Moon River Brewing: Toast with a Ghost!

Founded in 1999 by Gene Beeco and John Pinkerton, Savannah’s Moon River Brewing Co has a great atmosphere, great food, amazing beer, and is located in one of the oldest, and most historic buildings. It was built in 1821, and was not only the first hotel in Savannah, but it also housed the first US Post office in Savannah, and a branch of the Bank of the United States.

The building changed hands many times and sat empty for 20 years until it was finally purchased in 1995, remodeled, and reopened in 1999 as the Moon River Brewing Company. The brewery has all the character that you would expect from a building that is nearly 200 years old, with a warm, relaxing, and inviting atmosphere.

Some of Moon River’s year-round brews include:

Captain’s Porter– a rich, slightly sweet porter with notes of caramel and chocolate
Yoga Pants Pale Ale– a light golden color, light malt, not too hoppy session ale.
Wild Wacky Wit– a witbier, Belgian wheat ale, with a cloudy pale golden color and a mildly fruity aroma with a hint of citrus and breadlines in the taste.
Swamp Fox IPA– a cloudy amber orange color, citrusy aroma with a hint of pine. Not as hoppy as you might expect from an IPA, but still very enjoyable.

In addition to some great beer, this brewery also boasts a full restaurant with menu items that range from simple comfort food to eclectic gourmet. Items such as the classic fried green tomatoes, Creole style chicken and sausage, St. Louis style ribs, and a sausage and potatoes platter made with chargrilled kielbasa and andouille sausages, and grilled onions with smoked Gouda escalloped potatoes and southern coleslaw- just to name a few.

But there’s another side to Savannah’s most popular brewery. In 2003 the American Institute of Paranormal Psychology named Savannah the most haunted city in America. This building is widely considered to be one of the most haunted places in Savannah. The brewery has also been featured on tv’s Ghost Hunters and the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventurers.

During its long history many people have been said to have passed away there. The building was used as a makeshift hospital during Savannah’s numerous yellow fever outbreaks, and hundreds of people were reported to have died on the upper floors of the building during these outbreaks.

Numerous guests and employees have reported encounters with the building’s living impaired inhabitants. According to Ghost City Tours one woman claimed she thought her date was squeezing her thigh under the table, at least until she realized both his hands were on top of the table.

If you ever find yourself in Savannah GA, you owe it to yourself to stop by and sample the excellent beers and table fair at Moon River Brewing Co. While you’re there, raise your glass, and offer a silent toast to the unseen patrons who sadly can no longer enjoy the simple pleasures Moon River has to offer.

Alaskan Brewing

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.