Advent Beer Calendar 2015: Day 5: Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale 2015Today is Repeal Day here in the United States, and to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition, today’s Advent beer pick is in many ways the Ur-beer of holiday seasonals, and one that has appeared in my Beer Advent Calendar every year since I started in 2005: Anchor Christmas Ale.

The Ale’s recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.

Our tree for 2015 is the Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara), better known as the California Christmas Tree. Native of the Himalayas, it takes its name from the ancient Sanskrit devadaru, meaning timber of the gods. This coniferous evergreen, with its gracefully droopy branches and blue-green needles, has been a San Francisco favorite for over 150 years.

Anchor has been brewing a version of this beer since 1975, and each year the recipe is different and it’s always top secret. For me this beer is always at the top of my list when I think of “Christmas beers” and I look forward to try it every year. Make sure to open a bottle to celebrate the end of Prohibition! Cheers!

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