But Ron Lindenbusch, Lagunitas’ beer weasel (a job that any other company would call chief marketing officer), prefers a more mellow pace. In fact, he says, the reason the company has grown as big as it has is it never rushed its expansion.
The Anchor Brewing Company, opened in 1896, had fallen on hard times when it was bought in 1965 by Frederick Louis “Fritz” Maytag III. Rather than compete with the macro breweries of the time, he decided to try something different, offering his flagship product at a higher price — and discovered there was a market for more expensive beer.
“Certainly Steam beer is responsible for starting [interest in craft beers] because every other beer in the U.S. at the time was a yellow beer,” says Mark Carpenter, Anchor’s brewmaster.