Snowmen, candy canes – and a seemingly endless string of “Christmas ales” to taunt our palates.
Some are hits, some are wild misses that earn a lump of coal. One that remains consistently delicious and surprising is Anchor Brewing’s annual Christmas ale.
This is the 41st year that Anchor has sent its elves across America with Christmas ale. The recipe changes every year – but the tight-lipped brewing team remains steadfastly silent about the ingredients.
I scored my bottle today, a 12 ouncer, but was tempted by the magnum that is available at Savannah’s Habersham Beverage Warehouse and also at World Market.
The beer pours so dark that you would need Rudolph’s shiny nose to cut through the blackness. A nutmeg brown head rises as steadily as Santa’s coursers vault the rooftops.
Stop me, please, stop me.
The spiced nose kinda threw off my palate, which was expecting a super spicy, very sweet ale. What the ol’ taste buds were treated to was a solidly built ale with just an ever so gentle hint of brown sugar – like the glaze on a Christmas ham. There is a mildly lingering bite from hops (well played guys) that makes the beer a perfect companion for everything from pumpkin pie to a full on holiday feast to, well, a long, quiet night sipping Anchor Christmas ale by the fire.
I should also mention that the label changes every year. San Fran area artist Jim Stitt has been drawing the annual label tree for 41 years – and does a different one very year.
This is an exceptionally well-made holiday brew – and one worthy of everyone on your “nice”
Learn more and watch a nicely produced video on Anchor’s website.