Anchor Christmas Ale is the holiday beer tradition that must be enjoyed

2020 Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale, photo provided by Anchor Brewing
2020 Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale, photo provided by Anchor Brewing /

Move over mulled wine, Anchor Christmas Ale is the holiday beer tradition.

Let the holiday songs play because Anchor Christmas Ale is here. While this holiday beer has been a tradition for 46 years, the newly appointed Brewmaster, Tom Riley has taken over this year’s launch. Are you ready to pour yourself this special Christmas beer present?

During the holiday season, various breweries offer a holiday beer or seasonal beer. These beers tend to have certain flavor characteristics. From warm spices to nutty notes, the more full-bodied beers tend to complement the cooler temperatures.

Looking at the Anchor Christmas Ale, the holiday beer has a long tradition with the season. The first holiday beer was released 45 years ago and was the first holiday beer since prohibition. While the beer has changed over the years, from a pale ale to a spiced brown ale, that special Christmas Ale recipe is always a closely guarded secret.

While the flavors might change each year, the same principles guide each offering. The special holiday beer embodies the “joy, hope and celebration as we enter the season.”

For the 2020, Anchor Christmas Ale release might be considered more approachable than previous releases. According to the brewery, the beer has layers of classic holiday flavors like chocolate, toasted marshmallows and graham crackers. Blending those flavors with a dark chocolate and coffee aromas, the beer is a lovely, welcoming sip on a winter day.

Anchor Christmas Ale
Anchor Brewing 2020 Christmas Ale, photo provided by Anchor Brewing /

This seasonal beer is very different from previous releases. At a 7% ABV, it is the highest ABV that Anchor has ever offered. In some ways, it was a conscious decision to make this year’s seasonal beer big and bold.

“In such a challenging year, we wanted our Christmas Ale to be a moment of joy during the holiday season,” says Anchor Brewmaster Tom Riley. “With a one-of-a-kind label, the highest ABV in history, and a balanced, holiday-inspired flavor profile, we believe that this year’s Christmas Ale stands in a category of its own. Our Christmas Ale fans will be thrilled with year’s offering and first-timers will be in for a special treat.”

As the holiday season continues, the Anchor Christmas Ale is perfect for almost any occasion. It can easily be paired with a variety of food options or enjoyed as an after-dinner beer. From turkey and lamb to pumpkin pie and crème brulee, the versatility of this beer is delightful.

Lastly, the 2020 Anchor Christmas Ale continues a tradition on its bottle. The label always features a new, symbolic hand-drawn tree. This year’s label honors The Three Graces. Located in the Mariposa Grove in California’s Yosemite National Park, it is only the second time that multiple trees have been used on the label.

Similar to the purpose behind the Anchor Christmas Ale itself, these three trees are meant to symbolize togetherness and hope. Just like The Three Graces and their ideas of radiance, joy and flowering, the Anchor Brewing hopes that this holiday season can be filled with those concepts.

The Anchor Christmas Ale is available now through January 2021. It can be purchased in 6-pack bottles as well as gold-foiled 50.7 oz. magnum bottles. For more information on where to purchase, including locations that serve the seasonal beer on tap, please visit the Anchor Brewing website.

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What is your favorite seasonal beer?