Sunday, November 07, 2010
Anchor Humming Ale
Anchor Brewing. The mere thought of the brewery evokes the feeling a warm bath to me; Steam is one of the my gateway beers that maintained status in my beer cellar - a go-to, reliable, tasty ol' friend. Anchor Steam is rightly an icon in American Brewing; sure, it's not particularly cutting-edge, it's not a hop-bomb, it's not an 'extreme' beer. In fact, It's standard - but in a good way - and I hpe thier new owners carry this ethos on. Find me a 'California Common' that's held in such high regard, if you can. Their range of Christmas Ales are anticipated with bated breath, the artwork alone rendering them near collector's items without even starting on the beer held within the bottle.
Aside from Steam, Anchor's entire range stands for reliability - so when the likes of Small, Ninkasi and the aforementioned Christmas Beer come along, they really stand out. Humming - their latest- I like. It's different, but I like it. It's pale (rather than the burnished gold of Steam), not so sweet, and thinner than Anchor beers usually are. I suspect that Anchor wanted to get a more hoppy feel for Humming, and they've certainly succeeded in that - the hop aroma is fresh, astringent and grassy (courtesy of Nelson Sauvin) and the bitterness builds nicely. It's actually the last thing you expect from an Anchor beer. I'll have another one or three, for sure - I just wish Anchor did this sort of thing more often - and I'll be saving my next bottle for warmer weather. And the label and artwork is just the icing on the cake. Gorgeous.
If you've never visited Anchor's website, do so here. It's one of the best out there. Also, for further Anchor-lovin' , Zak alluded to his love of the stuff on Real Ale Reviews a while back - check it out here.