Over the years Alaska has always been behind the times when it comes to craft beer. The only big one was the Alaska Brewing down in Juneau. Now we have breweries popping up left and right. Larger names like King Street Brewing, Midnight Sun Brewing. Down to the smaller names of our locals, Bleeding Heart Brewery in Palmer Alaska, Bear Paw River Brewing Palmer Alaska. Get some Silver Gulch in Fox or even at the airport. Hoodoo up in Fairbanks, Arkose Brewery right next door to where I used to work in an ambulance.
So many more popping up all over the place. Odd man rush in Eagle River. For the longest time I thought it was old man Rush. Then it was like Auld Lang Syne. I was very confused until I actually went in and it is a very good brewery.
With Alaska being put on the map of craft beer comes some very interesting flavors and art. Many names of beers come from the animals found in the wild of Alaska while some, well, aren’t so wild such as the Mat Maid Milk stout with the old dairy cow.
Each of these companies have heart and soul of Alaska. Many born and raised here and will continue to raise their families here. Long dark winters make for a lot of creativity in the craft beer. Unique flavors of rhubarb, rose hip and even beets are as unique as Alaska itself.
I can’t say I have a favorite. I am partial to the boys at bleeding heart, but that’s on a personal level. I will venture to every one that pops up around the state and get my tour.
More to come!!!
Back behind the Fairgrounds you’ll find the Bleeding Heart boys on the old family farm. You can gander at the cows and chickens while you enjoy some pretzels and beer. I enjoy the beet beer. I actually love to mix the beet and the blonde together for a bolder taste.
Baranof Brewing – Sitka Alaska
Small rainy town with a big heart for beer and Alaska Day.
They have a small brewery just off the main drag (if you go to Sitka, you’ll know). They have seating outside as well as inside and with the rain Jamie and I decided to hang out in the brewery for a flight.
We did eventually return with our rugby friend and filled a growler. It was a nice treck through the woods from there. Most everything is in walking distance in Sitka.
Bear Paw River Brewing
Located in a small strip mall off the Palmer/Wasilla Highway is a small local brewery. The boys that run the brewery are usually on sight and can show you around.Many times there are food options just outside in the parking lot. Its prime location for a food truck.
My favorite is the Mat Made Milk Stout. I’m not normally a stout drinker, but I think that and the Frontiersman are the best of there regulars
Check out their site http://www.bearpawriverbrewing.com/ and get yourself a seat and a cold one in their taproom.
Presentation can go a long way
Downtown Palmer Alaska. I grew up in this town. I’ve always known that area as the water tower and the old Matanuska maid. It is cool to see something actually go in there and Jamie and I headed over to grab a flight.
Inside they have a vending machine you can take cans of their beer home. They also have a lot of Swag for sale. Glasses, hats, stickers, hoodies any more items. So we decided to get a flight and try a couple different things.
The picture will show that they didn’t put any time and effort into their flight or glassware to be used while people are trying out their drinks. I did enjoy the beer and will probably go back again. They are still brand new and I’m hoping they join us for a pub crawl event that will boost their numbers.
They have a great space for events and even food truck parking. The potential for being an awesome summer venue is really really high.
UPDATE: Presentation has improved!!! New beers and great flavors!!!
A must see and eat joint – Talkeetna Alaska
Denali Brewing is becoming more widely known throughout the state, but you can still get a flight of their new stuff when you come to fish in Talkeetna. They also offer food and cocktails. Every year they do a few festivals (Talkeetna Bluegrass) and an LGBT Pride festival.
We took the dogs with us the last time, and the lil Frenchie is such a food monger, I was able to get her “sour face” a few times with a lemon. Oh she falls for it every time!
Another (used to be) Talkeetna Favorite.
Now you can experience 49th State Brewing Company year round in Anchorage. Before its was more seasonal and all the way to the Talkeetna Spur. The nachos are huge, the bloodys are bold and the beer is delicious.
Small brewery next door to my old job. They used to be so small, now they have beers of all sorts of flavors. They can bottle their own beer and the kegs are $75 to fill. All you need is a tap and some friends.
Who Knew? HooDoo!
Small Fairbanks brewery that popped up out of nowhere. Still can only find when you travel up north.
When Jamie and I first started dating, I left to visit the best friend 1 week into dating. So I made sure to bring back a HooDoo hoodie as a gift. She still has it to this day.
Sports and drinking. Beer leagues. I have played and I have watched. None have been as fun, or as alcohol fueled, as rugby.
If you are unfamiliar with the sport, it is essentially a high-impact, high-speed form of keep-away, hot potato, doggy-pile and football. You can run the ball in a forward motion to get it to advance down the field or you can kick the ball to get it to advance down the field for where you do eventually have to pick it up and get a try or “touchdown”.
To avoid being tackled, you can pass the ball laterally and behind to another teammate to keep it from the defending players. This is where it differs from any other sports. The giant doggy pile that happens when one gets tackled is essentially a way of keeping people from being creamed and hurt, a chance for slow people to catch up and a chance for the technical part of the game to continue.
So it’s basically the idea of a game. Now to get the important part. When one gets their very first try they must SHOOT DA BOOT! For the last few seasons it has ended up being my boot, or cleat being the boot.
Essentially everybody that is celebrating the victory of getting that first try pores a sip, or gulp, of whatever that they are consuming into the boot.
Once the boot has been filled then it must be consumed. The lucky soul must now drink all of the contents of the boot. Many players, such as myself, enjoy making retching noises so this person struggles even more with their beverage.
For a few seasons now I have actually had to deal with going to practice with one of my cleats saturated in some sort of alcoholic concoction. And I did make the mistake one time of sniffing my shoe and there is no description on earth that could describe what funkiness was going on.
I know this blog started out as travel and drinking and you might be wondering why I’m talking about rugby instead of travel. But the thing is there is a lot of travel involved when you’re in sports. Being the only team in Palmer we always have to travel. We go to Anchorage to play all of our matrix games. We go to Kenai to play for the Kenai dip Fest. Soon we will be headed to Sitka.
Rugby is a sport for all ages, sizes, and genders. Definitely LGBT friendly as many women (and men) fit into 1 or more letter in the alphabet soup of orientation and and societal labels. It is sport that can and will accept anyone as long as you aren’t a total douch-canoe.
King street brewing.
I honestly had no idea they did so many different brews. Mostly dark but they did some mixes as well. I enjoyed most of them.
They don’t do flights. But you can taste until you find something yummy. I was on a flight kick, and winning.
I am trying to beat a friend on untappd and he is doing the 30 day challenge so this is my chance to catch up.
Such a hippy town. Most of the taproom is ski themed and it’s very fitting. It’s a decent brewery but their double stout is horrid. Its so molassesy that I couldn’t finish.
Now that’s alcohol abuse right there.