Writing from Vesuvio Cafe in North Beach, San Francisco, enjoying my first Anchor Christmas Ale of the season. Visiting for only a few days, and wanted to take my first Detour with a friend of mine who’s bullish on Andrew Mason’s latest company.

The Detour experience was great—app driven audio tours of the city, each with a distinctive theme. Available in only a few other cities and still a bit buggy, but worth trying. One of those things that feels like the future.

What I like about Anchor’s annual Christmas Ale is that it combines both tradition and freshness. An annual tradition with its roots deep in the past, yet with distinctive, never-to-be-repeated recipes to honor that tradition:

This is the forty-first annual “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.