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Sixer: Beers of yore

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Beer styles are evolving at lightning speed, but not all brewing traditions are forgotten.

Anchor California Lager: Boca Brewery made California’s first lager, the popular Boca Beer, back in 1876; it was later served at the 1883 World’s Fair in Paris. Boca burned down in 1893, but the beer lives on: Anchor’s doughy, bitter California Lager is brewed to the original recipe.

Yards Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale: Thomas Jefferson sourced wheat, rye and honey from his Virginia estate when brewing his own ale. Luckily for us, Philly’s Yards Brewing likes history, and based this sweet, malty strong ale—one of three Ales of the Revolution— on T.J.’s recipe.

New Albion Ale: Often credited as America’s first craft beer, New Albion Brewing launched this pale ale in 1976 (the brewery shuttered in 1982). The beer’s toffee-laced biscuit malts are decidedly English, but citrusy, woody hops once hinted at beer’s future. After 30 years in exile, Boston Beer resurrected the recipe under New Albion’s name.

Short’s Spruce Pilsner: From Captain Cook to Ben Franklin, many historic notables enjoyed citrusy, piney spruce beers—that the spruce helped stave off scurvy was a bonus. Traditionally, spruce beers were ales, but Short’s imperial pils showcases the power of spruce and bursts with resinous, piney notes alongside bright grapefruit.

East Coast Beach Haus: Before lagers ruled the shelves, the classic American pilsner was king. German immigrants brewed them in the late 1800s to emulate pilsners from back home, but domestic ingredients like maize and rice made the beer entirely American. Beach Haus captures that character with sweet maize, bready malts and a dry pils finish.

Capital Hop Cream: Popular before Prohibition, the original American cream ales were hoppier than the ale-lager hybrids we know today. Hop Cream brings back the old style with bright lemon and orange hop notes and assertive bitterness.


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