Posts Tagged Anchor

Brew of the Common Man

AnchorSteamCommon_fullToday I have for you what may not be the most exciting beer I have tried, but still one I enjoyed. Anchor Steam makes a good Christmas Ale, but their regular, everyday California Common Beer is a great one that you can enjoy year-round and at only 4.9% abv, you can also enjoy it all night.

It poured a bubbly reddish-golden color with persistent medium white head. The aromas were light, with caramel and vague fruitiness like a mix of berry and some dark plum coming AnchorSteamCommon_topthrough. It was light on taste, too, with heavy carbonation and sweet fruit up front, then some of the caramel coming through. The fruitiness came back and stuck through the rest of the drink, including the finish. The carbonation made it a little like drinking a soda.

Not the most dynamic drink I have had, but still enjoyable.

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Have a “Special” Christmas

Anchor 2014 Special Xmas AleIt has finally arrived! Christmas is here! Well, in a few days it will be here. There is just time enough to try this great addition to your holiday beer list: Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2014, or simply, “Our Special Ale.” This is the 40th year running that Anchor Brewing has released their “Special Ale” and the 2014 edition will not disappoint.

It poured a deep dark brown that reminded me of maple syrup. It had a medium layer of fizzy tan head. The aromas beganAnchor Special Ale top with very rich caramel, followed by some roasted malt and some spiced fig and plum. The taste was surprisingly mild, though it quickly presented its caramely character. This was followed by the spice and raisin flavors. The malts came in like a wave washing over the middle of the drink, but the fizzy kick of the carbonation broke that up nicely. The malts carried through to the finish with a warm caramel aftertaste and a slight hint of the spices.

This was a very pleasant beer that is sure to warm you up. Though it was not tremendously dynamic, it will definitely remind me of the holidays from here on out. I cannot quite give it a 5, but as close to it as possible:

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As with the holiday that came before it, please have a safe and very merry Christmas.

Eat, drink and be merry.

Merry Christmas!

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An Anchor, A ‘Chute and A Bell

Anchor, Deschutes and Bell's

Saturday was game day, so I had to find a place to be among fellow fans. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good place to root for USC in San Diego, so I went with my go-to sports-watching hangout: San Diego Brewing. I basically had a TV all to myself, so it was like watching it at home with more beer and better food.

I couldn’t decide on just one beer, so I got a sampler of three from three good breweries: San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co., Oregon mainstay Deschutes Brewery and Bell’s Brewery, Inc all the way from Michigan. First up was a special barrel blend from Anchor. This one poured a rich orange golden color, with creamy-ish head that seemed to stick around a while. Just looking at it, it gave me the impression of a heavy beer. It smelled really boozy and somewhat sour, while maintaining some richness at the same time. There was also some musty oak and sugary malt notes on the end. The whole thing smelled very complex. It tasted very smooth and not as alcoholic as the smell led me to believe. The taste was just as complex as the smell, sort of like a beer version of a “suicide soda,” in which (usually) kids run down a soda fountain, filling their cup with every flavor on offer. There were sour notes up front, with a maltiness that helped tie together all the things going on with this beer. It was difficult to pick out any distinguishing flavors to describe. The aftertaste was a little on the sour side, but over all a good enough beer. I would rate it:

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Next was one from one of my favorite breweries. Deschutes Black Butte XXIII Porter. It poured a beautiful dark brown, with light brown, medium head that did not last long. It smelled very chocolatey, with lots of bittersweet flavor up front. Then some sticky sweetness came through, a little like brown sugar, for lack of a better way to describe it. The taste was rich chocolate all the way. It was so warm and smooth, it almost made me want it served hot. There was considerable bourbon flavor toward the end, making the finish all warm and smooth as well. This is a great beer for the winter months to come.

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I finished up with Bell’s Cherry Stout. I was a little leery of this one going in, as I don’t normally like flavors that define a beer. It poured black (duh), with sticky, foamy tan head. It smelled incredibly sweet and rich. There was some brown sugar, with the cherry flavor on the tail end. The taste was mild at first, but then some sourness crept in, giving way to a load of tartness that almost made me pucker. It could have used a little heavier carbonation to break up the sweetness, or at least a little more malt to add some character to it. The tangy tartness carried the whole way through this beer and the finish. A bit too tart for my taste, but an ok beer.

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Despite the relative mediocrity of the couple threes up there, not a bad way to spend an evening. It definitely helped me get even more excited for the turkey-infused gluttonfest this Thrusday… Eat, drink and be merry. Also:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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