Fritz Maytag saw an opportunity in 1965 and took it. Anchor Brewing, whose roots date back to 1849, was in danger of closing. For a few thousand dollars, Maytag purchased 51% of the brewery, starting what would be a craft brewing revolution in America.
Anchor Steam was bottled in 1971, and by 1975, Anchor Porter, Liberty Ale and Old Foghorn Barleywine had joined the lineup.
In 1977, Maytag purchased an old coffee roastery on Old Potrero Hill, where the brewery still resides today. Anchor Distilling produces Old Potrero Rye Whiskey (named for the hill), which is a great seque into Anchor Barrel Ale.
Anchor Barrel Ale, a tribute to Fritz Maytag, is a blend of four different Anchor beers, aged separately in Old Potrero Rye Whiskey barrels. The resulting barrel-aged beers are then blended together.
In 1965, Fritz Maytag’s first of 45 years at the helm, we sold 882 barrels of one beer. Seven years later, as we prepared to launch a second brew, Anchor Porter, new-hire Mark Carpenter asked him why. “I want us to be known for much more than making Anchor Steam,” Fritz replied with a grand gesture. “Because one day there will be hundreds of little breweries like ours all over America.” Mark was incredulous. And ultimately, of course, it would be thousands not hundreds. but Fritz saw what no one else did, igniting a revolution in brewing that originated today’s craft-beer movement. Anchor Barrel Ale – aged in our used Old Potrero Rye Whiskey barrels and on their staves – is Anchor’s tribute to pioneer brewer, trailblazing distiller, and visionary Fritz Maytag. Cheers!
Anchor Barrel Ale is now available in 12 ounce bottles and draft, a part of the brewery’s Argonaut Collection.