Brewed Alaska

Alaska craft beers, spir­its and wines of­fer taste of the wilder­ness

Where Alaska - - Content -

Craft in­dus­try on the rise.

Craft brew­ing in Alaska, like the rest of the coun­try, in Alaska, like around the rest of Amer­ica, is boom­ing. Craft brew­ers now num­ber some 22 across Alaska from Sk­ag­way Brew­ing Co. to Sil­ver Gulch Brew­ing Co. in Fox, which is the north­ern­most brew­ery in Amer­ica about 10 miles north of Fair­banks.

Not only do the craft brew­ers have tast­ing rooms, but many have restaurants as well and can also be found at other eater­ies around the state proud to fea­ture lo­cal Alaska brews. Find them at where­trav­eler.com/alaska.

Liquor stores such as Brown Jug, which has mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions in Alaska, and La Bodega in Anchorage and Gird­wood also have “Growler Bars” where you can sam­ple beers and grab half- gal­lons jugs to go. If you’re de­part­ing Alaska through Ted Stevens Anchorage In­ter­na­tional Air­port, you can also take growlers and six-packs home from the Sil­ver Gulch restau­rant past se­cu­rity in Con­course C.

By far the largest and most suc­cess­ful is the Alaskan Brew­ing Co. in Juneau, which has won in­ter­na­tional awards and is now avail­able in 16 Lower 48. Find out if it’s avail­able in your home mar­ket at alaskan­beer.com.

While most of the craft brew­ers are in the Anchorage area, you can find a lo­cal brewer in Ko­diak (Ko­diak Is­land Brew­ery, noted for its “Sarah Pale Ale”), and from Homer to Ke­nai to Tal­keetna and Healy, which is home to the 49th State Brew­ing Co.

The full list of Alaska craft brew­ers with an in­ter­ac­tive map can be found at brew­ers­guild­o­falaska.org.

The 49th State Brew­ing Co. re­cently ex­panded its pro­duc­tion, and its own­ers tell us they brewed more beer in the first day with their new equip­ment than they did dur­ing their en­tire first year in busi­ness!

Craft beer isn’t the only Alaska Grown spirit, with five dis­til­leries now op­er­at­ing in the state, in­clud­ing the Alaska Dis­tillery in Wasilla, which was the first dis­tillery in Alaska pro­duc­ing spir­its from lo­cally grown pota­toes and glacier wa­ter. The Alaska Dis­tillery made na­tional head­lines a few years back when it in­tro­duced a Smoked Sal­mon Vodka.

Af­ter a re­cent change in 2014 by the Alaska Leg­is­la­ture, you can now tour lo­cal dis­til­leries and pur­chase and sam­ple prod­ucts just like at a craft brewer or win­ery. The new rules al­low dis­tillers to sell up to a gal­lon of prod­uct for off-premises con­sump­tion or up to three ounces on site and of­fer small sam­ples free.

Alaska also has 11 li­censed winer­ies, such as Bear Creek Win­ery in Homer and Alaska Wilder­ness Wines in Ko­diak, with many us­ing lo­cally grown blue­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries and salmonber­ries.

Own­ers Ja­son Mo­tyka and David McCarthy raise a glass to 49th State Brew­ing Co. in Healy.

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