Spicy winter warmers get us excited for the holidays and remind us of all the wonderful scents and flavors we love from our annual traditions. Fritz Maytag and the brewers at the Anchor Brewing Company have tapped into this by creating a Christmas Ale for the past 35 years. The bottle has a very nice description of why they continue to produce this beer.
Every year since 1975 the brewers at Anchor have brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale, which is available from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.
This year’s Christmas Ale, or “Our Special Ale” as they originally named it, is dark and spicy as usual. The tree on the label this year is the Monterey cypress tree, which is known as San Francisco’s unoffical Christmas tree. For the first few years after this beer’s debut in 1975 it was a modest brown ale, since then it has become a tradition to spice it up in the winter warmer style.
On the other side of the country, Troegs brews a holiday treat called The Mad Elf. This red ale includes warming flavors of cherry, honey and chocolate malt. If you don’t think Santa will be bringing you anything this year, don’t worry because The Mad Elf could care less that you are on the Naughty List!
I’m excited to bring home a couple bottles of each beer to the family Christmas dinner. With that said, the Beer Nation team wants to wish you all happy holidays and hope that your family time is also filled with delicious beer.