Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Alaskan Brewing Co, Juneau, Alaska

The Alaskan Brewing Co is one of my favourite breweries of all time, no lie.  It was one of the first craft breweries I encountered when I began drinking beer and opened me up to a world of flavour.  This season I was determined to visit the brewery despite my busy schedule.

You are picked up by a shuttle bus in downtown Juneau and taken out to the Alaskan Brewery at the beginning of your tour.  It’s a nice little drive and the driver gives you some background history to the sights as you go.  Look out for eagles as you get closer to the brewery.

Alaskan Brewing is a little site but very interesting.  It is right next to a glacier, which is where they get the water to brew the beer with.  In my opinion this is why it tastes so good and I am very pleased that they don’t brew their beer anywhere else because of this.

The brewery itself is home to founders Marcy and Geoff Larson’s collection of beer bottles.  They began the collection themselves and visitors to the brewery have helped them along the way.  The English beer bottles are over the bar and I noticed a few of my favourites missing.  I will have to find out their address so I can send them some.

You get given a talk at the brewery about the beginnings of Alaskan while sitting in the tasting room, which is the original site of the brewery before it began to expand.  Through windows into the brewing floor you might capture a glimpse of the brewers hard at work.

You can taste up to 6 samples while you are on the site.  I had to go back to work later that day so my tasting experience was cut sadly short.  However I was happy to try a “Rough Draft” that they had on tap.  Rough Drafts are brews in the testing stages.  Mine was a cream ale.

Though not the longest tour, I found visiting Alaskan brewing very informative and I enjoyed meeting the people behind one of my favourites and seeing the site itself.  Keep up the good work guys!

Next week, I’ll share my Alaskan Brewing tasting notes.

Sunday, 19 August 2012


I love Alaska.  I love the views, I love the weather (even the rain!), I love the atmosphere, I love the people.  I particularly love the beer and the fact that I can get my hands on a bunch of craft beers that I haven’t tried before.  Some aren’t necessarily from Alaska but here are a few of my faves from the state:

CoHoHo Imperial IPA, Midnight Sun Brewing Co
Brewed with juniper berries this is a dark malty IPA with a good balance of maltiness and sweetness.

Galaxy White IPA, Anchorage Brewing Co
Corked with a champagne cork (fancy!) and has that good fruity IPA aroma and flavour.  The one I had was labeled up as Batch #2 April 2012 so I think it could be aged.

Skilak Scottish Ale, Kenai River Brewing Co
This is a smoky little offering with a good malty sweetness which paired well with chocolate.

Spruce Tip Blonde, Skagway Brewing Co.
Brewed with actual spruce tips this beer has a serious fruity taste that is refreshing and satisfying.  I’m going to be really sad when I drink my last one this season.

This small selection doesn’t even include the incredible range from Alaskan Brewing which we will come to shortly….. watch this space!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Beer House, Estonia

Beer House is a microbrewery in the medieval town of Tallinn in Estonia.  It has a good selection of beer brewed on the premises and boasts a tradition honey lager and a premium lager supposedly endorsed by a Prussian king.  The story goes that the Prussian king was passing through the town and tried Beer House’s Premium and deemed it the best beer in the land so it was brewed under his royal seal.  It is a pretty good beer, an instant fave with me for its sweetness.

Beer House also offers a great selection of food – their pizza is pretty good – and a great atmosphere with old style wooden benches and tables and an inside back patio set up like a medieval village.  The wait staff are even in period costume with buxom wenches and lederhosen clad fellas

If you are in Estonia you should definitely go check it out.  I’m only sad I may never get the chance to drink some BH Premium again!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Beer 200!!

On the 1st August I tried my 200th beer!  Since 2008 I have now tried 200 different beers and the list is going to continue to grow.

My 200th beer was Hop In The Dark by Deschutes Brewery in Oregon. It was an interesting blend of a dark ale and an IPA that they named a Cascadian Dark Ale.  It incorporated all the best elements of the two types – the grapefruit aroma and bitterness of an IPA with the sweet maltiness of a dark ale. A good choice for my 200th!

I’m thinking I should aim now for 225 beers before I leave Alaska, what do you think?