Since 1975, San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing has offered an annual Christmas Ale. Unlike other brewers, who stick to the same tried and true year in and out, Anchor uses the holidays as a time to experiment. Each year, the recipe changes. And, each year, the design of the label shifts ever so slightly.

There have been times where Anchor’s Christmas beer totally wowed. Other years, it has disappointed. The spirit with which they brew, and the yearly experimentation, however, make it a must every holiday season.*

*While I’ve not tasted the 2009 vintage yet, my brother reports that it is a touch sweeter than previous iterations.

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