Oktoberfest and the Mayor’s Mallet


The mayor of Munich in gets his mallet in position.

Back in 1950, the organizers of the Munich Oktoberfest got the bright idea to have the mayor tap the first keg to kick off the event. Mayor Thomas Wimmer wasn’t exactly a natural. It took him over 15 hits with a wooden mallet to get the tap fully engaged. When he shouted, “O’ zapft ist!” meaning “It’s tapped!”, a tradition was born.

Nowadays, the mayor of Munich is expected to quickly tap that first keg with one or two wallops. There was a bit of a scandal a few years ago when the new Munich mayor was found to be practicing in secret with a brewmaster.


Mayor Tom Tait tapping the keg at the inaugural Anaheim Brewery Oktoberfest in 2011.

Our own Anaheim Mayor, Tom Tait, need no such behind-the-scenes training. He’s a natural. Since our Grand Opening in July of 2011, he’s been tapping the first keg at as many festivals as he can.

Come see Mayor Tom Tait in action at 4 pm on Saturday, October 1st, when he starts the festivities with the ceremonial tapping of a keg of Anaheim Oktoberfest Lager.


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50 + 5 Anniversary

Brewery Anniversary posterCome on by this  Saturday, July 16th, from 5 – 10 pm.  We’re celebrating our 50 +5 Anniversary, with live music, tasty food, and plenty of fresh, delicious Anaheim Beer.

ROUNDTRIP DIPAThe celebration begins in the Beer Garden at 5 pm, when Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait will tap the first ever keg of Round Trip Double India Pale Ale.

You’ve been “Coast to Coast” with our IPA, now join us for a “Round Trip” DIPA.  Brewed especially for our  anniversary party, Round Trip Double IPA is a potent, more intensely hopped version of Anaheim Brewery’s Coast to Coast IPA.  Kevin Kidney’s label evokes a 1950’s era airline travel poster.


mayor and senator

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait taps the first keg of Anaheim 1888, with a little help from state Senator Lou Correa.

Five years ago, we held our Grand Opening.  It was a kind of a re-opening, since the original Anaheim Brewery operated for 50 years, from 1870 to 1920. The last couple of years it was called Union Brewing Company, but the product was still “Famous Anaheim Beer.” National Prohibition put the brewery out of business in 1920.
Almost a century later, on July 16th, 2011, Greg and Barbara Gerovac opened to the public in the modern Anaheim Brewery.

It’s wonderful to reflect on how our neighborhood has changed since that day.  What better way than to raise a glass of cheer with your friends?


Vintage Swing Band Riff Raff

Our favorite vintage swing band, Riff Raff will liven up the evening, and the tasty food from Sausage Masters will satisfy your hunger.

Be sure to get here early – we’ve got free commemorative buttons to the first 100 guests.




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Throw Back 100 Years: Anaheim Beer Sign circa 1916

Valencia Hotel Sign in Red

Hotel Valencia bar, circa 1916. Photo courtesy Anaheim Public Library.

We like to say Anaheim Brewery is “where the past has presence.”  The oversized black and white photos of pre-Prohibition bars in Anaheim give you the feeling of sharing the Tasting Room with folks from the past.

If you look closely at the photo of the Hotel Valencia bar, you may have noticed a small sign hanging on a cabinet in the right side of the picture.

Here it is in close-up:

Valencia sign close up

Close-up of Anaheim Beer sign. Photo courtesy Anaheim Public Library.

The image is a little fuzzy, but you can make out:
Union Brewing Co
Anaheim Beer
For Sale Here


Our friends, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily created a reproduction of the sign.  They placed a photo of Friedrich Conrad in the circle beside the big A, and included the phrase:  In Pursuit of Happiness &  Lager.

That phrase is a quotation from the Anaheim Gazette.  Back in 1873, an athletic club from Los Angeles took the train to meet their Anaheim counterparts.

Anaheim Beer tin sign revised

Reproduction Anaheim Beer Sign

“The excursionists arrived about 10 o’clock, a.m., and were received by their friends with open arms and the firing of anvils. With their banner flying, and preceded by the Los Angeles Band, they marched through the principal streets to the Verein Hall, where an impromptu exhibition of agility was given after which they dispersed, and went in pursuit of happiness and lager.”

Twenty bucks gets you one of these embossed aluminum signs.  Put on your own “exhibition of agility” as you hang it on the wall of your Man Cave, then fire an anvil (whatever that means) and go off in pursuit of happiness and lager.

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Collect ’em All


Three sizes of Anaheim Beer Glasses: Pint, 33 cl, and 5 oz taster.

How’s your Anaheim Brewery glass collection?  Do you have every glass, stein, and mug ever made?*

Well, here’s another one to round out the bunch.  It’s a one third liter (33 cl) logo-ed glass.  We use them for high alcohol brews, like our Anaheim Bockbier.

Same price as the pint or 5 ounce taster glass, just $3.

*A complete set is on display in the Tasting Room, including a commemorative glass Greg & Barbara presented to everyone who helped out at the Grand Opening, July 11, 2011.

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Anaheim Brewery Celebrates 5 Years

Anaheim Bockbier to Kick Off 5 Year Anniversary

2016 marks the beginning our fifth year of brewing in downtown Anaheim, and we’re planning a series of special events and beers to celebrate.

1888 TEXT

Label designed by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. Copyright Anaheim Brewery.


To start things out with a bang this month, we’ll release our Anaheim Bockbier.  At 6 pm on Friday, January 8th, the Mayor of Anaheim will tap a special cask of unfiltered “Kellerbock” as a preview to the full release the following week. Mayor Tom Tait will present the Mayor’s Trophy to Greg and Barbara Gerovac for winning Brewery of the Year at the 2015 OC Fest of Ales.

Anaheim Bockbier is a classic golden-colored strong lager.  Despite its strength of 8% alcohol by volume, Anaheim Bockbier is smooth and drinkable.  While there is a lot of variety among the Bock beers of the world, ours is quite traditional – full-bodied, slightly sweet, with a hint of a floral note.

History of Bock

Bock beers are most associated with the town of Einbeck, in northern Germany (about halfway between Kassel and Hannover).  As far back as

bock beer pc

Bock Label, circa 1870

the middle ages, Einbeck was famous for its excellent strong lager.  By the 1300’s, the city was exporting its beer to countries from Britain to Russia.  Einbeck actually had a city-wide quality control system, under which citizens could brew their own beer, but the brewing equipment was owned by the city council; a professional brewmaster took the equipment to the homes of people who wanted to brew, oversaw the brewing process, and certified the quality of the beer.

By the 1500’s, the Bavarian city of Munich was importing beer from Einbeck – so much that they hired a brewmaster from Einbeck to produce their own version of the strong lager.  Bavaria is a lot like our own deep south – accents can be startlingly different, and in Bavarian, “Einbeck” sounds a lot like “Oanbock.”  The word Bock, in German, translates to “goat,” which is why so many Bock beers feature a goat on the label.

A Cool Story About the Goat and Bock Beer


A 19th Century Bock Label

After Munich started to produce its own “Bock Bier,” a brewmaster from Einbeck came to town.  He claimed, of course, that his original, northern brew was stronger.  Of course, the Bavarian brewer disagreed, and the two decided to settle the question with a drinking contest (like you do).  Each brewmaster would drink the other’s beer until one could no longer stand.  The contest went on for several hours, and drew quite a crowd in the brewery’s courtyard.  Someone left a gate open and a goat (a Bock) ran in and knocked the Einbeck brewmaster off his feet, making the Bavarian the winner.  “No fair,” cried the northern man, “a Bock knocked me down!”

“Yes,” replied the Bavarian, “and I brewed it!”

The Awesome Label

Our label, designed by Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney, features a “Bock” admiring a glass of Anaheim Bock.  Wearing traditional lederhosen, he’s enjoying his beer beneath the tree in our beer garden.

Enjoy Anaheim Bock, and as always, drink responsibly.  But if you see any goats in the Beer Garden . . .

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Cool New Things

20151029_091315_001[1]Lots of exciting things coming up at Anaheim Brewery.  

1. Cask Beer Every Other Friday.

This Friday, October 30th, we’ll be tapping a cask of Anaheim Gold that we dry-hopped with Centennial hops.  Centennial hops are known for their citrusy aroma, which contrasts beautifully with the Gold’s honey-like finish.

There’s about 40 servings, so try to get here early.

2.  Winter Wheat Release Thursday, Nov 5th.

Our dark wheat beer (dunkelweizen) is back for the holiday season.  The same yeast that creates a fruity taste in our Hefeweizen makes a spicy note of clove for our Winter Wheat.

3.  Wednesday Night Pub Quiz 

GWDGeeks Who Drink pub quiz starts Wednesday, November 11th, at 7 p.m.  Free to play, grab some friends and win internet glory.  For details check out:  http://www.geekswhodrink.com/pages/about/for-players

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That’s Not a Six-Pack – It’s Portable Art

Art Crawl with Chris Maya at Anaheim Brewery
Saturday, August 8, 2015   6 pm

Limited edition printed, signed by Chris Maya

Limited edition printed, signed by Chris Maya

Join artist Chris Maya in the Beer Garden this Saturday, August 8th, at 6 p.m., for Anaheim Art Crawl.  He’ll be showing some eye-popping pieces, including original art he created for Anaheim Brewery.  Here’s a  peek at some of his work:


Ever wondered about the talent who created the iconic art on our labels? Chris Maya is a friend and neighbor, but also an incredibly talented artist. He works in different media, like sculpture and oil paint, but we’re especially drawn to his woodcuts.

Back in 2008, we got up the nerve to ask Chris if he would design labels for our four year-round beers. We told him the names: Gold, Red, Hefeweizen, and 1888, and the general ideas behind each beer.

6 six packs

Six pack carriers designed by Kevin Kidney, featuring the art of Chris Maya. Portable art!

When Chris showed us his pictures, we were blown away. They perfectly capture the sense of heritage we were looking for. The images stand alone, but there’s a layer of meaning behind each one. You don’t need to know that the woman on the Anaheim 1888 label is Helena Modjeska. With her upswept hair, formal gown and opera-length gloves, she could be a any lady from the 1800s. But knowing that she’s Madame Modjeska, the renowned Polish actress who lived in Anaheim during that era, adds depth to the image.

Art is all around us, not just hanging in a museum gallery.  It adorns everyday objects like Anaheim Beer bottles.  Drop in on Saturday and take some art home with you.


Barbara & Greg

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