Seasonal Treat: Anchor Steam's 42nd Annual Christmas Ale

Behold, the hard-to-find 2016 Anchor Christmas Ale!  Nat's brothers are *really* into this stuff and they have a big to-do every Christmastime when one of them comes home from LA and the other one migrates to the Suburbs from the city.  And, I have to tell you...when it comes to traditions, this is one of the good ones!

Each year, the fine folks at Anchor Steam come up with a new ale and tree on the label.  From their Christmas Ale page:
It is sold only from early November to mid–January. The Ale's recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. With a heavily guarded, secret recipe, Christmas Ale is a highly anticipated seasonal delight, complex and full in flavor with a velvety texture and alluring, yet subtle, spiced aroma.
I've covered this beer - and their dedication to it - before here on the blog.  Here's a post showing the 2015 beer and bottle.  And here's a post I did back in 2010 about that year's beers, too.

The tree this year is has a neat story:
Our tree for 2016 is the “1,000 Mile Tree” or the lone pine found during westbound construction of the transcontinental railroad. Discovered in 1869, it was a lone pine amidst a vast and desolate landscape. The tree on this year’s label was hand-drawn by Bay Area artist James Stitt, who has been creating Anchor’s Christmas Ale labels since 1975. His charming illustration of the 1,000 Mile Tree includes a person at the top of the tree with a mug of beer, honoring an old legend that railway passengers sometimes attempted to climb the tree.

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