Anchor Brewing's latest in the Zymaster series is out. And it deserves to be tried.
The Zymaster program has allowed Anchor to release a series of beers very different from its usual lineup, from a stout, to a farmhouse ale, and now, to a pale ale.
The pale ale is commonly seen as one of the first craft beers, especially from California, due much in part to Sierra Nevada's classic take on the beer.
Anchor's version, Zymaster No. 5, is a treat. The Harvest One American Pale Ale features a new, experimental hop according to Anchor. "Out of about a dozen or so samples, there was one that really stood out to us. Right away, we knew this was a new hop variety we wanted to brew on a large scale," said brewmaster Mark Carpenter, "We were after something unique and aromatic, and this hop was one we hadn’t seen or smelled before and decided it would fit well in our Zymaster Series." The 7.2% ale is a dark golden color, and smells strongly of a wonderful fruity, hoppy, scent.
The bitterness from the Nugget hops was quickly followed by a strong malt bite, which helped tie the beer together in a very "Anchor" way. Anchor does a wonderful job balancing their beers, and this was no exception. I'd recommend trying one now as the Zymaster series is limited. Here is a link to local SF retailers, bars, and restaurants that typically carry the Zymaster series.
I've said it before, but I love what Anchor is doing with the Zymaster series. As much as I'm looking forward to what's next, I'm content to enjoy the Harvest One American Pale until the Christmas ale comes out.
Beer of the moment: Almanac's Farmer's Reserve #3