Anchor Brews a Christmas Beer! Who Knew?

December 15, 2012

Hey! Did you guys know that Anchor brews a Christmas Beer each and every year? And that each year they tweak the recipe so that it is just a little bit different? You all knew that already?

Alright, I knew all of that too. I have sampled this beer for more than twenty years now (going back to a time when it was damn hard to find some years in some of the places in which I lived, although finding it no longer seems to be much of an issue), and other than one year when it tasted like candied yams mixed with fake pine cones, shitty tinsel and melted down plastic Santas, it is always at least a good, if not excellent, beer.

Some Christmas Traditions - gifts wrapped in red & green; colored lights; passing out drunk under the tree - should live forever

Some Christmas Traditions – gifts wrapped in red & green; colored lights; passing out drunk under the tree – should live forever

This year’s version is…truth be told, I lost my tasting notes, but I had it in a bottle and on tap and enjoyed both. I remember thinking ‘spicy’ and ‘warming’ so figure that this has some Christmas spice flavors in it, and a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. I do not recall thinking ‘fake pine cones’ nor ‘shitty tinsel’ nor ‘melted down Santas’ so figure there was nothing nasty about it. I recall thinking ‘7’ when I had the bottle and ‘8’ when I had it on tap, so let’s average that out to a 7.5/10 and call it a day. You know you are going to get some, so what are you waiting for?

Best of 2010: The 68th Annual Tiltie Awards

December 27, 2010

As the end of the year approaches, it is time for the 2010 Tiltie Awards, the most prestigious awards to be found anyplace on these here intertubes.  We (‘we’ is a lie, it is only me, sitting on the couch in my underwear, when I can find underwear that is, so yeah, sometimes I am naked) have been giving these Golden Can Opener Statues (no such statues exist) since the 1940s (another lie). While a Tiltie is not as prestigious as an Oscar (no kidding!), it is a shitload more valuable than a Grammy (this is true), which nobody cares about or, God help us, an Emmy, which is totally  worthless (very fucking true) Those of you who sent adequate bribes have been handsomely rewarded.  You stingy bastards get nothing. Ready, Set, Go!

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The Twelve Beers of Christmas

December 24, 2010

The First Beer of Christmas: Full Sail Wassail, Hood River, Oregon – I had this on tap at the Ginger Man.  Dark velvety brown with ruby highlights and a fluffy white head.  This was mildly sweet, with a caramel taste and some dried fruit and spiciness as well.  Very good, 7/10.

The Second Beer of Christmas: Anchor 2010 Christmas Ale – The Grand Daddy of American Christmas Ales, with an ever evolving recipe.  I had this on tap at the Ginger Man, and this year’s version has a spicy ginger aftertaste, which I liked, but everyone else who tried it with me hated.  Not as good as years past, but still a fine Christmas Beer, 7/10. Read the rest of this entry »

Anchor Humming Ale

October 27, 2010

This is a dry, crisp ale that is hopped up enough to be classified as an IPA, but is easy drinking enough to be a pale ale.  The hops are not all that bitter, more mango sweet than anything, and at slightly less than 6% ABV, you can have a couple of these at a sitting.  The Humming Ale tasted remarkably bright and fresh and vegetal, with plenty of flavor.  It tastes like a summer beer brewed for the autumn.  Unfortunately, it also appears to have been a limited release.  A few days after trying this, I went back to my local beer emporium to grab some more, and it was entirely sold out, and the diminutive Chinaman who runs the shop told me “No More! No More!”  If you find some, grab it, because it is a good one, 8/10.

Check out this interview with Fritz Maytag, the founder of Anchor Brewing, and the grandfather of the American Craft Beer Movement.

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