Anchor Announces The Release Of It’s 42nd Annual Christmas Ale

01 November 2016

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We brought you the very first peek at this year’s version back in June, and now the ful release details from Anchor:

We are excited to announce the release of our 2016 Anchor Christmas Ale. A deliciously smooth winter warmer with notes of seasonal spices and a malty backbone, this year’s brew marks the 42nd annual release of this Anchor tradition.


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Sold only from early November to mid-January, the Christmas Ale recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label. However, our intent with each brew remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. With a heavily guarded, secret recipe, Christmas Ale (6.5% ABV) is a highly anticipated seasonal delight, complex and full in flavor with a velvety texture and alluring, yet subtle, spiced aroma.


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“This year’s Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile enhanced with wintry spices,” said Anchor Brewmaster Scott Ungermann. “The beer is a deep mahogany brown with a creamy, tan head and boasts aromas of fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood. The beer tastes of a roasted caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts. And it has a rich, smooth, and velvety mouthfeel. Every year we look forward to formulating our new Christmas Ale recipe and tasting the fruits of our labors. We are always excited to please beer fans with its ever-changing recipe and label. This year’s ale is the perfect beer for the winter season, whether you’re out on the slopes or relaxing next to the fire.”

Along with an evolving recipe, Christmas Ale portrays a new label every year. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. This year’s tree is the “1,000 Mile Tree” or the lone pine found during westbound construction of the transcontinental railroad.  Discovered in 1896, it was a lone pine amidst a vast and desolate landscape. 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. His charming illustration of the 1,000 Mile Tree includes a person at the top of the tree with a mug of beer, honoring an old legend that railway passengers sometimes attempted to climb the tree.

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Christmas Ale is available in 6-packs and gold-foiled 50.7 oz. magnum bottles, as well as on draught in select stores, bars, and restaurants including the Anchor Brewing Taproom and Anchor Beer Garden at The Yard in San Francisco. Find a brew near you using the Anchor Beer Finder.
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