Anchor California Lager

Anchor California Lager

Brewed by: Anchor Brewing

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Lager
  • Variation: Golden, American Style
  • Limited: Select U.S. markets
  • ABV: 4.9%
  • IBU: N/A

Notes: First bottled in 2013, now canned in 2014.

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Made in San Francisco with two-row California barley, Cluster hops (the premier hop in 19th-century California), and our own lager yeast, this all-malt brew is kräusened and lagered in our cellars. Its golden color, distinctive aroma, creamy head, balanced depth of flavor, and smooth finish make Anchor California Lager® a delicious celebration of California’s unique brewing heritage.

Hops: Cluster

Malts: 2-row pale

More California Lager Images

First Impressions

Artwork: A California grizzly bear, very close to what appears on the California state flag.

Color: Clear, deep golden color.

Aroma: Mild notes of sweet grain.

The Tasting

Arrived in: Can

Served in: Pilsner Glass

We wanted to review Anchor California Lager, since it’s become one of our summer go-to’s, and now it comes in cool new cans!

As the box indicates, your purchase makes a small donation to the California Wildlife Fund. We can raise our Anchor to that, and figure they donate $2 per sale:

$12 cans (retail)
$10 bottles (retail)
$2 price difference = $2 donation

Math skills…

Anyway, one of the reasons Mike enjoys Anchor Brewing is they honor the tradition of their industry, as much as they ensure a quality product is crafted. Most of the beers in their lineup are influenced by history, and Anchor California Lager is no exception.

Anchor brands the beer “California’s first genuine lager re-born.”

As you well know, lagers are brewed by being stored at a cold temperature for an extended period of time during fermentation. In 1876, before icehouses or refrigeration, Boca Brewery used an ice pond in the mountains of California to brew their lager.

California Lager is Anchor’s interpretation of that first true lager successfully brewed in California, right down to the ingredients (see brewer’s notes above).

The beer itself was very smooth — in both taste, and texture. Its well dispersed, active effervescence produced a thin coat of lather, which made for a crisp and light mouthfeel.

California Lager started with a tangy froth, followed by hops with a zing of citrus, like orange or grapefruit peel. Very satisfying and sessionable.

Its malt backbone not only delivered a sweet finish, but helped make California Lager more full-bodied, not as (for lack of a better word) “watery” as many lagers are. The maltiness gave this lager some guts, without sacrificing any crispness.

Final Score: 3.5/5

3.5 Stars

Anchor California Lager was a bit heavier consistency than most lagers, with more hops, making it seem more reminiscent of an ale. Those qualities are what we don’t typically enjoy about the lager style, but California Lager got them right.

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