Booze: Pint of Anchor Steam Please...

 EDIT: Apparently Anchor Steam is technically a lager as it's fermented with lager yeast. I stand corrected by Steve & Ben

Last night in the pub:

Me: Pint of Anchor Steam please.

Barman: *looks at 3 hand pumps* Sorry we don't have that, mate.

Me: I'm pretty sure you do as I had it in here on Sunday and it says on the board above my head; it'll be on a keg tap.

Barman: What's the name of the brewery?

Me: Anchor.

Barman: What's the name of the beer?

Me: Steam.

Barman: *Shakes his head then turns round to co-worker* Erm... Do we have A-N-C-H-O-R S-T-E-A-M?

Bar Wench: Yeah, it's that lager on the end.

A fucking lager?

This occured in a pub that has been National Beer Pub of The Year in the Good Beer Guide four times and been CAMRA's National Pub of the Year twice.

I was offended that she referred to Anchor Steam as a lager... I presume she said it purely because it's on a keg tap. It is not excusable.

I bought a pint anyway but I drank it with disgust at what had just occured.


  1. Nothing like education your staff is there?

  2. hate to disappoint you but it technically *is* a lager, albeit fermented warm.

    it uses lager yeast and is lagered (ie stored)

    1. Oooh, thanks for that Steve.

      I stand corrected.

  3. Ha Ha and this from the guy who hates beer snobs?

    1. Well to be honest, defining between different styles of beer isn't beer snobbery...

  4. Hey Nate, don't feel to bad! I did a review of Des de Moor's "London's Best Beer Pubs & Bars" and mentioned Sierra Nevada (in the Dean Swift) amongst the lagers they had on draught.

    But there is a more important point here about educating bar staff. It's something that most chains don't do a thing about and yet, as you describe, and make a huge difference to the appreciation of a visit to a bar. I guess though it's all connected with how we don't respect this element of the service industry or invest into it in anyway.

    1. I don't feel bad - I made an error of judgement (in the words of Jimmy Carr). It tastes and feels like a kegged ale. I'm glad I was corrected.

      Sierra Nevada a lager? You should be thrown in jail ;-)

      Indeed, staff need to be educated. Especially in somewhere as highly revered as the pub I was in. I don't want to say which pub it is but anyone in Norwich would know.

      I like going in bars where even if they don't know about every single beer they'll happily offer you a sample!

  5. There are still VERY few pubs in Australia that "know" I'm just in the natural habit of over explaining which beer I want when I order. There's probably only about 3 or 4 bars in my city that properly train their staff in respect to beer...and they are all craft beer centric bars.

    I dream of...and advocate for...the day when the bartender will know more about the beer than me. But we're still a long way behind here down under.

  6. Anchor Steam is a steam beer, which means, as has been offered thus far, it uses a lager yeast but is brewed at ale temperatures. It was originally produced in California during the first half of the 19th century. Anchor Steam actually copyrighted the style name, hence the new moniker, California Common Lager. For more, see Wikipedia:

    1. Interesting to know, thanks for that.

      It seems to be a fine line drawn by the yeast hence my confusion as I knew it's fermented in open tanks like an ale!


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