Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

Fritz Maytag, grandson of the home-appliance-company founder, single-handedly saved San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. from extinction when he invested a few thousand dollars in the brewery in the mid-1960s. Anchor’s amber-colored, flavorful brew stood out in the sea of pale, industrial lagers flooding the market, and it can claim paternity rights to the micro-brew renaissance we enjoy today. In more recent years, Maytag has set his sights on reviving rye whiskey. The Anchor Distilling Co. makes two ryes in small quantities under the name of Old Potrero. One is a young 18th-century style, using un-charred oak barrels. The other is a mellower 19th-century style, aged in charred oak barrels. Maytag’s efforts prompted renewed consumer interest in rye and spawned the arrival of other micro-distillers. We’re grateful that Maytag decided to dedicate his career to making big advances in the craft of fermentation rather than making marginal improvements in the washing machine.