Best Micro- brewery Tour - 2000
Anchor Brewing Company
Those of us who love beer are particularly, universally enamored of Anchor's sudsy product, prepared as it is in such an interesting range of styles and flavors and with such craftsmanlike care (Anchor produces a mere 100,000 barrels a year, compared to, say, Sierra Nevada's 500,000). Touring the brewery's Potrero Hill plant is lots of fun. You begin in the handsome, mahogany-and-brass taproom, a friendly place decorated with toy beer trucks, vintage photographs, beer trays from around the world, and old wooden brewing equipment. After a layman-friendly chat on the mysteries of beer-brewing, your guide leads you through the sweet-smelling plant, pausing at the three huge copper kettles, the cellar where the beer is carbonated (the steam-beer process results in evaporation of the beer's natural CO2, making carbonation necessary), and the bottling room, where bottles are sterilized, filled at the rate of 260 per minute, labeled, and capped. Afterward it's back to the taproom and (the best part!) tastes of six different brews. Tours take place each weekday at 2 p.m.; there's no charge, but reservations are required.