Sunday, October 14, 2012

Discover Award Winning Beers at Alaska Brewerys and Brewpubs

Microbreweries and brewpubs hold a unique place in beverage production.  These small, independent businesses can concentrate on specific  flavors particular to their area, and specialize their product to the tastes of their customers, and themselves.  In fact, many people believe that the distinct microbrew experience is better than any "large brewery" product out there.  We are proud to say that the state of Alaska has a very successful and distinctive microbrewery and brewpub presence, and we invite you to discover the great beer flavors of our state during your bed and breakfast getaway!

What is the difference between a microbrewery and a brewpub?  A microbrewery is known as a "craft brewery" that produces less than 15,000 barrels per year.  As the name implies, a brewpub is an establishment that brews and sells beer on the premises - most brewpubs are also restaurants.  A brewpub can also be known as a microbrewery if they have significant distribution outside their own establishments.

Alaska's rich brewing history has evolved into a successful and award-winning regional businesses: each either a microbrewery or brewpub.  Each business has overcome challenges in obtaining materials and equipment to create amazing brews, developed a market base, and won awards for their products.  That they area able to do this in the Last Frontier of the United States is a testament to Alaskan tenacity and spirit.  When you partake of the microbrews in our state, you help the local businesses, and therefore the local people, keeping this spirit alive.

Alaska currently has 20 microbreweries and brewpubs located in the southeast, south central, southwest, and the Alaskan Interior.  All are members of the Brewers Guild of Alaska.  This organization represents members and promotes the industry through legislative advocacy, consumer education, and community events that feature made-in-Alaska beers.

Interior:
  • 49th State Brewing Company in Healey, and
  • Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company in Fairbanks.
South Central:
  • Anchorage Brewing Company,
  • Arkose Brewing in Palmer,
  • Bear Tooth Theatrepub in Anchorage,
  • Denali Brewing Company & Twister Creek Restaurant in Talkeetna,
  • Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage,
  • Homer Brewing in Homer,
  • Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop in Kenai,
  • Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna,
  • King Street Brewing Company in Anchorage,
  • Last Frontier Brewing Company in Wasilla,
  • Midnight Sun Brewing Company in Anchorage,
  • Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria & Broken Tooth Brewing in Anchorage,
  • Snowgoose Restaurant & Pub & Sleeping Lady Brewing Company in Anchorage, and
  • Saint Elias Brewing Company in Soldotna.
Southeast:
  • Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau,
  • Haines Brewing Company in Haines, and
  • Skagway Brewing Company.
Southwest:
  • Kodiak Island Brewing Company.
The beer scene in our state is truly exciting.  But what are the best ways to experience all of Alaska's brews?  Area beers are featured at any number of eating and drinking establishments, and general events throughout the state, but there are three specific activities that beer-lovers will especially love:

Each January, the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Fest takes place in Anchorage.  Celebrating its 19th anniversary in 2013, the event will take place on January 18 and 19.  Featuring more than 200 beers and barley wines from 50 brewers the United States and abroad, this festival pays special attention to local brews and is the perfect place to try them all!  Funds raised at the Festival support children with diabetes through diabetes screenings, counseling, summer camp programs, and other advocacy programs.

May welcomes the Great Alaskan Craft Beer and Home Brew Festival, on May 24-25 in 2013 at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.  Friday's event is the Gourmet Brewer's Dinner featuring a 5-course meal, with a specially paired craft beer featured during each course.  Saturday brings the Beerfest beer tasting opportunities with live music, food, and great beers!  Participants must be at least 21 years of age to participate in either event.  Tickets go on sale on February 1, 2013 - tickets always sell out before the event itself, so contact your favorite Alaska inn to reserve your room, and jump on the tickets once they go on sale!

In October, the Great Alaska Beer Train travels from Anchorage to Portage and back.  It features the amazing scenery of the Turnagain Arm, and a large assortment of local microbrews.  The $149 ticket buys you the trip, 6 half-pints of BrewHouse Beer, a large selection of finger-foods, and the opportunity to purchase several additional beers.

Member inns of the Bed and Breakfast Association of Alaska offer first-class amenities, hospitality, and accommodations for your Alaska beer discovery vacation.  No matter what time of year you visit, you can experience the amazing tastes of our state's brewing creations.  Your B and B innkeeper can direct you to the best nearby location to experience the brewed flavors of our state!