I’ve always enjoyed a good beer but had not drank alcohol in years before arriving in Alaska. One man got me back into the swing of drinking beer again and that man was Bill Howell, author of Beer on the Last Frontier and the great Alaskan Beer Blog. Bill introduced me to Alaskan craft beers and since that time, I have slowly been making my way through them. Bill’s books and blog can explain about all the Alaskan craft beers and the industry a lot better than I can but I can tell you what I like.
Never having had much interest in craft beers before, I took Bill’s suggestion and started with Kassiks. He said that Kassiks is a good introduction to craft beers, and I should start with Beaver Tail Blonde. Well, the name of the beer won me over instantly–Beaver Tail Blonde, I mean who doesn’t enjoy some good Beaver Tail once in a while. Oh how I loved the Beaver Tail. It was nice , crisp very stimulating in my mouth. I also tried Kassiks Morning Wood, Dolly Varden and Big Nutz. I enjoyed the Dolly Varden even though it was a lot smoother than the Beaver Tail. However, I kept going back to the Beaver Tail Blonde, no doubt because I enjoy a good Beaver Tail more than Morning Wood or Big Nutz.
The next brew I tried after Kassiks was St. Elias. You can only get St. Elias beer at St. Elias but you can also get an amazing pizza to go with the beer. St. Elias is one, if not my favorite, eating establishment for a good meal and a good brew. It also happens to be where I took my honey on our first date–a bit of pizza, a bit of brew, a bit of….
I had been seeing Alaskan beer everywhere I went. The Alaskan Brewing Company is located in Juneau but you will find it everywhere across Alaska. I actually was reluctant to try it because I found it everywhere I went so it seemed less special than the other craft beers Bill was teaching me about. Nevertheless, they had a nice sample box that gave me a taste of a variety of their different brews so I gave it a shot. It was good and I didn’t find a beer I didn’t like but after finishing the sample box off, I went back to enjoying Beaver Tail.
After a few months of enjoying lots of Beaver Tail, I ventured out again and tried some beer from The Kenai River Brewing Company. OMG!!! The selection I had to choose from was a bit overwhelming at first so I went with the IPA and purchased some Sunken Island but quickly found myself wanting to try it all. I actually found that my favorite was Naptown Nut Brown….(please don’t tell Dolly Varden that I actually prefer a Naptown Nut over a nice set of ….).
Still, I went back to Beaver Tail Blonde and as of yet, haven’t strayed much more. I just can’t seem to get enough Beaver Tail which keeps stalling my plans to try some beer from Homer Brewing Company and Anchorage’s Midnight Sun Brewing Company. Eventually, I will get to them. I mean, I plan to spend the rest of my life in Alaska so I have plenty of time to try all the Alaskan craft beers and still enjoy the Beaver Tail Blonde.