02 December 2011

WILK Friday BeerBuzz–2 Dec 2011 Anchor Christmas Ale w/Mark Carpenter

WILKFridayBerbuzz8Back in my early days of exploring craft beer, brother-beerbuzz was always nice enough to share his yearly beer-gift from Fritz Maytag.  Back in the early 1980’s Anchor Brewing was fairly rare on the east coast, and their Christmas Ale, even more so.  Year after year, I’ve sampled and enjoyed Anchor Christmas Ale, and it has honestly been one of the brews that excited a passion in me for craft beer and the wide varieties of brewing techniques used to brew it. 

Each year starting in 1975 Anchor Brewing has brewed it’s now famous Christmas Ale, but rather than brewing the same beer every year, the guys at Anchor took a risk and changed the successful recipe every year.  Each year the beer includes not only a different specie of tree on the label, but an even more intriguing “mystery” ingredient.  I remember studying Anchor Christmas Ale year after year, obsessed with conclusively identifying the mystery ingredient and even more obsessed with the beer itself.

imageJump forward to 2011, and it was not only fun to sample Anchors Christmas Ale 2011, but also a real honor to sample it with master brewer Mark Carpenter.  Mark gave us some great insight on what goes into Christmas Ale and also the unique brewing process Anchor Brewing uses in all of their beers.  Clearly there is a rich history in brewing at this San Francisco brewery and Anchor still stands as not only one of the earliest west coast craft breweries but one of the very first US craft breweries.

We really enjoyed Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale and I really thought once again I had identified the mystery ingredient (juniper berries), but only Mark will know for sure.  Try this one for yourself, and see what you taste.


to Mark Carpenter from Anchor Brewing, Nancy, John, Joe, & Bosco for yet another fun Friday.

The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together.

As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.

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