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Chobani Yogurt Founder has Bought Anchor Brewing, America's first 'Craft' Brewery.

Passepartout

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Hamdi Ulukaya, who came to America with $3,000 and bought a well-worn yogurt maker in upstate New York has made an offer to resurrect San Francisco's Anchor Brewing, a 124 year-old brewer. https://sfstandard.com/2024/05/31/a...ni-yogurt-king-yes-the-old-label-will-return/

An aside: Chobani arrived here in Twin Falls, Idaho in 2012. They opened the U.S. largest yogurt factory here. They process nearly 2 million lbs. of local milk every day. Ulukaya has turned the giant processer over to the employees. Mr. Ulukaya is from Turkey, of Kurdish descent, whom, it is said can't even be sure of when he was born.

Twin Falls has a refugee center that has received a good number of people from the former Yugoslavia, then Middle East and most recently, sub-Saharan Africa. Chobani hires many of them. They have classes in English and Citizenship classes to help these folks integrate. These are good jobs and have diversified the area.

Chobani have been great corporate neighbors. We wish them well. We hope that some new investment can put Anchor back on it's feet. They made a quality product that stood the test of time for 124 years.

Jim
 
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rickandcindy23

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Yogurt and beer, doesn't sound good to me.
 

x3 skier

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Really Miss Anchor Steam Beer. My go to when I lived in CA.
 

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Hopefully he loosens the noose on the word "Steam." The utter lack of competition has done Anchor no favors.
There is a lot of competition in craft beer brands. I understand that Anchor steam does or did use a unique process to ferment at a higher temperature, But I think most people are more focused on the end results, and how does the beer taste.

I used to drink Anchor Steam beer a lot, but more recently have been into hoppier beers..
 

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There is a lot of competition in craft beer brands. I understand that Anchor steam does or did use a unique process to ferment at a higher temperature, But I think most people are more focused on the end results, and how does the beer taste.

I used to drink Anchor Steam beer a lot, but more recently have been into hoppier beers..

"Steam" is trademarked and was made by precisely one brewery. The entire style has basically died due to lack of competition.
 

Passepartout

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"Steam" is trademarked and was made by precisely one brewery. The entire style has basically died due to lack of competition.
Sure glad nobody trademarked "IPA" and did away from the competition. Or "Lager".
 

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Sure glad nobody trademarked "IPA" and did away from the competition. Or "Lager".

We tried to make a Steam beer in Nevada. (It's easy -- lager fermented at ale temperatures with higher-than-normal carbonation levels.)

We couldn't call it Steam because of the trademark.

TTB (the label regulatory agency) wouldn't let us call it "California Common Lager" (the agreed-on replacement non-trademarked name) because it wasn't made in California.

They wouldn't let us call it "Hot Water Vapor," either. We finally gave up and put out another IPA. I spoke to Fritz Maytag about this at GABF and at least until he sold Anchor, he was convinced that owning the style was the reason Anchor was successful.

The only thing that surprises me about this entire story is that Anheuser Busch didn't buy Anchor. Then THEY would own the trademark to a uniquely American beer style. And they already have a brewery in nearby Fairfield -- where they brew many of the craft labels they have purchased (such as Kona). Sell the real estate (which is worth more than the brewery and all the equipment in it); move to Fairfield and enjoy their monopoly on "Steam." There will always be a Bay Area market for the stuff because it's San Francisco's beer.
 

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I am not as convinced as Fritz that their success was tied the unique brewing process, but perhaps so. I don't recall ever seeing Anchor Steam doe any any marketing or advertising about the difference, and suspect that its a limited number of people who care about that.

But he is certainly entitled to his opinion, and other drinking my share of beer not an expert on the subject.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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When I lived in the Bay Area, I could go to a bar and say, "give me a Steam" and they knew what I meant.
 

philemer

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I tried Steam a few times and never saw the attraction. It was OK but not my style.
 

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But really, who would have a beer with a yogurt.
Nobody I know, but this is not about the consumption, but the production. Lots of the stuff we love to eat just wouldn't be either the same, or even possible without fermentation.
  1. Kefir: A fermented milk product similar to drinkable yogurt, kefir provides vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, probiotics, and more.
  2. Kombucha: Made from black tea and sugar, kombucha contains beneficial bacteria and yeast. It has trace amounts of alcohol but not enough to cause intoxication.
  3. Sauerkraut: This traditional food, made from fermented cabbage, is rich in fiber, vitamins (A, C, K, B), and minerals like iron and calcium1.
  4. Kimchi: A Korean staple, kimchi is spicy fermented vegetables (usually cabbage or radishes).
  5. Yogurt: Widely consumed worldwide, yogurt is a classic fermented dairy product.
  6. Tempeh: Originating from Indonesia, tempeh is a protein-rich fermented soy product.
  7. Miso: A Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans.
  8. Pickles: Fermented cucumbers or other vegetables.
  9. Fermented cheeses: Examples include gouda, cheddar, and blue cheese.
  10. Sourdough bread: Made using wild yeast and lactobacilli.
  11. Natto: A Japanese dish of fermented soybeans.
  12. Fermented soy sauce: Used in Asian cuisine.
  13. Fermented pickled herring: Popular in Scandinavian countries.
  14. Fermented olives: Enjoyed in Mediterranean cuisine.
  15. Fermented cocoa beans: Used to make chocolate and coffee.
 

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I am not as convinced as Fritz that their success was tied the unique brewing process,

It's not particularly unique. It was a happy compromise by the gold-rush era brewers who made what they could with what they had available. Refrigeration and caves for lagering, no. But the climate is perfect for fermentation (like sourdough, for instance), so "steam" was born. (The term came from the sound a keg made when tapped. It was super foamy back then.

Fritz managed to trademark the word Steam as a beer style. And immediately became a monopoly on that style. Competition evaporated. And now the beer is essentially a footnote.

I hope the new owner can revive the brand. And I hope they loosen the noose on the word steam to let other brewers make it. It's a uniquely American style.
 

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I learned something new today, did not know AB owns Kona and brews it in Fairfield. I've enjoyed many a pizza and beer tasting at the Kona brewery on the BI.
 

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I learned something new today, did not know AB owns Kona and brews it in Fairfield. I've enjoyed many a pizza and beer tasting at the Kona brewery on the BI.
Actually, Anheuser-Busch is owned by InBev since 2008. The resulting company, AB InBev is one of the largest beer producers globally, including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and many others, including Kona and a bunch of 'craft' brewers, like 10 Barrel.
 

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Anchor Steam used to have a great tour at their historic SF brewing & bottling facility which ended at their antique bar for a generous tasting - actually, they poured full glasses of beer for at least an hour after the tour. Their interesting company policy was that employees could drink beer on the job and I think they each got a case of beer a week to take home.
 

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more recently have been into hoppier beers
says just about everybody. Not that I bar-hop, but it is hard to find anything else on the West Coast these days (unless you want to follow the all-advertising-all-the-time herd into Mexican beer). Anchor is honestly somewhat generic stuff, but if you live in NorCal, why not as a change from Torpedo, Racer, whatever.
 

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learned something new today, did not know AB owns Kona and brews it in Fairfield
I could fill a page listing the "craft" beers that are owned by multi-nationals, and often brewed very far from the "craft" home. Heck, over 20 yrs ago, I bought some Bass beer in the US. It had seemed to have lost all its shelf-space near me. I loved it but hadn't been able to buy iti for years. I jumped on the chance to buy it. Drank one. Thought "What the heck? Something wrong with this." Next day, drank another. Same thing "That isn't Bass."
Examined the bottle. It was brewed in, maybe Syracuse, somewhere like that. It had the bottle. It had the red triangle. It didn't have the beer.
 

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I learned something new today, did not know AB owns Kona and brews it in Fairfield. I've enjoyed many a pizza and beer tasting at the Kona brewery on the BI.

The beer served in Kailua-Kona is made there. Everything sold on the mainland is made in Fairfield -- like most of the craft labels they've purchased.
 

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I'm still baffled at how a lack of competition can kill a great product. :shrug:
 

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how a lack of competition can kill a great product
a) it was never a great product. It was "different", in process anyway
b) the mass of consumers almost always exhibit herd mentality. More brands doing "The Thing" = greater herd acceptance. aka "a rising tide lifts all boats". aka "Why would I drink that? Nobody drinks that."

It is Marketing 1.01 really. Most consumer demand depends more on PUSH by advertising & product placement than on PULL by some deep desire for exactly that thing. Constellation didn't decide to spend hundreds of millions of US$s advertising and buying shelf-space for Mexican beer because there was huge unmet demand for it in the US. They bought the brands pretty cheap and figured they could PUSH them down the US public's throats.
 

dioxide45

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I'm still baffled at how a lack of competition can kill a great product. :shrug:
Lack of competition can also mean lack of any real demand for the product. If there is demand, there would be copycats. Just cuz you can't use a trademarked name doesn't mean you can't utilize the process.
 
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