Advent Beer Calendar 2012: Day 1: Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale 2012It’s the first day of December and of course that means it’s time to break out your Advent calendars, and here on The Brew Site it’s the annual Beer Advent Calendar time as well, one of my favorite blogging times of the year! Each day of December from the 1st through the 24th I reveal a new Christmas (or other appropriately-themed holiday or winter) beer in Advent calendar fashion.

The very first Advent calendar beer of 2012 is a one that holds a special place both for me and here on the calendar: Anchor Christmas Ale (aka Our Special Ale). Not only is this the very first beer that appeared on the Beer Advent Calendar, way back in 2005, but it’s also one that has made an appearance on the Calendar every year since, the only one to do so. And for me, Anchor Christmas is one of the first beers that come to mind when I think of the holiday.

Anchor has been brewing this beer for Christmas every year since 1975, making it truly a tradition in the American craft beer world; every year, they feature a different tree on the label. This year, the tree is:

Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. Our tree for 2012 is the Norfolk Island pine. Captain Cook discovered this South Seas isle and its native tree in 1774. These tropical-looking conifers, which thrive in sandy soil and coastal climes, were first planted in California in the 1850s. The Norfolk Island pine on this year’s label, hand drawn from life, resides in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Also every year, like the unique label, the recipe is also unique—and a secret. And that’s what makes it fun: it’s a new, special gift every year from Anchor.

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