Brand: Anchor Brewing Price: $17.99
I’ve loved the idea of trying Anchor Brewing beers for quite some time. I blame their website, which contains some of the most appetizing beer photographs you’ll find. However, due to a less than stellar beer selection at my disposal, I’ve only been able to find a sixer of the original Anchor Steam Beer. Then, one day, I walk into my go-to shop for craft beer and see a Anchor Brewing Craft Originals sampler smiling at me. Well, of course, I bought it without a second thought. In this twelve pack, you get three each of four Anchor brews: Anchor Steam Beer, Liberty Ale, Porter and Wheat Beer. In addition to the beers, you’ll get a two-sided sheet containing info on each of the beers and a tasting guide for you to rate and make notes. You can then frame the sheet and put it on your wall – but be aware that you are weird if you do… Let’s take a look and see if this sampler is worth your time and money.
After pouring a deep black color, the aroma is creamy with hints of coffee and chocolate. There isn’t a whole lot of chocolate when you drink it, but the roasted coffee notes come out loud and clear. It’s a super smooth and delicious beer that goes down easy.
The Liberty Ale pours a golden color with a light amber hint. There is an IPA feel to it, with fruit and hops being front and center. I’m thankful it doesn’t fall victim to the tendency to load on the hops and bitterness. Instead, only a slight bitterness is present on the finish. It’s clean, crisp and delicious.
The Anchor Steam is the only beer in the lot I’ve had before. The aroma brings flashbacks to Oktoberfest style Marzens, with flavors of fruit, nuts, and caramel with a slightly bitter finish. It goes down smooth and fast, and before you know it, you’re singing in German and looking for a refill.
Full discloser: I’m not typically a fan of wheat beers. You tell me there is a wheat beer, and I’m the guy running for the hills. That being said, I found myself enjoying the Anchor Original Wheat quite a bit; which was obviously a surprise. It wasn’t the overpowering wheat flavor that I find turns me off. Instead, it was more mild and crisp, allowing me to easily finish the bottle. I hesitate to say it’s a great or poor example of a wheat beer, as I’m a horrible person to make any sort of claim. Was it pleasant? Yes.
Is the Anchor Brewing Craft Originals worth your time and money? Absolutely. There are two types of people in this world: those who enjoy the beers from Anchor Brewing, and those who have yet to try them. In my opinion, the Porter and Liberty Ale are the standout winners here, but the Anchor Steam and Wheat Ale are solid offerings as well. With an asking price of just under twenty bucks, there is no better way to acquaint yourself with the beers of Anchor Brewing Company.