Alaskan Brewing

ALASKAN BREWING COMPANY

“Alaska has a rich history of brewing. From the explorers of the 1700s through the Gold Rush, many a thirsty Alaskan has been able to enjoy locally made beers. In 1986, 28-year-olds Marcy and Geoff Larson reignited that tradition when they opened the Alaskan Brewing Company, the 67th brewery in the country and the first brewery in Juneau since Prohibition. Alaskan beers reflect many of the same characteristics of beers that were brewed here during the gold rush era. From the historically based Alaskan Amber recipe to alder-smoked malts and Sitka spruce tips, Alaskan beers reflect Juneau’s local brewing history and innovation.”

www.alaskanbeer.com

Year-Rounds/Seasonal:

Specialty/Limited Release:

AMBER: 80 Points

Alaskan Alt

Alaskan Alt

This German Style Altbier is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles

Brewer’s Description: “Richly malty and long on the palate, with just enough hop backing to make this beautiful amber colored “alt” style beer notably well balanced.”

My Description: A smooth and easy drinking ale, This Altbier is a good anytime/anyplace kind of beer. It pours a good sized, tan colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of caramel malt, dark fruits, and hints of honey. Amber is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is pretty good with a malty/toffee body with some bready notes and dark fruit undertones. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but this beer is more on the sweet side. A mineral taste can also be detected throughout. Unfortunately, the body thins out a bit in the finish and doesn’t satisfy like it could. Even so, it is a good ale that would be nice on cool night. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with beef brisket, roasted potatoes, or cheesecake.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Deep Amber  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10

FREERIDE APA: 86 Points

Finishes Soft

Finishes Soft

This American Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Alaskan Freeride APA features a lush, green, almost tropical hop aroma paired with the unique taste combination of these three, distinctive hop varieties, making it both full in flavor and crisply thirst-quenching.”

My Description: This beer is easy drinking and makes for a good anytime kind of beer. It pours a large, white colored head that lasts for a long time leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is clean and interesting; there are notes of citrus hops and some floral notes, but there is also something else I can’t quite pick out that is somewhat pleasing. Freeride is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation and a dry finish. A pleasant flavor profile delivers some malt notes but this beer is more hop forward with notes of citrus hops and some grassy hops. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and seems to fall apart, the beer becomes slightly thin and soft. Even so, this is a good everyday APA that is smooth and enjoyable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a club sandwich, cheese quesadillas, or fish and chips.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Copper/Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3/10

HOP°THERMIA: 90 Points

This will warm you

This will warm you

This Imperial IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Nugget and Apollo hops added in the brew kettle provide a green, floral aroma and citrus hop base, while the later addition of Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial hops add notes of spicy grapefruit and orange – complimenting the resilient malt profile.”

My Description: Smooth and clean, this IIPA is more on the passive side, the hops aren’t in your face and the bitterness is not very aggressive. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head that fades to a thin film and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is not overly potent but there are notes of caramel malt, pine hops, and some grapefruit hops as well. Hop°thermia is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly more sweet than the style should be but the effect is only minimal. A caramel malt backbone supports some citrus hop notes and some hop spice notes. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is moderately bitter but subdued. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with Thai cuisine, potent cheeses, or heavy salads.

ABV: 8.5%  Color: Copper  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 5.5/10

ICY BAY IPA: 85 Points

Nice IPA

Nice IPA

This IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Alaskan Icy Bay IPA is made from glacier-fed water and a blend of Summit, Apollo and Cascade hops and premium two-row pale and specialty malts. Our water originates in the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Ice Field and from more than 90 inches of rainfall each year.”

My Description: This is a good IPA that drinks easy and does nothing wrong. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is bready with notes of pale malts and some notes of pine hops. Icy Bay is medium bodied but feels slightly thin with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile tastes good with a pale malt backbone and notes of crackers, grapefruit hops, pine hops, and hints of fruit. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and lingers for a second. There is nothing special about this IPA but it makes for a good everyday beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fried prawns, spicy chicken, or cheese pizza.

ABV: 6.2%  Color: Golden/Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4.5/10

SMOKED PORTER (2014): 95 Points

Delicate and Smooth

Delicate and Smooth

This Smoked Porter is released seasonally in late Autumn in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adventuresome taste experience. Alaskan Smoked Porter is produced in limited “vintages” each year on November 1 and unlike most beers, may be aged in the bottle much like fine wine.”

My Description: A very smooth and delicious porter, this should be sought out every Autumn. It pours a very large, light beige colored head that is dense and lasts forever leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is pleasant and obviously smoky but not overly done; the smoked malt notes are calm and almost smell like cooked bacon. There are also faint earthy hop notes that compliment nicely and remind you that this is still a beer your smelling. Smoked Porter is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is similar to the aroma in that the smoky notes don’t dominate but rather work harmoniously together with the other beer notes like chocolate, minor yeast notes, and roasted malts. This beer shines so well because even though it does not have great depth, the creamy texture and mild flavors deliver a delectable drinking experience. The aftertaste has the right amount of bitterness to balance the smoke notes and completely hide the alcohol. I could see potential in aging this ale for a couple of years to bring out dark fruit notes but this tastes amazing now. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with beef stew, grilled buffalo steak, or strong cheeses.

ABV: 6.5%  Color: Very Dark Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4.5/10

SUMMER: 82 Points

Quick Summer

Quick Summer

This Kölsch is released seasonally in the Summer months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Alaskan Summer Ale balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.”

My Description: It’s not too pleasurable to drink more than one of these beers because it is too sweet and not balanced properly but I did enjoy drinking the first one. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with a good retention that holds for a few minutes leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is on the sweeter side with notes of malt, honey, and light fruits like white grapes. Summer is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Soft floral notes and light fruit hints are noticeable in the flavor profile along with some biscuit notes and honey. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and could be smoother. It is a pretty good beer that is crisp and enjoyable but just not in quantity. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with crab, grilled halibut, or roasted asparagus.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Straw Gold  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

WHITE: 78 Points

A bit bland

A bit bland

This Belgian Style Witbier is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Alaskan White Ale has a soft, slightly sweet base with the unique spice aroma of coriander and crisp, citrus finish of orange peel. A light and effervescent body combined with the smooth palate creates a complex and delicate beer that is deliciously refreshing in any season.”

My Description: This Witbier makes for a good summer quencher but not for enjoying a great beer; the flavors are thin and bland. It begins with a good sized, white colored head with a retention level that holds most of the way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma smells alright with notes of coriander, dried orange, and wheat malt. The aroma isn’t exciting but it is still pleasant. White is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. A wheat malt backbone holds up the flavor profile along with notes of coriander and subtle citrus hints. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with hints of yeast spices. Overall, this is good and refreshing beer but not much else. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with a spicy Caesar salad, grilled shrimp, or roasted asparagus.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Straw Yellow  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

WINTER ALE: 89 Points

A calming Winter

A calming Winter

This English Old Ale/Winter Ale is released seasonally in early Winter in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.”

My Description: This beer grows on you. At first, it doesn’t quite fit the Old Ale category but you can tell that it is Old Ale inspired. It is very smooth with tasty malt flavors and an overall warming presence. It pours a small, off-white colored head that fades quick and leaves no lacing; the head is rather disappointing. The aroma makes up for the weak appearance with pleasant notes of caramel malt, toffee, floral notes, and some fruit notes as well. Winter Ale is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex and enjoyable with some caramel sweetness coming through along with notes of fruit jellies like berries. The spruce actually comes through and is not just marketing, providing a woodsy like flavor. The aftertaste is clean with lingering toffee notes and very little bitterness. This beer is highly drinkable and great for sitting on a porch watching the snow. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, baked ham, or roasted duck.

ABV: 6.4%  Color: Golden Amber  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2/10

HERITAGE COFFEE BROWN ALE: 90 Points

Lightly Roasted

Lightly Roasted

This Coffee Ale is a limited release in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our latest Rough Draft Limited is a collaboration with Heritage Coffee — a delicious beer we call Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale!”

My Description: This beer surprisingly works out. It begins with a decent sized, light beige colored head that fades to a thick film that holds the whole way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is subtle with notes of brewed coffee, soft vanilla notes, and brown malts. Heritage Coffee Brown is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is rather simple but enjoyable with notes of coffee, sweet caramel/toffee notes, and soft brown malt notes. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with lingering coffee and caramel notes. This ale is easy drinking and smooth; the flavor profile isn’t complex but it doesn’t have to be. This beer is just what it says, a brown ale brewed with coffee. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked chicken or steak tips.

ABV: 7%  Color: Brown/Red  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10