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Anchor Brewing Factory Tour
1705 Mariposa St.
San Francisco, CA
Tapped Resource

What kind of lager-head would pass up a free tour (with free beer!) of the Anchor Brewing factory? Not me. When I heard that there was a behind the scenes look at brewing, I hopped over.

They have a tour every weekday afternoon but you must make reservations in advance. I’m guessing this policy is to save themselves from crowd of folks showing up for free beer on a daily basis.

To make beer you need water, grain, yeast and hops.

They let you sample the malted barley which tastes like grape nuts cereal lite.
Most folks passed up the opportunity to taste the hops (which are the flower cones that add bitterness and aroma to the beer.)

To taste hops, you break them open to expose the resin-y area inside (don’t pop the bud in your mouth and chew unless you like bitter cardboard chewing gum.)

I loved the big copper kettles and industrial equipment during the walk-through of the working area of the building. The giant open-fermentation tanks are like a Sutro baths for yeast.
They even have a special room devoted to hops. I felt right at home.

There was a nice mix of locals and tourists. And our knowledgeable tour guide fielded questions with ease and hospitality.

You get to see each step of the process, even the final step - tasting the beer.

The tour terminates in their little pub area. They pour you glasses of each of their beers starting with the wheat beer (if you go in the summer) and ending with their delicious dark porter. They poured a limited edition Bock beer as well as their tried and true Anchor Steam Beer which is available year round.

Did I mention that they give away free beer? And I’m not talking little paper sample-cups either. This is about multiple full glasses of yummy cold-from-the-tap brew. For educational purposes only, naturally.

Don’t expect a theme park destination, it’s a factory after all, and a supercool one at that. I highly recommend that you check it out.
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