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SF History Live: Anchor Brewing Company—A San Francisco Legacy

Presented by David Burkhart

Tue. Feb. 13th @ 6:30PM (Broadcast & In-Person)

By now, most San Franciscans are well aware that one of the city’s most cherished businesses—Anchor Brewing—closed its doors in 2023 after more than 127 years of operation. The SFHS Museum’s newest exhibit showcases some of the artifacts from the brewery, but there is much more of the story to be told. Join us for an evening with Anchor historian Dave Burkhart, who will share stories, anecdotes, and memories from his thirty-plus years of experiences at Anchor Brewing.

We all know that Anchor Brewing became famous for its steam beer—but not everyone knows that spinoff company, Anchor Distilling (now Hotaling & Co.), made a variety of distilled spirits, including Old Potrero Rye Whiskey and Juniper Gin. In addition to Dave Burkhart’s extensive knowledge of craft beer, he’s also an expert on San Francisco cocktails. His presentation will include a demonstration of how to make the famous Boothby Cocktail, As served at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel by the Honorable William T. “Cocktail Bill” Boothby (1862–1930) and as described in Fritz Maytag and David Burkhart’s edition of Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender, which was originally published in San Francisco in 1891.

Please have your ingredients ready to join in on the fun:

Ingredients (all available at Total Wine & More):

Rye Whiskey (Old Potrero highly recommended)

Italian Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi Vermouth di Torino recommended)

Orange Bitters (Fee Brothers recommended)

Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Maraschino cherries (Luxardo highly recommended)

Sparkling Wine or Champagne (Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs recommended)

Award-winning author and historian David Burkhart joined the small staff of Anchor Brewing in 1991, where he worked side-by-side with owner/brewmaster Fritz Maytag. In his more than thirty years at Anchor, Burkhart did nearly every job at the brewery, adding Anchor Brewery historian to his many titles in 2010. His books include Earthquake Days, Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender, and The Anchor Brewing Story.

These programs are free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Your generosity helps keep our programs free and allows us to continually add high-quality live streamed content to our archives. Programs are usually scheduled on the second Tuesday of each month. There are no programs in August or December. Programs are subject to change, so please check for updates at sfhistory.org.


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