz chose it’s hypnotic Coney Island Lager and Mermaid Pilsner brands. Sorry ladies, only the last one is available in your size.

These jerseys won’t compliment my figure, but maybe a certain father you know would appreciate them on his special day. Hint, hint. Why not win one?

GIVEAWAY > BACB is happy to offer the Anchor Steam cap seen below to one of our readers courtesy of Micro Beer Jerseys. All you have to do is leave a comment below by Noon (PST) on Friday (6/10) that lets us know you want it. A winner will be selected at random and announced Friday afternoon. One catch, no international shipping. Good luck gear heads.

UPDATE (6/10): The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Cole for winning the bike cap!