Drink Beer, Think Beer With John Holl

The recent news about Anchor Brewing pulling back it’s distribution to just California and discontinuing Our Special Ale, it’s Christmas offering, had me thinking about the brewery’s place in history and its impact.

Scott Ungermann, the former brewmaster of Anchor is here to talk about all that and more.

A few weeks ago Dave Infante, of the excellent Fingers Newsletter broke the news that broke hearts: Anchor Brewing, the venerable San Francisco Brewery, the makers of Steam Beer, and now owned by Sapporo, were pulling back its distribution to focus solely on California – already its biggest market – and would be discontinuing it’s annual Christmas tradition beer: Our Special Ale. 

“Our Special Ale has always been a bizarre beer,” wrote my colleague Andy Crouch on All About Beer. “It was never particularly popular but it had tradition, pedigree, history and therefore loomed large in American craft beer.”

It’s a loss and in an eulogy of sorts, Scott Ungermann, who was the brewmaster and VP of Production of Anchor from 2014 until 2020 is here to talk about his relationship with the brewery and that particular beer. 

Anchor has always been part of his beer DNA. A tour of the brewery when he was in college inspired a homebrewing hobby, which led to a degree from University of California Davis, and then a long career with Anheuser-Busch, including a stretch at it’s Newark NJ facility, before a chance conversation and a long simmering desire brought him to the top beer job at Anchor.

For more Drink Beer, Think Beer check out All About Beer.

  • Host: John Holl
  • Guest: Scott Ungermann
  • Sponsors: All About Beer
  • Tags: Beer, California, Anchor, Lager, Christmas, Process, IPA, History

Creators & Guests

John Holl
John Holl is the editor of All About Beer
All About Beer
Est. 1979. Beer news, reviews, podcasts, and features from America’s oldest beer media brand. Ready to party after an unexpectedly long slumber.

What is Drink Beer, Think Beer With John Holl?

Drink Beer, Think Beer is a weekly conversation with brewers, growers, and other brewing industry professionals that explores the art, culture, and business of craft beer. Hosted by John Holl and recorded on location, this podcast gets to the bottom of every pint and offers insight into the dynamic world of beer.