The Brew Site

The Session #18: Happy Anniversary

Today being the first Friday of August means it’s time for The Session—beer blogging on a common theme. This month is brought to us from the Barley Blog and the theme is "Happy Anniversary":

Use this as an excuse to celebrate. Open a limited release anniversary beer from your favorite brewer. Enjoy that special beer you normally only open on your wedding anniversary or birthday. Either way, tell us about it. Why is it a beer you may only drink once a year? Why is that brewery’s annual release the one you selected?

I like the topic, but it’s one of those that doesn’t really apply to me—I don’t have any specific anniversary or beer that I drink only once a year. So I’ll speak a bit more generally.

The closest I can get to the topic is probably (surprise) Deschutes Brewery‘s anniversary, seasonal, and limited release beers. For instance, every year when their Jubelale is released, it’s an "event" beer because each year sports a label of new, original artwork, and the holiday ale has a slightly different recipe each time. (Of course, I drink Jubelale as often as I can when it’s "in season.")

Then there’s Deschutes’ Anniversary releases: read my recent review of their 20th Anniversary Wit for example. Each year in recent years they’ve released a limited run, one-off anniversary beer and I’ve enjoyed each: their 18th Anniversary Pilsner and their 19th Anniversary Golden Ale (review).

Probably every homebrewer has at some point tried their hand at brewing up some sort of special, anniversary-type brew. Aside from several beers I’ve made for birthdays, I brewed a strawberry mead (the one and only mead I’ve made thus far) for my wedding some years back.

It was decent, and there are still a few bottles floating around that I try from time to time. It’s aged into a very dry drink with a current of bitterness running through it (too bitter for my wife); not undrinkable, but not something I’d serve to a gathering these days. But for something I brewed that’s held up for as long as it has now, I won’t complain. Next time I open some up, it’ll be with an anniversary spirit in mind.