Whether they specialize in IPAs, Stouts, or a unique style all their own — a brewery’s anniversary beers are a great way to show off what they do best!
Every anniversary a craft brewery celebrates is a win for the indie beer community, an excuse for a collective toast between brewers and fans, and a celebratory reminder for why craft drinkers love a particular brewery.
To gain some insight into what makes an exceptional anniversary brew, we dissected six beers that truly highlight the signature skills of some of the most adored brewers featured on Tavour.
Team Ten Year IPA & Ten Years Blended Strong Ale - Anchorage Brewing - Anchorage, AK
No one style can define Anchorage Brewing. So, for their 10th birthday, they brewed a new twist on one of their trademark Juicy IPAs and they made a second anniversary brew in which they blended several vintages of Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts and Barleywines.
Their whole crew is pictured on the can of Team Ten Year IPA. Those are the people you can thank every time a juicy drop of Anchorage hits your lips.
The dank and fruity combination of Strata, Sabro, Mosaic, and Cashmere Hops pack each sip with flavors of tangy tangerine, ripe melon, pithy grapefruit, and kush-like notes. A big pop of resinous pine on the back end begs that you take another sip.
For their Ten Years Blended Strong Ale, head brewer Gabe Fletcher raided his barrelhouse to create a one-of-a-kind, hyper-limited Stout-Barleywine hybrid.
Then, he aged the blend on coconut, Madagascar vanilla beans, cinnamon, and cacao nibs. Each sip will flood your tastebuds with decadent dark chocolate, oaky vanilla, cinnamon spice, and hints of whiskey caramel.
Black Butte XXXI - Deschutes Brewery - Bend, OR
Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter is a craft beer icon. It’s the brew that got many fans into Dark Beer and even more of us into drinking craft beer in the first place!
Their crew made this delightful coffee-infused Imperial Porter to celebrate 31 years of brewing incredible craft beer! And, a fitting tribute it is.
The brewers added cold brew coffee from 3rd Rock Roasters — a local coffee company founded by Deschutes’ co-owner Scott Hughes. That rich, roasty coffee, along with real chocolate and a touch of cardamom, elevates the base beer into a symphony of spiced-mocha deliciousness.
After more than a year in the brewery’s carefully-controlled cellar, it’s smoother and more chocolate-forward than ever!
6th Anniversary Double IPA - Orono Brewing - Orono, ME
Orono keeps their releases fresh and on the cutting edge. If there’s a new brewing technique or new ingredient out, they seek it out.
Their anniversary Imperial IPA is no exception. It’s lush and juicy, and it comes packed with a couple ingredients Tavour had never seen before.
To make it, they included two exciting new hop varieties, Zappa and Zamba, paired with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin. They also gave it a light and fluffy base to showcase three different forms of oat malts.
5 Year Anniversary Beer Tequila Barrel Aged and Bourbon Barrel Aged - Jessup Farm Barrel House - Fort Collins, CO
A brewery can’t call itself a barrel-aging specialist if it only uses one type of barrel. That’s why it speaks volumes that Jessup Farm crafted both a Bourbon Barrel Aged and a Tequila Barrel Aged variant of their 5 Year Anniversary Beer.
Mature taste buds can really appreciate Jessup’s time, as the bourbon variant spent 11 months in freshly emptied Old Elk Barrels. You can’t miss the oaky, spiced vanilla-caramel that oozes from each sip.
Not to mention the 9 months the Tequila version spent in first-use barrels. The results brim with melty, boozy, agave candy.
XXIII Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing - Paso Robles, CA
The 4x World Beer Cup Mid-Size Brewery champions at Firestone Walker have earned so many awards and accolades that there isn’t anyone left to out-do but themselves — which is quite the challenge each year!
Their XXIII is a luxuriously rich, decadent blend of six distinct component ales, blended with the help of local winemakers.
Here’s the breakdown:
28% Stickee Monkee — a sweet and malty Central Coast Quad* brewed with Mexican Turbinado sugar.
28% Parabola and 5% Velvet Merkin — two bold, espresso-laden Stouts.
20% Bravo — an earthy and resinous Brown Ale.
15% Helldorado Bourbon Barrel and 4% Tequila Barrel — Blond Barleywines with notes of vanilla and raisins.
The result? A one-of-a-kind American Strong Ale churning with remarkable complexity and toffee-caramel decadence!
10th Anniversary Stout - Westbrook Brewing - Mt Pleasant, SC
For the inventors of the world-renowned Mexican Cake that helped spark a Pastry Beer revolution, there could only be one choice for their 10th Anniversary: a Stout! And, this one falls right into their decadent wheelhouse.
Creamy peanut butter, roasted hazelnuts, silky vanilla, and gooey toasted marshmallow.
Those are the real ingredients in this extraordinarily luscious Pastry Stout! With all the chocolatey dark malts stuffed into the base beer, every dreamy sip is like a mouthful of velvety s’mores-flavored ice cream.
Breweries go many different directions when it comes to conjuring up their special anniversary beers. But, keep an eye on the breweries that craft your favorite styles because, more often than not, they’ll be whipping up their most jaw-dropping rendition of those signature styles to celebrate their birthday with a bang!