Anchor Brewing Company – Christmas Ale 2012
If you’re like most people, there’s a lot of things you look forward to during the winter. Everyone has a holiday to celebrate. Families and friends are reunited, memories are created, and that staple food item, the one you’ve had every year as a kid, is enjoyed at the dinner table. But if you’re a craft beer enthusiast like us, there’s something else you look forward to year after year. You just can’t picture yourself going without it. In the craft beer world, that of course is the Christmas Ale seasonal release by Anchor Brewing. For those who are unfamiliar with this beer, it has been brewed every winter since 1975. But what’s unique about this ale is that the recipe changes from year to year and so does the label. We mere mortals, however, don’t know the recipe as it is one of Anchor’s coveted secrets. As a result, craft beer lovers from all around the country eagerly await this time of year to see what magic has been concocted and bottled. Just can’t go a winter without this Christmas Ale.
For the 2012 edition, it is yet another successful brew. I’ve had the pleasure of drinking many of the past vintages of this beer, and I’ve enjoyed every single one. While I don’t think that this year’s is as good as the 201o and 2011 editions, it’s still an amazingly complex and delicious beer. It’s dark as it always is with excellent head and superb retention. If there is one word I would use to describe the 2012
release, it’s sweet. Very, very sweet. This beer will be an excellent compliment with your pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving or any other dessert you enjoy throughout the winter season. This is the type of beer you want to have in your hand when you’re sitting by a fire with a box of chocolates.
This is also one of those beers that can transport you to another place with its flavors. The 2012 release has a real woodiness and earthiness to it. As a result, this beer takes you deep into a forest on a cold winter afternoon where the leaves continue to fall and there is a strong smell of the surrounding pine. You also get sense of that smell when you’re around a lot of wet wood and wet leaves. If you’re going to a winter cabin at some point this winter, be sure to take this brew with you. You won’t regret it.