By Derrick Peterman

ANCHOR BREWING: Anchor Christmas Ale

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It’s a tradition that started at Anchor Brewing in 1975 when they released their Liberty Ale, which soon was named “Our Special Ale” during the winter holidays and today is sold as “Anchor Christmas Ale.” Each year, Anchor Brewing changes both the recipe and label artwork for this beer. The ingredients are a closely held company secret, but it’s usually a dark, malty, nutty tasting ale, with notes of holiday spices like ginger, nutmeg, chocolate, and cinnamon added to the mix. Anchor won’t tell you what hops they use either, but typically it’s lightly hopped to add an earthy or fruity twist to the brew.

SIERRA NEVADA: Celebration Ale

Sierra Nevada is a brewery that has gone the opposite flavor direction from Anchor with their Celebration Ale, meaning the hops are front and center. Sierra Nevada uses Cascade, Centennial and …