There was much internet gnashing of teeth when Anchor Brewing unveiled their new anchor design. I am still on the fence. I like the spare look but I do feel a sense of history lost. That being said, I do like this new addition to their line-up. The name is great and you really can’t go wrong without mango in a beer.
When I think of Anchor Brewing, I don’t think lederhosen. But the Bay Area brewery has their spin of the Oktoberfest style with Haus Fest. Normally this ground has been ceded to a Chico brewery but it would be a good side-by-side drinking comparison.
Anchor Brewing has entered the helping business with their Stay Strong SF campaign. They hooked up with Bay Area artist, Jeremy Fish who created and put up “special artwork across several boarded up bars and restaurants across the city. The design is a modern twist to the San Francisco flag, with a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Every poster has a QR code that directs you to donate to the United States Bartenders Guild.” If you have left your heart in SF you can get a poster which are available to download for free HERE.
You really have to start any Christmas beer review with the undisputed King which is Anchor Merry Christmas. “The 2019 edition of this established holiday delight lends velvety spices and rich flavors of roasted malts, western evergreens and subtle hints of Mexican chocolate.”
I would call this a return to form for Anchor. The 2019 edition of Our Special Ale has a bit more kick to it than past years. I am getting spice (cinnamon) and some pine / Christmas tree notes. It tastes more bubbly this year as well. There is a slight cola tinge at the back to add a little depth. The only flavor I am not getting is the Mexican chocolate but that could be just a me thing. This is a Claus approved beer.
I am happy for the recent Pale Ale trend. Granted some may be more IPA than pale but it is a better canvas, in my opinion, for these single hop showcases and we get another from Anchor Brewing with their new Citra Hop Blend of Brewers’ Pale Ale. According to the press releases, the beer “boasts a citrus-forward flavor profile with bright aromatics of tangerine, Meyer lemon and melons.”
Looks like Anchor is adding more IPA to their line-up. Not surprising in this hop fueled market and they have gone tried and true with the name as well. Fog Breaker is very San Francisco. That can be read as snide but it actually isn’t, I think the label straddles the brand icon of the brewery while adding a little freshness. I think it will pop on shelves and hopefully taste wise as well.
Time to head back to the legacy breweries and try some of their new (and new-ish) offerings.
Anchor/ Brewer’s Pale Ale5.3% ABV
“Brewers’ Pale Ale is a bright and fruity American Pale Ale bursting with hop aroma and flavor. Its appearance is straw colored with a creamy, white head and nice lacing. The ale has aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit, citrus peels and dank piney hops. It’s a crisp and quaffable Pale Ale packed with complex hop flavor, finishing fairly dry with a nice balanced drinkability.”>
Allagash/ Map 407.5% ABV
“Map 40 is a Belgian-style stout blended with cold-brewed coffee from Speckled Ax. Black in body with a tan, reddish-tinged head, this beer’s aroma is strong in coffee and light in roasted grain. Brewed with dark chocolate malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, and brown malt. A light nuttiness accompanies tastes of chocolate, raisin, and a resounding coffee note that weaves its way throughout. This is a rich, creamy stout with a clean finish.”>
Pizza Port/ Bacon and Eggs8.0% ABV
“With award-winning cold-pressed coffee from Bird Rock Roasters of La Jolla, this Coffee Porter is black in color with a khaki tan head. Strong coffee flavors with rich chocolate and roasted malts. ”>
All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)
Followers of the blog will have no doubt noticed that I myself am an avid follower of the Portland Trailblazers and post somewhat regularly about the Pyramid Blazer beers that pop up.
I do have to give credit to recent two-time champion Warriors though and would not feel bad about trying the new Anchor Brewing Company / Golden State Warriors limited-edition California Lager “Strength in Numbers” campaign.
There is not only the Bay Area connection but they are bound by the year 1971. That was the year the Warriors became the Golden State Warriors, and also when Anchor Brewing began bottling its flagship beer, Anchor Steam.
Each year around this time, I bring up whatever cellared Anchor Christmas Ale’s that are left. This year, I have 2013-2017 to taste and give bite-sized reviews of…
smells a bit papery. Some soy sauce hits off this one. Still has some spritz to it. Some spruce tips as well. Little bit salty to my taste.
a slight chocolate aroma. A lighter soy sauce but still savory. Seems plainer than 2013. Less back-up flavors. Seems a little more substantial as well.
not much aroma to my nose. A return of the pine and spruce notes. Not carbonated but not thick either. A bit of cola flavor. Closer to 13 than 14.
chocolate and pine notes. Tending down I think, touch to more sour. Touch of cherry. A bit chewy.
this year’s model. Little fruity to me. Good sparkle to it. A bit thin. Malt seems less pronounced.