Anchor's annual Christmas Ale is a subtly spiced and sumptuously smooth winter warmer. This Magnum serving offers you a chance to go back in time to 2018 (their 44th annual release) and see how these fantastic beers age.
Back in 1975, Anchor released the first holiday beer in America since Prohibition. Year after year, they create a new, secret recipe with a unique hand-drawn label for their Christmas Ale, but the intent with each brew remains the same: joy for the changing seasons and celebration of the newness of life. With a heavily guarded, confidential recipe, Christmas Ale is sold only from early November to mid-January. This highly anticipated seasonal delight is complex and full in flavor, packed with toasty cocoa notes, roasted malts and strong aromas of resinous pine.
“Each year, we bring something new and interesting to this traditional holiday beer while maintaining its signature style,” said Anchor Brewmaster, Scott Ungermann. “Our 2018 Christmas Ale has varying specialty malts, lending rich flavors of brûléed sugars, holiday spices and freshly baked banana bread with a velvety finish. The aromatics are quintessential for the holiday season: nutty candied yams and resinous pine. It pours a nice mahogany brown color with a fluffy, tan head.”
As each Christmas Ale recipe evolves, so does its hand-drawn packaging, created by long-time Anchor Illustrator Jim Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s Christmas Ale labels since 1975. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. For the 2018 release, Stitt created a brimming Korean Pine Tree for the label. Native to both North and South Korea, the Korean Pine Tree is a symbol of peace and a reminder of the spirit of the season. It flourishes in the picturesque botanical gardens just north of San Francisco, Anchor’s home base.
The bright gold Augustiner Edelstoff has understated notes of cut grass, herbs, and sweet malts that are balanced by a moderate bitterness. Its light body and delicate carbonation lead to a smooth mouthfeel that still finds a way of being crisp and lingering with a fantastically clean finish.