Coaster Critique: Anchor Brewing, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

On the Twelfth day of Beermas……

Name: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Brewed by: Anchor Brewing Company

Style: Winter Warmer

ABV: 5.5%

Bottle/Draft: 12oz Bottle

Every year since 1975 Anchor brewing has put out a Christmas ale and every year the recipe is different, I always try to find a bottle and this year my friend Matt gave me a couple of bottles.

Pours a very dark brown, not quite black, some light breaks through around the edges if you hold it to the light. The pour raised a thick tan head that slowly sank into a thick frothy layer across the surface that left lacing down the glass.

Smells malty, picking up some roasted grains, there is sweetness in the nose as well. Picking up some spices and licorice notes.

Tastes of roasted malts, hints of chocolate and honey lend a sweetness. Not picking up on a distinct hop flavor. I’m associating the bitterness in this beer with the spices; nutmeg and cinnamon, maybe some ginger in there as well. The back end of the taste has a dark fruit flavor, reminds me of dark cherries. This beer has a medium body, it’s lightly carbonated and finishes dry.

Overall a nice winter warmer, Anchor’s Christmas ale is always rich and flavorful. I think this beer would pair well with something sweeter to balance out the spiced flavors, maybe consider leaving a glass of this out with a plate of sugar cookies for Santa; it might be too late to get on the nice list for this Christmas so get a jumpstart on next year!



Day 1: Samual Adams White Christmas, Boston Beer Co.

Day 2: Slick Nick, Sebago Brewing Co.

Day 3: Goose Island Christmas Ale, Goose Island Beer Co.

Day 4: Winter Session, Peak Organic

Day 5: Woodchuck Winter, Woodchuck Cidery

Day 6: Snow Day, New Belgium Brewing

Day 7: Weyerbacher Winter Ale, Weyerbacher brewing

Day 8: N’ice Chouffe, Brasserie D’achouffe

Day 9: St.Bernardus Christmas Ale, Brouwerij St. Bernardus

Day 10: Lump of Coal, Ridgeway Brewery

Day 11: Samuel Adams Merry Mischief, Boston Beer Co.

Day 12: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Anchor Brewing Co.

Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.