Anchor Christmas Ale

Where Spotted: D’Vines, 3103 14th St. NW

Price: $8/6-pack

We wish you a merry…election day? I was wearing shorts when the pumpkin beers came out, and now it’s Christmas in October—some brewers just can’t contain their excitement for seasonal brews. But there’s no ignoring the in-store displays, so sure, if the holiday spirit means buying Christmas beer while I’m costume shopping, I’ll play along. Just promise I won’t hear about St. Paddy’s before Jan. 1.

Maybe it’s candy corn? This Christmas ale is a kooky creature, a sort-of porter with secret spices that are nothing like the standard gingerbread profile. Every year’s a guessing game, but the constant flavors are star anise, vanilla, and an overwhelming cola flavor. This year’s batch pushes the cola envelope, swapping last winter’s cherry fruitiness for a deep, chewy molasses. I wouldn’t dunk my cookies in it…but I can’t stop you from trying it. —Orr Shtuhl