Anchor Brewing Releases 43rd Annual Christmas Ale

Xmas2017___bottle_pintAnchor Brewing Co. (San Francisco, California) has announced that their iconic Christmas Ale has officially returned for its 43rd annual release.

First released in 1975, Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale has been brewed each year since with “a new, secret recipe” and adorned with “a completely unique label” (click here to see them all).  The 2017 Christmas Ale has been crafted to be “a smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee, and roasted nuts, plus subtle hints of honey and herbal spice.”  You can choose to enjoy Christmas Ale (6.7% ABV) fresh or you can age the beer to see how its “wintry spiced flavors evolve over time.”

“This year’s Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile that is enhanced with wintry spices,” said Anchor Brewmaster Scott Ungermann. “The beer pours a deep, dark, mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head. It has flavors of creamy bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and toasted nuts, with a rich, smooth, velvety mouthfeel. This is the third year in a row that we peeled back the layers of spices, taking some ingredients out and making those remaining stand out even more. In the meantime, we added more specialty malts, some that we’re using for the first time. The combination of malts, spices, and hops add layers of complexity to the beer and bring this year’s ale to a new level.”

2017 Christmas Ale is available now and will be hanging around through the month of January 2018.  You can expect to find this special holiday brew available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, gold-foiled 50.7 oz. magnum bottles (where permitted), and on draft at beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California and throughout the rest of Anchor Brewing’s expansive distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for 2017 Christmas Ale from Anchor Brewing Co.

Release – Seasonal, November 2017 to January 2018
Style – Winter Warmer
ABV – 6.7%
Malts – “Top Secret”
Hops – “Top Secret”
Fun Fact #1 – When it was originally released in 1975, Anchor Christmas Ale was “the first holiday beer in America since Prohibition.”
Fun Fact #2 – Concerning the label artwork: “Along with an evolving recipe, Christmas Ale portrays a new label every year. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. This year’s tree is the Santa Lucia fir. Extremely rare, it is native and limited to California’s Santa Lucia Range along the central coast of California. The tree on this year’s label was hand-drawn by Bay Area artist James Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s Christmas Ale labels since 1975.” 
Suggested Food Pairings – “Anchor Christmas Ale is perfect for cozy nights by the fire, and it pairs well with holiday fare, whether it is a roasted turkey dinner, sweet potato pie, or roasted chestnuts.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 50.7 oz. magnum bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.anchorbrewing.com/connect/beer_finder

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Anchor Christmas Ale Returns for 42nd Year

2016christmas-beerandglassAnchor Brewing Co. (San Francisco, California) has announced that the 42nd Annual release of Anchor Christmas Ale has headed out to distribution.

For over four decades, Anchor Brewing has gifted craft beer fans a new Anchor Christmas Ale to enjoy during each holiday season.  Although every year’s release of Anchor Christmas Ale is brewed with a new recipe and then wrapped in a label displaying a different festive tree, the brewery’s intention “remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.”  The recipe for each release may be “a heavily guarded secret,” but craft beer fans can always anticipate a Winter Warmer boasting “notes of seasonal spices and a malty backbone.”  For a better idea of what to expect from the 2016 vintage of Anchor Christmas Ale, here is what Brewmaster Scott Ungermann had to say about the brew:

“This year’s Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile enhanced with wintry spices. The beer is a deep mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head and boasts aromas of fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood. The beer tastes of a roasted caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts. And it has a rich, smooth, and velvety mouthfeel. Every year we look forward to formulating our new Christmas Ale recipe and tasting the fruits of our labors. We are always excited to please beer fans with its ever-changing recipe and label. This year’s ale is the perfect beer for the winter season, whether you’re out on the slopes or relaxing next to the fire.”
– Anchor Brewmaster Scott Ungermann

Anchor Christmas Ale is only available from early November until mid-January.  This offering is available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, gold-foiled 50.7 oz. magnum bottles, and on draft at select craft beer establishments in Alabama**, Florida and throughout Anchor Brewing’s expansive distribution area.  Secure your bottles when you can and make Anchor Christmas Ale a part of any holiday celebration you plan on attending this year.  Prost!

(**Due to the fact that Alabama law currently prohibits the sale of beer in packaging larger than 750 ml, the magnum bottles will not be available in that state.**)

Vital Information for Anchor Christmas Ale (2016) from Anchor Brewing Co. 

Release – Seasonal, November 2016 through mid-January 2017
First Release – 1975
Style – Winter Warmer

ABV – 6.5%
Malt – “TOP SECRET”
Hops – “TOP SECRET”
Dry Hops – “TOP SECRET”
Fun Fact: The Tree – “Along with an evolving recipe, Christmas Ale portrays a new label every year. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. This year’s tree is the ‘1,000 Mile Tree’ or the lone pine found during westbound construction of the transcontinental railroad. Discovered in 1896, it was a lone pine amidst a vast and desolate landscape. The tree on this year’s label was hand-drawn by Bay Area artist James Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s Christmas Ale labels since 1975. His charming illustration of the 1,000 Mile Tree includes a person at the top of the tree with a mug of beer, honoring an old legend that railway passengers sometimes attempted to climb the tree.”