Golden Gate American Flyer Club
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New Billboard Reefer Sets from Golden Gate American Flyer Club

(As Lionel says on the boxes, for "Ages 21 to Adult"

Car 5020 - Gold Roof - Oval Graphics Car 5020 - Gold Roof - Shield Graphics
Car 5021 - Blue Roof - Oval Graphics Car 5021 - Blue Roof - Shield Graphics

Private label refrigerator cars have been popular as club and convention cars recently and the Golden Gate American Flyer Club started planning for such a car for our Flyer Fest originally scheduled in 2020. We also wanted something that commemorated the history of the far west, where we are located. We even tossed around various ideas for some little known and extinct west coast breweries, which, after a few modifications slid into the fictitious category. We finally settled on Anchor Steam Beer, a venerable west coast tradition and the oldest of the craft breweries. Anchor responded quite positively to the idea and their publicity department and their company historian oversaw the entire design process of the cars, making sure that the graphics were authentic and rendered in the highest quality.

We had decided that we wanted the car to be prototypical of the era when billboard reefers were common and were naturally attracted to the wood sheathed ice reefers by MTH and Lionel. With MTH’s shutdown, we partnered with Lionel, as we had in the past for our Deep Rock Tank car sets offered in 2017. Like those sets, they will be assigned a Lionel number and will be listed in the Greenberg guides in future years.

Making beer in the far west wasn’t an easy thing in the mid to late 19th century and that was when Anchor Steam® Beer was born. San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company is one of America’s oldest breweries, with an extraordinary heritage dating to the California Gold Rush. Its first brewmaster, Gottlieb Brekle, arrived in San Francisco in the 1850s. He founded Golden City Brewery in 1871, which, in 1896, became Anchor Brewery. In 1965, Fritz Maytag rescued the struggling brewery from bankruptcy, at a time when mass-produced, mass-marketed beer completely dominated the American brewing landscape. Together, Maytag and Anchor ignited a revolution that paved the way for today’s craft-beer movement.

Anchor Steam® Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when “steam” was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. While the origin of the name remains shrouded in mystery, it likely relates to the original practice of fermenting the beer on San Francisco’s rooftops in a cool climate. In lieu of ice, the foggy night air naturally cooled the fermenting beer, creating steam off the warm open pans. Once a nickname for any Californian or West Coast beer brewed under these conditions, today the name “steam” is a trademark of Anchor Brewing and applies only to the singular process and taste of their flagship brand - San Francisco’s original Anchor Steam® Beer.

The cars are available as a set of two for $160 plus $15 shipping for the set. We have received the shipment of cars from Lionel and they are available for immediate shipping or for pickup at our Flyer Fest 2021, so plan to attend if you can and save the shipping. The cars bear two different numbers, 5020 and 5021. (our Fest was originally scheduled for last year) While both cars have the same decorations, each side has different graphics and car 5020 has a gold roof and car 5021 has a blue roof. When the cars are coupled together with the different graphics on the same side, they appear to be two totally different cars.