The Drive, the Delay, and the Glass

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Mural on Hemau’s Old City Hall

In the early 1990s, we lived in a small village in Bavaria.  The town of Hemau was a few kilometers away on Bundesstrasse (County Road) 8.  We often went to the Donhauser Brauerei Gasthof (Brewery Restaurant) on the town square.  The brewery is still in business,  here’s their Facebook page.

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Brauerei Gasthof Donhauser, circa 1992

Out for a drive one Saturday, we stopped in Hemau and got no further.  We had to stop, because the main road through the town was blocked.  We had stumbled upon the Hemauer Kirta, an annual town fest.

We parked and walked to the  center of town, thinking we’d just be delayed an hour or so.  In the town square, about a hundred beer garden tables were set up.  The local band was playing German oompah music.  The smell of grilled sausage and onions filled the air.   Our one hour delay turned into several hours of eating, drinking Donhauser Dunkel, and meeting the locals.

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Brauhaus Rothenburg glass beside Anaheim Brewery glass

While enjoying the Kirta, we wandered into a second hand shop and bought a glass with the logo from a defunct brewery.  The Brauhaus Rothenburg opened in 1724 (!) and is now a hotel in the walled city of Rothenburg ob die Tauber Altes Brauhaus Hotel website.

We love how the glass is shaped.  Unlike a typical pint glass, this glass begins at the bottom as a cone, then curves in slightly at the top.  This concentrates the aroma of hops and malt, then delivers it straight to your nose.  Your sense of smell contributes hugely to your sense of taste, so the shape of the glass makes a difference in how good the beer tastes.

When selecting glassware for our Tasting Room, we discovered this type of glass had a name, the Willi Becher.  It was designed by  Willi Steinmeier in 1954, then head of sales at a German glass manufacturer.  “Becher” means a beaker or cup, so the name means Willi’s Cup.

The Brauhaus Rothenburg glass moved with us from Germany to upstate New York, to northern Virginia, and finally to Anaheim, California.  It’s always been a favorite around our house.  We’re so happy to have a beer garden full of Willi Bechers at our brewery.

Cheers,
Barbara & Greg

 

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Oktoberfest and the Mayor’s Mallet

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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.

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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.

Prosit!

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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.

 

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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?

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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.

Cheers!

 

 

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Throw Back 100 Years: Anaheim Beer Sign circa 1916

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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:

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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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