After news of the sale of legendary Anchor Brewing Company on Monday, I posted that I hope Anchor might actually release some new beers now. Looks like I was right on the money, as Anchor has announced a new bottled beer called Humming Ale.
Humming Ale is apparently an older recipe that had been released in very limited draft. I have never heard of it. My guess is that the new owners of Anchor, The Griffin Group, are trying to deflect or capitalize on attention from the sale.
According to Anchor:
Anchor's Humming Ale was brewed in San Francisco on August 13, 2009, 113 years after our founding and thirty years to the day since the first brew in our new brewhouse.The style is a Pale Ale and only 4.5% abv, nothing too exciting for the beer geeks. But, it does use one of the current hot new hop varietals, Nelson Sauvin. Widmer has been experimenting with these hops quite a bit with varying success. The recent Nelson Sauvin single hop IPA at the Gasthaus was pretty so-so, but when used in conjunction with other hops as in their Drifter Pale Ale and Deadlift Imperial IPA, Widmer has used the hop to good, if indistinct, effect.
Mikkeller Brewing has probably done the best job of highlighting Nelson Sauvins in their single-hop series. I found that beer to have the best characteristics of west coast IPAs - citrus fruit and a dank earthy bitterness - but with the addition of more of a tropical/ethereal fruit flavor. The fruit character of these hops has been the most talked about aspect and I have heard it compared to White Wine.
So, where does the odd name Humming come from?
Humming is an ancient term, used centuries ago to describe both ales and beers. Although its origins are shrouded in mystery, it seemed the perfect fit for a new product from an established company celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first brew in our "new" brewery. From the very day of that first brew we were humming!I am looking forward to trying this one. It will be out in both bottles and draft as a seasonal in August through November.