APR/MAY 2005 | REGIONAL | WEST
Anchor Hosts Falcons
By Jay Sheveck
Capping off its landmark 30th year, the Maltose Falcons Home
Brewing Society of Woodland Hills, Calif., was awarded the
title of “2004 California Homebrew Club of the Year”
by Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco. The award ceremony
and celebration took place in February on a rainy afternoon
inside the historic Anchor Brewery. Over 200 members and invited
guests attended the crowning event.
The master of ceremonies was none other than Bob Brewer,
Anchor’s longtime national sales representative. Brewer
praised the members’ dedication and the club’s
longevity. He bestowed the trophy upon visibly anxious Falcons
President Drew Beechum. In keeping with the Anchor tradition,
Beechum methodically detached the hand-hammered copper tankard
atop the three-tiered trophy and drank its beery contents
in one, long-felled gulp. He then offered a rumbling, “Cheers!”
The crowd exploded with elation.
Moments later, in a surprise gesture, each member of the
Maltose Falcons Brews Band was presented with a framed “gold
record” in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the
band’s formation. The all-homebrewer rock ’n roll
group first played at Anchor in 1989 when the Maltose Falcons
first won “California Homebrew Club of the Year.”
After thanks from band leader Brian Vessa and closing remarks
from the Falcons’ activities director, Gregor Reti,
the band kicked off in concert.
This year marked the fifth time the Maltose
Falcons have won the prestigious title.
A buffet dinner was prepared on-site by the brewery staff,
which consisted of barbecued beef brisket and chicken, corn-on-the-cob,
mashed potatoes and salad. For five hours, Anchor brewers
Tom Littig and Mark Carpenter manned the bar, pouring their
trademark beers, including Anchor Steam, Liberty Ale, Anchor
Porter, Old Foghorn, Anchor Small Beer and Anchor Summer Wheat.
The main level of the brewery was accessible to all attendees.
Many folks roamed freely about the brew-kettle and mash tun
or observed the shallow rectangular fermentation vessels at
work. A select few were able to witness the hops storage room
first-hand. The price: nothing. The gala event was a freebie.
As a gift to the club for winning the contest, it was provided
compliments of Anchor Brewing and its founder, Fritz Maytag.
The partying continued off-site. Upon departing the brewery,
many of the club members taxied over to the Rogue Ales Public
House for a private after-party. Rogue’s management
graciously closed the entire pub that evening and threw a
Falcons-only party. The following day, the club chartered
a bus to three regional brewpubs. The tour ultimately wrapped
up at the Celebrator Battle of the Bands event at Trumer Brauerei
Anchor Brewing Company’s California Homebrew Club of
the Year contest is open to all active homebrew clubs within
the state of California. This year marked the fifth time overall
that the Maltose Falcons have won the prestigious title. For
the Maltose Falcons, 2004 finished as a truly great year!
Jay Sheveck, aka "the Beer Guppy, is
the author of the destination guidebook The Beer Guppy’s
Guide to Southern California. Preview it at BeerGuppy.com.