The Brew Site

Advent Beer Calendar 2017: Day 1: Anchor Christmas Ale

It’s December 1st and that means the return of the annual Beer Advent Calendar tradition here at The Brew Site! I began this in 2005, and in the tradition of Advent calendars each day of December leading up to the 24th (Christmas Eve) I reveal a new holiday beer each day. (No real beers, alas, unless you want to find a pour of the featured beer each day to enjoy.)

This year we’re starting with a favorite and the one beer that has been featured every single year on the calendar: Anchor Christmas Ale. First brewed in 1975, each year’s recipe is slightly different (and a closely guarded secret), as is the tree on the label.

A smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee and roasted nuts, and subtle hints of honey and herbal spice, this year’s brew marks the 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition.

Our 2017 Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile that is enhanced with wintry spices. 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. The combination of malts, spices, and hops add layers of complexity to the beer and bring this year’s ale to a new level.

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.

Cheers to the first of December and to 23 more beers to reveal!

Find Anchor Christmas Ale on: