The First Pour: Anchor Christmas Ale

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Beer Menu

Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. As this is a work in progress, I have decided to change the name of this series of blogs from “Just out the Keg” to “The First Pour”. This series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.

Anchor Brewery Before the Earthquake and Fire on April 18, 1906


Anchor Brewey after the Earthquake and Fire on April 18, 1906


Anchor Brewery today


By Alaina Kantner and Mike Vecchio


ABV: 5.5%
Bitterness: Varies yearly
Availability: November – January


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse… Oh, sorry about that, we got a little carried away in the holiday spirit. It’s easy to get lost in the holidays when drinking this next beer the – 2010 Anchor Christmas Ale, or as Anchor calls it, “Our Special Ale”. Anchor has a very unique creative process when it comes to their annual Christmas Ale. Each year the recipe changes and is considered extremely top secret. Pay close attention though, because the recipe isn’t the only thing that changes from year to year. The label and tap handle change too and feature a different tree and design each year. This tradition has been going on since 1975 and is one we can get behind. 

The beer pours as a dark, creamy beer that allows just the faintest of hint of light to come through. A great two-finger head accompanies the brew and slowly thins out to a lacing that lasts until the last drop is consumed. There’s no denying that malts will be found here! The smell is pure holidays. Close your eyes and think of all the amazing smells that comes with the holidays – molasses, orange peel, spice, cinnamon, clove – these smells are all found here. Now take a sip. Here you’ll find a faint hint of banana along with clove and cinnamon spices that linger a little after each sip. This is another beer that you can’t judge by its pour. Just by looking at it you’d think it’d be a thick, heavy beer, but it’s just the opposite. Anchor Christmas Ale is light and refreshing and would be a great addition to any holiday party. We know we’ll be returning to Cicero’s over and over throughout the holiday season to enjoy more of this beer. Happy Holidays!



About the Authors – Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.


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