One of the special delights of winter are the winter beers, especially the holiday ales.
And one of the greats is Anchor Christmas Ale. Anchor has been brewing it since 1975, each year with a different recipe and different label. At the site you can see a slide show on the label design and typography, links to all the labels - and even merchandising tips and aids! Fritz Maytag is amazing!
Here's a review of this year's recipe.
It's part of a Beer Advent Calendar, which is as nice a way as any to count down the days to Christmas! Jared's got notes on several other holiday beers in his review of the Holiday Ale Festival. There are also several other beer advent calendars around the intertubes.
Anchor is a special favorite because for a long time steam beer was a unique style. There are copycats now. But so much of Anchor is rooted (both sincerely and for marketing ends) in its pre-prohibition and indeed pre-1906 earthquake history. In its branding it deliberately cultivates more than a few fusty whiffs of the 19th century.
And this retro look works to evoke wintry mysteries, whether of Christmas or the Solstice or any of the other Holidays, better than something more modern.
Capital Taps is a sucker for it!