We've been making wheat beers since the summer of 1984. They've all been golden summer refreshers instead of dark winter warmers—until now. Anchor Winter Wheat™ is made with a unique blend of malted barley and five wheats from Belgium, Germany, the Midwest, and a family farm just 75 miles away, where we get our soft red winter wheat. Sown in November and harvested in June, it is used in artisanal flatbreads, cakes, and pastries. In 1848, California farmers forsook their amber grain for golden fortune. By 1878, California wheat was back big-time, winning gold at the Paris International Exposition. There was even a wheat beer brewery in North Beach, one mile from our first home. Today, the robust flavor, malty complexity, enticing aroma, ebony color, and thick, creamy head of Anchor Winter Wheat™ reflect this delicious heritage. Anchor Winter Wheat™ is made with a unique blend of 2-row pale barley malt, Belgian roasted wheat malt, German pale spring wheat malt, "Midnight" and hard red wheat malts from the Midwest, and unmalted soft red winter wheat from a local family farm. The result is a smooth, complex, dark brew with a creamy, lacey head; deep, rich mouthfeel; nutty, bread-like, and subtly roasted flavors; and a crisp, clean finish. A special ale yeast provides clean flavors with hints of dark fruit. And a single hop, Northern Brewer, provides earthy, woody, and minty notes with just the right amount of bitterness. Our Anchor Winter Wheat™ label has a rich and colorful history. In 1986, label artist James Stitt hand-painted the entire label on canvas for Anchor Wheat Beer, a refreshing summer beer we first brewed in 1984. As beautiful as Jim's label was and still is, we opted to shelve it in favor of the label we already had, also created by Jim. Fast forward to 2013, when we are considering adding a winter wheat beer to our lineup. The challenge: Could a 28-year-old, summery looking label for Anchor Wheat Beer be transformed into a contemporary, wintry looking label for Anchor Winter Wheat? The answer: Why not? After all, it would be done under Jim's guidance. So we set about modifying some of Jim's incredible hand lettering (it helped that there are two "I's" in every "H") as well as playing with the color scheme. As if by magic, ANCHOR WHEAT BEER became ANCHOR WINTER WHEAT and red, putty, and light blue became silver, dark blue, and white. A new crown with a silver skirt completed the transformation.
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