Beer: Anchor Steam Beer
Brewery: Anchor Brewing Co.
Style: California Common
ABV: 4.9 percent
I will admit that, when it comes to beer, I'm enamored with novelty -- the fringe, experimental brews that challenge my palate and keep things interesting. But sometimes in the quest for limited-release, barrel-aged, quadruple-hopped, soured, funked, iced and otherwise fiddled-with beers, we become like Captain Ahab, and our quest for the next white whale causes us to ignore the flagships -- brews that, while common and inexpensive, are no less of a good catch.
Flagship beers pay the bills. They are not flashy and rarely make headlines, but they are quietly purchased more often than any other beer in a brewery's portfolio. Flagships keep the lights on and give brewers the leeway to produce the weird, rare beers we get so crazy for.
And lest we forget them, there's Flag Day to remind us. Celebrated every June 14, the holiday commemorates the adoption of the stars and stripes as our national flag. The entire week is actually designated National Flag Week, during which we citizens are urged to fly our colors. However, Rob Fullmer, president of the Arizona Society of Homebrewers, suggested on his beerphxation blog that we also use this week "to mark the success of one of the more tangible results of our nation's independent spirit -- American brewing."More »