Celebrating 140 years of brewing tradition Anchor commemorates this beer to its founder Gottlieb Brekle.  With a killer first name this man started brewing in 1871 in San Francisco which later took the name by which it is now know.  Wanting to brew something in honor of Brekle current brewmaster Mark Carpenter used a trendy hop with some down home American malt muscle.  While the grain bill is not given I’m confident there is a little pale, caramel, maybe some crystal, and light chocolate malts used.  The hop, well that is none other than Citra.  Currently a “hot hop” in my opinion, it has found its way into many an IPA and has been used to impart a citrus quality in a myriad of beer styles (most of them American).

Right out the gates this beer was a winner.  The color alone is worth its purchase.  I found myself holding the glass up to the light just about every sip to admire the deep ruby/mahogany that looks so good it could be a stain for wood.  The head was lively albeit more on the fizzy side at first.  As it settled it became a little more creamy and with additional pour from the 1 pt 6 oz bottle it grew dense.  There was some definite lacing and at times looked like it could hold its own in an English pub.

Wow.  The aroma on this beer is fantastic.  Granted this beer was bottle on May, 26th 2011 it still has an amazing hop presents.  Hints of pineapple, lemon and more importantly grapefruit invade what you might think to be a malt forward brew.  There are those classic English brown ale notes of toffee and caramel along with a pleasant ale yeast fruitiness.  In addition, there is also some nutty notes which push it closer to a nut brown ale of the Northern English persuasion.  Smells like a Newcastle and Moose Drool, with an American style hopping.

Flavor wise, this is ever-so-slightly in favor of the hops.  They are there are the beginning of each sip and remain in the aftertaste.  One might think this is unfavorable in in a brown ale, but the Citra variety lends enough fruity citrus strength to give this malty beer a clean finish.  The mouthfeel is on the lighter side and smooth like an cask pulled English ale.  Toffee, nutty, and caramel notes leave their mark in the middle of the palate.  There is also a spiciness in the finish which give this beer another dimension.  A hybrid of a brown ale (embodying various brown ale style’s characteristics) it is truly a good beer.  As I said before, even thought I got this bottle 6 months after it was capped the flavors still remain.  Overall, it possessed that familiar Anchor yeast strain which was fruity, dry and clean.  I’m not sure how much of this beer was produced, but I plan on going back to buy more.