News Smithsonian’s Anchor Brewing Artifacts Revealed

Low CO2. Shut down. Approx. 8 bbls remaining. Dumped. Those are the handwritten pencil notes in the beer-stained pages of the Brewers Log dated June 26, 1975 from Anchor Brewing Company.

The Brewer’s Log is one of many artifacts personally collected by Theresa McCulla, the curator of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History during a recent visit to the brewery along with an archivist and a collections specialist.

The trio collected and shipped back to Washington DC a wide range of historic memorabilia from the now-closed San Francisco brewery. Other items include a bottle of Anchor Steam with the label intentionally affixed upside down, released in late 1989 in recognition of the devastating earthquake that hit the area in October of that year.

Other items date back to before the modern era of Anchor when Fritz Maytag purchased the brewery in 1965, such as a wooden barrel used to transport steam beer to local taverns throughout the city. What’s unusual about this barrel is that it notably has six iron hoops instead of the customary four. The added hoops were required because steam beer was so effervescent.

What is certainly the most recent artifact is a 2023 calendar that was found hanging in the fermentation room. The date July 31 is circled in red pencil, the last day the brewery would brew beer before its liquidation.

More on this story here.

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