The annual recognition of a birthday, time spent together as a couple, a business venture or any significant milestone is the perfect excuse to gather friends and family to throw a party. It’s common to pop a bottle of champagne or open a cellared wine to celebrate one of those special occasions. But beer has a special place in the world of anniversary beverages as well. A large number of breweries produce limited edition beers to mark another year in the life of its business. These “anniversary ales” are typically crafted with unique ingredients and many of the recipes vary from year to year. The next time you have a day to remember, grab one of these special brewery anniversary brews to celebrate in style.
Westbrook Anniversary Series
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina’s Westbrook Brewing Co. has released 5 anniversary beers to date, including the first release of the highly regarded Mexican Cake. The last two years have seen the debuts of Fourth Anniversary Chocolate Coconut Almond Imperial Stout and Fifth Anniversary Chocolate Raspberry Imperial Stout. These are big dessert beers, chock full of robust flavors that can be hard to recreate in a glass. Lucky for us, the brewers at Westbrook are magicians and regularly surprise and delight with these year-end releases.
Firestone Walker Anniversary Series
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. makes delicious, burly dark beers. Parabola, Stickee Monkee, Bravo and Velvet Merkin are all first class brews in their own right, but for last year’s release of Firestone 19, barrel aged versions of those beers were all blended together for an exciting, all-new tasting experience. Notes of specific original beers shine through, while at the same time blend together for a broader sensory experience. Previous years’ anniversary releases have seen vastly different blends of the brewery’s flagship and more limited release beers.
Stone Anniversary Series
Stone Brewing does everything big. From the insane hopping of its India Pale Ales to the higher-than-most alcohol levels in Russian Imperial Stouts, Stone has a reputation for being up-front and in your face. Its Anniversary line of beers continues that trend by creating new, unexpected flavor combinations in large format bottles. The summer of 2016 marks Stone’s 20th year and they are celebrating with an invitational beer festival and, if tradition holds, a new beer release. Previous anniversaries have brought Thunderstruck IPA, a double IPA with 100% Australian hops, Escondidian Imperial Black IPA and Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.
Whether you’re celebrating another year around the sun, six months with that special someone, or 24 hours since your last beer, check out a brewery anniversary ale to make the date that much sweeter.