For this year’s big game, I thought it would be fitting to feature a classic craft brew from San Francisco. Now, at the Super Bowl party, all you 49ers fans can show your spirit in a novel way by bringing a beer that is native to the Golden Gate City . I’m speaking, of course, of Anchor Steam Beer.
While the location of the Anchor brewery is important, what really makes this beer great for 49er fans is the history of the style. “Steam” beer (which is now a trademark of Anchor), was originally enjoyed by California prospectors in the early-to-mid 1800s. Early steam beers were brewed with lager yeasts, but fermented at warmer temperatures due to the lack of means to cool the tanks in the warm climate. The brew was then cooled by the use of wide, shallow fermenting vessels. Apparently, this process caused a high amount of carbon dioxide to build up, causing the casks to “steam” when tapped. Just a little factoid to discuss during the never-tedious Super Bowl half-time show.
Anyway, this medium-amber beer is a lager at heart, but with a hoppiness slightly less than an American pale ale, which gives this beer a dry, almost bitter finish. I’d usually say that this beer goes with a grilled fish, but that’s not really a party food. So, let’s just say that this beer pairs well with whatever your host or hostess may be serving.
I should note that this post isn’t an indication that I’m a 49ers fan. I originally wanted to write about one beer from San Francisco and one from Baltimore. Unfortunately, they simply don’t sell any beer in Mississippi that is made in Baltimore, or Maryland, or even any of the surrounding states. But, if you happen to live by the border, and really want to show your support for the Ravens through your choice of beer, Flying Dog brewery (sold in TN and AL) offers a wide range of excellent brews.