There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
What’s in Stein’s Stein is a new biweekly feature celebrating the liquids made, sold, and served by underrepresented voices in the craft beverage industries.
Beer: Anchor Brewing’s Anchor California Lager
Person: Andrea De Vries, quality assurance supervisor
Hometown: La Conner, Washington
Price: $7.50 per 16 oz
Taste: The first thing you smell are aromas of freshly baked bread combined with hay and spice from the California Cluster hops. The first taste is substantive and sweet, like the heel of a loaf of bread, followed by balanced hop-bitterness with a crisp and dry finish.
Story: California Lager, an homage to the state’s first lager, is brewed from California barley and California Cluster hops. But more important than the Golden State cornucopia of agriculture is the yeast. California Lager takes an extra two weeks in the cellar compared to Anchor Steam, for example.
De Vries is tied to California because she moved to San Francisco to study art in 1983. “I have been looking at lager and ale yeast for 23 years under a microscope, so I can tell on a cellular level if things are different.”
She says “the yeast is the heart of the beer” and likens the lager to San Francisco sourdough, as both products are dependent on the health of their yeasts. The keeper of the heart remains humble, not taking credit for the yeast’s creation, though she notes, “It’s always on my mind when I walk around the brewery.”
Few women have worked at Anchor, but lately that’s changing. “More recently, we just have a lot more women working in production,” she says. “We even have a woman in the brewhouse now.” That woman is Jennifer Jordan, who started in 2014.
Where to try: Daily Grill, 1200 18th St. NW, No. 2; (202) 822-5282; dailygrill.com