Don’t leave Alaska without drinking (at least some of) these beers
[by Alexander Deedy]
There’s something to be said for relaxing at the end of a day carving turns down the slopes by sipping on some suds amid the banter of friends. Or staying up late into the night under the summer’s midnight sun and enjoying some frosty ones near a fire. Whether sun or snow, there are few things that pair better with an Alaskan adventure than beer. Luckily for everyone, Alaska’s craft beer scene has mushroomed in recent years. More than a dozen breweries have opened in the last three years, and more promise to continue sprouting or expanding. Here are a few of our favorites:
Another brewery known for barrel-aged stouts and barley wines, Midnight Sun also offers 16 beers on tap in its chic Anchorage loft. Beer names range in creativity from the Panty Peeler Belgian-style tripel to the Arctic Rhino coffee porter. Midnight Sun distributes in limited quantities to California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.
Anchorage Brewing Company • Anchorage, AK
This brewery and taproom churns out popular barrel-aged beers and barley wines in addition to its rotating selection of staples. Its A Deal With the Devil barley wine style ale has fans across the country. In 2017, some even flew to Alaska for a chance to buy the limited bottles released that year. But you don’t have to go that far: Anchorage Brewing Co. beers are available in almost every state, seven European countries, Canada, and Australia.
HooDoo Brewing Company • Fairbanks, AK
They say to wear layers, so if you’re looking for a beer coat to slip on under your jacket in Fairbanks, HooDoo is a favorite haunt among locals and visitors. Try their popular Kolsch or American IPA brews and feel good knowing they harvest solar power to help make the beer. Available locally.
One of Alaska’s smallest breweries, Bleeding Heart is housed on an original homestead in Palmer and prides itself on including as many local ingredients as possible, including the Alaskan-grown beets in its namesake Alaska Bleeding Heart Beet IPA. Available locally.
Baranof Island Brewing Company • Sitka, AK
From its start as a humble brewery making 10-gallon batches, Sitka’s only brewery has bootstrapped its way to a following and a growing distribution. Try their signature Silver Bay IPA. Find it throughout Alaska and in the Seattle area.
Alaskans love brewing spruce tips into their beer, and Skagway Brewing Co. aims to please. Try their Spruce Tip Blonde Ale on a summer day in the brewery’s cozy restaurant and taproom near the end of Skagway’s main drag. Available only in Skagway.
Denali Brewing Company • Talkeetna, AK
Try locally made cider, mead, spirits, and beer in Talkeetna under the Denali Brewing Co. banner. We recommend their Single Engine Red for a rich, malty ale ideal for sunny summer days and cold winter nights alike. Available in Alaska and some locations in Washington and Idaho.