The Alaskan Brewing Company is the oldest operating brewery in Alaska and they brew a wide variety of year-round, seasonal, and limited-edition beers, with their amber beer being their most popular. If you’ve never had one and you enjoy a good amber beer, Alaskan Amber will not dissapoint.
As you can probably guess, brewing beer in Alaska is not an easy thing to do. The coastal community of Juneau where the brewery is located doesn’t have road connections to the lower 48 states. This means everything arrives and leaves by water or air, assuming the weather permits.
There are some benefits to brewing in Juneau AK. Arguably the most important ingredient in brewing an exceptional beer is the water, and Alaska has just that. The 1,500 square mile Juneau Icefield supplies the brewery with a truly remarkable source of water.
In 1986 the Alaskan Brewing Company became the 67th brewery to operate in the United States, and the only one operating in Alaska. Since then, Alaskan Brewing has received more than 49 medals and awards at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, most recently winning gold in 2017 for their Heritage Coffee Brown Ale.
Over the years the popularity of their beer has made it difficult at times to keep up with the demand from consumers, and has required increases production and most importantly efficiency. They hold the unofficial record for the production on a 10-barrel brewing system, which produces an amazing 42 batches a week. Unfortunately these award winning beers are currently only distributed and available in about 20 states.
Here are just a few of the Alaskan Brewery’s most popular beers:
- Amber – This is the company’s flagship beer and is based on a turn of the century recipe that was used during the Gold Rush era. It provides a smooth, malty, rich taste that goes well with meals – or friends.
- Big Mountain Pale Ale – This beer is fresh, crisp, and inviting. The aroma of Asian pear, citrus and pine are beautifully balanced by the complex combination of biscuit, toasted pine nuts, and caramel flavors from the malt.
- Freeride APA- If you like hops, the combination of cascade, Citra and Centennial hops in this beer will amaze your nose while providing a wonderful crispness to both the flavor and the finish. This beer is great with spicy food, wild game, and other wintery food.
- Smoked Porter – This very exclusive Alaskan porter has a world class reputation for excellence. Brewed in the fall with malt that has been smoked using alder wood, this beer has a unique flavor that is anything but ordinary.
- Winter Ale – This amazing brew uses the tender new growth from the tips of Sitka spruce trees to give this beer a subtly sweet floral flavor. The practice of using spruce tips in brewing has been used in Alaska since the late 1700s.