Pushing Innovation and Education, Not Wording

​Scott Ungermann is ready to ditch the word “craft.” The veteran Brewmaster, who currently leads at San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing shared his thoughts during a recent email exchange to Brewer.

​”​The current definition of craft beer is ambiguous to the beer drinker and says nothing about how the beer is made or what the beer is going to taste like​,” he said. Ungermann noted that the education of beer drinkers is a big focus for ​Anchor, and it should be for all breweries.

“I believe it helps ​… to have educated consumers that know how beer is made, what the ingredients are, where they come from and how we transform those ingredients into different and unique flavors for people to enjoy​,” he said. ​

Being an iconic brand in the market, Ungermann said from where he sits in the brewery he gets frequent opportunities to interact with what he called ‘beer pilgrims,’ from near and far.

“People are always so excited to see such a historic and beautiful brewery and to taste the beers right here at the source in San Francisco,” he said. “Through that we see the legend grow, and we feel the warmth and excitement of introducing people to our beers and our story.”

Although it is not unique to the brewing industry, Anchor never had a true pilot brewery until just last year.

In 2017​, they​ built a 7-barrel pilot brewing facility and taproom across the street from ​their main brewery​, which they have​ called Anchor Public Taps.

​”​This amazing space is used for experimentation and innovation so that we can constantly create the new beers that our customers are seeking out​,” Ungermann said​.​ “​The brewer at Anchor Public Taps creates an average of one new beer a week for the public to taste and share feedback.​”

​Anchor’s latest release, Fog Breaker IPA, is the first beer developed at Anchor Public Taps’ pilot brewery that has been moved into full-scale production at the main brewery. Anchor Public Taps also hosts educational events and celebrations that help grow our San Francisco community.

​”​Although it seems like all the innovations have happened and everything has been done before, it is fun to see brewers continue to push the envelope,” Ungermann said. “Brut IPA is the latest craze here in San Francisco, so we have, of course, embraced this new style and have made a couple of them in our taproom.

“They have been delicious – crisp and refreshing, and bursting with hop aroma. I am also excited about the possibilities of beer/wine and beer/cider hybrids.”

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