The 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition, our brewers created a smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee, and roasted nuts, plus subtle hints of honey and herbal spice.
2017’s Christmas Ale has a strong malt profile that is enhanced with wintry spices,” said Anchor Brewmaster Scott Ungermann. “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. This is the third year in a row that we peeled back the layers of spices, taking some ingredients out and making those remaining stand out even more. In the meantime, we added more specialty malts, some that we’re using for the first time. The combination of malts, spices, and hops add layers of complexity to the beer and bring this year’s ale to a new level.”
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 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.