Dining & Drink

Anchor Weighs In With A Beauty

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STAFF PHOTO: J.T. WAMPLER

Humming Ale Will Leave You Singing

Wamp’s Wisdom

Humming Ale comes in at 5.9 percent alcohol from Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco. It’s an ale first brewed in 2009 to celebrate the brewery’s 113 anniversary.
It pours honey-yellow with a thick head that leaves scant lacing. Aroma has a faint hop tickle with malty overtones.
Taste is a bold grapefruity hop profile nicely balanced with malty goodness. It finishes clean and dry with virtually no aftertaste.
The neck label says humming is an ancient term for either an ale or a beer. I don’t know about that but this highly drinkable ale will definitely leave you humming a happy tune. This is another winner from the venerable west coast brewery that Fritz Maytag purchased in 1965 as it was about to go out of business.
Pair with beer-battered fried crappie and sautéed morel mushrooms.
Rating: 4 caps

Rico’s Reaction

After the ale sampled last week — which had more in common with a week-old can of prune juice than beer — I really needed an opposing force to balance out the bitterness in my beer universe.
Humming Ale was the perfect antidote to restore harmony to my hops heaven. This clean, refreshing brew washed away the remaining lingering traces of Bison badness.
Maybe it was just the anchor logo on the bottle working some insidious magic on the inner workings of my brain, but as the beer came to a head in my glass, I swear I caught a whiff of crisp, clean sea foam wafting off the ale. Or maybe I just hit my head. Regardless, I had no problem setting sail with Humming as waves of this fine light-tasting brew buoyed me into a pleasant, relaxing evening. The only way it could have been better is if I’d been lounging on a yacht — probably a leaky dinghy in my case — while enjoying the sea air with this ocean-inspiring brew.
I’m sure I’ll track down some more Humming this winter and spring, but come June, this beer has vaulted to the top of my list for summer libations. This ale will make an excellent complement to the enjoyment of sun and heat while taking a draught of the beer from an icy cold mug.
And speaking of icy cold, Humming is definitely a beer that benefits from residing in a finger-numbing glass. Poured into a mug straight out of the freezer, the ale was as pleasing a drink as I could ask for.
Rating: 4.5 caps

Rating System

One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.

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