Well, enough of the “Fritz,” the pioneer of craft brewing. The investment and consulting company, The Griffin Group, has purchased the 70-man San Francisco operation. Of course, when he purchased the faded brewery in 1965 with the kind of old money that craft brewers never had the advantage of, he was lauded as a brewing visionary, but at the time, Mister Maytag didn’t even know there was a beer movement. No one did.
I had a hell of a time a few years back when trying to get a simple food recipe with an Anchor beer product included for my book, Beer & Food: An American History. One of his reps wanted to flood me with so much long-winded info, history and mythos about Maytag, in addition to the recipe, that the moment that I explained that I was dealing with about 40 breweries and could only mention a nice teaser about the breweries, they stopped speaking to me.
So many other nationwide micros and regionals were very understanding in the editorial problems of writing and getting a long-winded 700-page book published, that they were very willing to send me a concise burb about their breweries and founders rather that the War & Peace approach. While Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company wrote the foreword for the book, even he kept it to a tight few paragraphs.
Quite an ego. Maytag will remain with the company as chairman emeritus.