Monday, October 17, 2016

Legal Matters

A story which appeared in the Peninsula Clarion & Homer News has caused quite a stir here on the Peninsula. The article dealt with the proposed re-write to the portions of Title 4 which cover the issuance of alcohol licenses in Alaska. Senator Peter Micciche, who represents the Central Peninsula in the state senate, is the chairmen of the committee in charge of the overhaul. You can read the article in its entirety here, but before you begin sharpening your pitchforks and lighting torches, there are a couple of things you should know. To make sure I had the latest and most accurate info, I talked to Ryan Makinster, the Executive Director of the Brewers Guild of Alaska, and someone who is intimately involved in the re-write process. Here's what he had to say.

First, Ryan pointed out that the article is based on SB 99, which was submitted last session, but went no where in the legislative process. This year's bill will likely be pre-filed in January, and should have some significant changes from SB 99. Second, while Public Convenience Licenses will likely be going away, current holders will transition either to seasonal licenses (for truly seasonal operations, open six months or less a year) or to Restaurant/Eating Place Licenses. Third, the administrations of both Wasilla and Soldotna are involved in the process and are pushing for a mechanism which would recognize the fact that cities like them service a much larger population base than just residents within city limits, so the number of licenses able to be issued needs to reflect that. Public meetings are still taking place to try to hammer out all the details, which should be reflected in the new bill to be filed after the first of the year.

So in summary, this is certainly something anyone who enjoys consuming alcohol should pay attention to, but it's not yet time to storm the Bastille. Rest assured, I'll do my best to keep you all informed of developments, and when it's time to make our voice heard to Senator Micciche and the rest of the legislature, I'll definitely sound the trumpet. Until then, we can remain calm and keep our powder dry.

In another legal matter, Barb Miller, one of the owners of Midnight Sun Brewing, made the following post on Facebook on October 13th:

"So a brewpub named Sockeye Grill and Brewery in ID has just begun to move some product into the AK market. We discovered them a few years ago and decided to be respectful and not push our Sockeye Red IPA into ID. (Our beers are distributed in AK, WA, OR, CA, HI and NY.) Their labels are predominantly "SOCKEYE" then IPA or Porter, etc. Naturally, we are going to defend our territory, namely AK. We've been here since 1995. We now have our attorneys involved because we called them and they declined to retreat. I know this situation is not uncommon in our industry but we/MSBC always play respectfully with names/beers in our and others' distribution areas.
What are YOUR thoughts on this situation?
Supporting MSBC and not supporting this ID brewpub is any easy way to drive them out of AK. They are being distributed by the Odom Corporation, which is part of Southern Wine and Spirits. (And they definitely have attorneys on the payroll.)
Oddly, I was just talking about Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential book this week, which focuses on the underbelly of the culinary industry. YeaH, so welcome to the underbelly of the brewing industry."
I'm told that the beers from Sockeye Grill and Brewery began being distributed in Alaska on October 1st, so you can expect to see them on local shelves. I'm working to research more information on this dispute from all the parties involved, so look for more updates in the future, "as they develop."

Moving on to other, happier beer news.

Midnight Sun Brewing has announced that it will be holding a release party for its super-popular Berserker Imperial Stout on October 31st. The Halloween Horde Event will take place from 4 pm October 31st to 8 PM on November 1st. Besides the release of this year's Berserker, there will also be flights of previous vintages. In addition, anyone who comes dressed in "Ancient Norse Clothing" will receive 10% off their Berserker bottle purchase.

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Over at 49th State Brewing, they will be celebrating Halloween on Saturday, October 29th, with a combination Yoga & Halloween Party. Here's the flier with details:

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Glacier BrewHouse released a new Wet Hop IPA and a new Coconut Porter last week. Neither brew will likely last long, so try them while you can.

Photo courtesy of Glacier BrewHouse
Photo courtesy of Glacier BrewHouse

KTUU in Anchorage had a news report on the opening of Cynosure Brewing. You can read it here. Cynosure has also released a new beer, Cynosure Dark Lager, a German-style schwarzbier.

Photo courtesy of Cynosure Brewing

Alaskan Brewing has released a Wet Hop Pale Ale as part its Rough Draft series.

Photo courtesy of  Alaskan Brewing Company

Seward Brewing Company's Rockfish Tacos were selected as one of the top fish tacos in the country by The Food Network. You can read the entire article here.

Here's the latest tap list for Denali Brewing Company's pub in Talkeetna:

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Specialty Imports will  be holding a Beer Tasting at Mykel's Restaurant in Soldotna on Saturday, October 29th, focusing on German beers. It starts at 6:30 pm and includes the beers and an appetizer buffet. Call 262-4305 for reservation or more information.

Grace Ridge Brewing in Homer has released another new brew, Rocky River Orange Wheat.

Here's the latest tap list from St. Elias Brewing. Look for the return of the popular Vanilla Bean Porter within the next few days.

At Kenai River Brewing, I'll be holding a Book Signing this Friday, October 21, from 4 to 6:30 pm. Come in and get a copy of my latest book.

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That's it for news. I've got reviews of two beers this week, both from out of state:

Firestone-Walker's Oaktoberfest Marzen: I will confess to initially being confused about this beer. From its name, I had assumed it was aged on oak, and then was surprised when I could not taste any. The brewery straightened me out: the name is in reference to the brewery's hometown, so there's no oak in the beer itself. It poured a clear gold with a nice, white head. The aroma was nothing but good, clean malt notes. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. The flavor profile was spot on for a marzen, with lots of clean malt flavors, and only enough hop bitterness to balance things. A top-notch marzen. 5% ABV, 24 IBUs.

Two Beers Brewing Company's Forester Double IPA: This was my first beer ever from this Seattle-based brewery; I picked it up on a whim at Country Liquors in Kenai. It poured a light, clear copper color with a big, cream-colored head. The nose had a mixture of citrus and piney notes from the Simcoe, Centennial, and Super Galena hops used. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was between light and medium. The initial bitter attack was good, though not as aggressive as the claimed 92 IBUs would lead you to expect. That was a good thing, in my book. Following the initial attack, the hop flavor and aroma came through, but was somewhat balanced by the big malt backbone. More drinkable than the average DIPA, I liked it quite a bit. In the future, I'll be keeping my eye out for other beers from this brewery. 7.8% ABV

That's it for this week. I hope to see you at my Book Signing on Friday.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Small Minds, Sensitive Souls

I usually endeavor to steer clear of politics and the culture wars in this blog, unless they directly impinge on the subject at hand, that being craft beer in Alaska. Frankly, I find both the Left and the Right fairly loathsome these days. So unless some ass is proposing to double the tax on alcohol (I'm looking at you, Walker) or the neo-prohibitionists start banging the drum about "demon liquor", I generally give it all a pass here and try to focus on more interesting and pleasant subject.

However, be that as it may, I felt I needed to toss my two cents in on the latest kerfuffle regarding Midnight Sun's Panty Peeler Tripel.  Let's review some history on the brew. It was first brewed back in the 1990s and sold under the name Epluche-culotte, which is "Panty Peeler" in French. In 2008, the brewery decided to Anglicize the name (along with its dark counterpart, Monk's Mistress), and produce some updated label art. In fact, the second blog I wrote, way back on 7/30/2008 was about this change. Here's the label:

The older version featured essentially the same artwork, just with the name Epluche-culotte. While the name might be slightly risque, it certainly doesn't seem particularly offensive, at least to my admittedly somewhat old-fashioned sensibilities. Panty Peeler has chugged along without incident under the new label since 2008. However, this year the brewery decided to add the beer to its canned line-up in 4-packs, which resulted in the beer winning a Silver Medal at this year's Can Can Awards (another risque name?), as I reported in my 9/28/2016 blog. This competition advertises itself as "the premiere beer competition focused solely on canned craft beers," so this award was quite a feather in Midnight Sun's cap.

Apparently, winning this award brought the beer to the notice of the culture police, who decided that any beer which had "panty" in the name must be promoting rape. Never mind that the beer label (designed by a woman, by the way), shows a strong, empowered woman enjoying herself, without a man anywhere in sight. Never mind that it's been around for almost two decades without anyone taking offense before. Never mind that, if you're the sort of sleazeball who thinks of getting a woman drunk to take sexual advantage of her, a quality craft beer would probably be your least likely choice, given how many cheaper and more potent forms of alcohol there are available. Never mind common sense. No, this sort of "drive by shooting" via the internet is becoming a hallmark of how people express their personal prejudices.

If you're curious as to who these self-anointed keepers of the culture are, I'd refer you to this KTUU article, which names them. It's true we have a serious problem with sexual violence here in Alaska, but I'd suggest these would-be Comstocks are barking up the wrong tree when they try to place the blame on a beer label. If you agree, I'd suggest you go out and pick up a 4-pack of Panty Peeler. You'll have the dual pleasure of drinking a great craft beer and also giving a metaphorical middle finger to the pecksniffs.

Photo courtesy of Midnight Sun

Now on to more pleasant subjects.

I've learned of another new brewery working to open here on the Kenai. Cooper Landing Brewing Company hopes to have its federal brewing license by the end of the year; it submitted an application in June. Recipe development is underway, with plans to continue through next April. It seems the goal is to be open for business prior to next summer's tourist season. According to what I know, it seems the plan is not to have a tap room initially, but to sell kegs to local establishments until the brewery can afford to expand to a 10-barrel brewhouse. Looking at the photos posted on its Facebook page, it appears Cooper Landing Brewing will be starting a fairly small system; I'm guessing 1/2-barrel. Wish them luck and I'll do my best to keep you all informed of progress.

I mentioned last week that Cynosure Brewing was finally open. Here are its hours:

Thursday 4 to 8 PM
Friday      4 to 8 PM
Saturday  2 to 8 PM

The brewery is at 144 E Potter Dr, Unit E, in Anchorage. I haven't had a chance to stop in myself, but hope to do so soon.

Girdwood Brewing Company seems to be making good progress. Here's picture just posted on its Facebook page:

Photo courtesy of Girdwood Brewing

Winterlong Brewing Company in Whitehorse has finally gotten its new tap room open. You can read all about it and see pictures of it here.

Alaskan Brewing has now released its Hopothermia Double IPA in 6-packs instead of 4-packs.

Photo courtesy of Alaskan Brewing

There are some beer events coming up:

La Bodega will be holding another in its 10th Anniversary Tastings series; this one is Sour Beers. The tasting will happen tomorrow night, October 11, from 5:15 to 6:15 PM at its Northern Light location. Read more about it here.

Midnight Sun Brewing will be having Lagers at the Loft from October 17th thru the 23rd.

Arkose Brewery will hold its Anniversary Beer Meets Chocolate Event on Saturday, October 21.

Also on October 21st, I will be doing a Book Signing, with copies of my newest book, the 2nd edition of Beer of the Last Frontier: Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island Breweries, at Kenai River Brewing from 4 to 6:30 PM in Soldotna.

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On October 31st, HooDoo Brewing will be holding its Thanks, Fairbanks, We're Four event, from 3 to 8 PM. HooDoo has also released a new beer, Mosaic Pale Ale, with 5% ABV, & 45 IBUs.

Photo courtesy of HooDoo Brewing Company

Speaking of new releases, Grace Ridge Brewing has released Beluga Lake Lager, a Munich Helles.

That it for news this week, so let's do some reviews. I have three new beers this week.

Kenai River Brewing's 2016 Winter Warlock Old Ale: This year's version of this classic poured a deep honey color with a small but persistent cream-colored head. The aroma was loaded with caramel and toffee malt notes. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was medium. On the palate, there was a deliciously deep malt profile, with just enough hops for balance. The flavors linger before falling away slowly to a long, pleasant finish. The year-long cold-conditioning shows in the cleanliness and depth of the flavor profile. Outstanding. 9% ABV, 70 IBUs.

George Gale & Co.'s Prize Old Ale (2005): It poured a dark, semi-translucent ruby color. No head at all, quite flat. The nose had some sherry notes, plus a hint of cardboard. No carbonation and medium mouthfeel.  On the palate, there were more sherry notes, but the beer clearly showed signs of being over-aged. Eleven years was obviously too much for this bottle, I think, 9 % ABV.

Central Waters Brewing's Brewer's Reserve Scotch Ale (2016): This beer poured a deep ruby color with a cream-colored head that dissipated to a collar. The nose was full of rich, sweet malt notes, with no hint of the bourbon-barrel aging. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was medium. On the palate, I tasted caramel, burnt sugar, and a very subtle contribution of bourbon and oak. Overall, I thought this beer was superb, a truly outstanding Scotch Ale. Unfortunately, this Wisconsin-based brewery doesn't distribute to Alaska; I received this bottle as a gift from a friend. That's too bad, as I'd love to drink this one regularly. 9.5% ABV.

That's it for this week. It won't be long before winter is upon us, so lay in your supplies now and don't forget to go out and buy some Panty Peeler.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Anniversaries Aplenty

I'm shifting my regular blogging day from Wednesday to Monday, and I'm going to try to start getting these out weekly again, rather than every other week. This is my "cut-over blog" so it will be a little shorter than has been typical lately.

It seems we've got a plethora of anniversaries happening this time of year. Glacier BrewHouse celebrated its 20th just over two weeks ago on 9/17, and La Bodega celebrated its 10th with Bodega-Fest on 9/24. As I wrote last week, the La Bodega celebration will continue with a Beer Dinner at Kinley's Restaurant this Wednesday, October 5th. Also, if you are need of a new growler, La Bodega has some lovely ceramic ones, emblazoned with its 10th Anniversary logo.

Photo courtesy of La Bodega

But there are plenty of other anniversaries to celebrate. Arkose Brewery opened for business on October 11, 2011, and it is celebrating its 5th Anniversary all month long. Owner June Gerteisen sent me this list of highlights:

  • New beers (Festbier Dunkelweizen on Sept 30, and Mandarina Moose IPA on Oct 21)
  • Anniversary Beer Meets Canvas (plus Lead Dog hot dog stand)
  • Anniversary Beer Meets Chocolate (plus Humdinger's Gourmet Pizza by the slice)
  • Community Drumming Workshops (Oct. 15, 22, 29) with Percussion in the Valley (also celebrating 5 years of business in Palmer)

The debut of the Mandarina Moose IPA (made with Mandarina Bavarian hops and grapefruit) will coincide with the Beer Meets Chocolate event, which will feature a special custom-made pink grapefruit chocolate from JB ChocolatierHumdinger's Gourmet Pizza will be crafting up local pizza by the slice on their portable grill out front of the brewery.

June has even created a new hand-drawn logo to celebrate this milestone, which will be available several items from the brewery store. Here's what it looks like:

So congratulations to Arkose Brewery on its first five years, and best wishes for the next five!

Alaskan Brewing is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Besides releasing its 30th Anniversary Perseverance Imperial Stout (reviewed below), it is also running a contest using "Alaskan Gold Rush" coasters which double as pull-tabs. If you get a coaster that indicates you might be a winner, you tweet a picture of it to #AlaskanGold to be entered to win prizes, including a grand prize of $5000 in gold! So keep an eye out for them!

Moving on from anniversary news, the annual Beers by the Bay event at Seward's Sea-Life Center will be happening this year on November 5th, from 7 to 10 PM. Here's a flier for it:

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I've attended this event in the past and always enjoyed myself, so I recommend it.

This Friday, October 7th, the Eagle River Brewfest will be happening from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Eagle River Lions Club. All the money raised goes to support the Boys & Girls Club.

Ther will be a brewfest in Sitka on Alaska Day, Tuesday, October 18th from 2:30 to 6:30 pm at the Totem Square Inn. There's also a Brew Cruise from 1 to 3:30 pm on Sunday, October 16th. You can find more information on both events here.

Glacier BrewHouse has received some used whisky barrels from the Laphroaig Distillery, which is located on Islay, part of Scotland's Inner Hebrides. I'm looking forward to tasting what emerges from them once Kevin Burton gets done working his magic...

Photo courtesy of Glacier BrewHouse

HooDoo Brewing (which will be celebrating its 4th anniversary on Halloween) is sponsoring the Chef's Challenge at the Museum next month. Here's a flier on it:

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Here on the Peninsula, the big news is the release of this year's Winter Warlock Old Ale by Kenai River Brewing. Saturday was October 1st, the date each year when this beer makes its appearance. Look for a formal review in my next blog, but informally, this beer is always fantastic and not to be missed.

Speaking of reviews, let's get to them. I've got three this week.

49th State Brewing's The Great One Barley Wine: I picked this one up in a 32 oz. crowler when I was in Healy on 19 & 20 September. It poured a translucent ruby with a big, cream-colored head. The aroma made it clear this was an English-style barleywine, as it was all malt with no hops noticeable at all. Carbonation was good, and the mouthfeel was medium. The flavor profile was very clean, with none of the hot fusel oil notes you sometimes get on big beers like this one, just malt notes and plenty of them. There was only a touch of alcohol heat on the long finish. And excellent beer, I enjoyed it immensely. 12.5% ABV, 33 IBUs.

St. Elias Brewing's Oktoberfest Lager: This year's version of this traditional fall beer-style poured a translucent ruby with a nice, off-white head. The nose was simple, with notes of caramel and malt. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light to medium. On the palate, there were all the clean, malt notes that are proper for the style, a classic lager taste. Very nice.

Alaskan Brewing's 30th Anniversary Perseverance Ale: Reviewing my tasting notes for the 25th Anniversary release of this beer, I see that I thought that one needed some cellar time to help the sweet notes dry out and better integrate into the overall flavor profile. Not so with this version. It poured opaque with a nice tan head. The aroma was of chocolate and roasted malt. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was medium to heavy. Tons of rich malt notes, chocolate, and syrup, but well-balanced and well-integrated. Only a bit of alcohol heat on the finish. I'll be cellaring a couple of bottles out of curiosity, but this beer is certainly perfect to drink right now. 9% ABV, 50 IBUs.

That's it for this week. Be sure to go out and grab some of these special seasonal/anniversary brews while they last.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The End of September

There are only three days left in September and temperatures have started dropping below freezing at night here on the Kenai, so it's definitely time to start thinking about getting ready for winter. I've had a pretty busy time since my last blog post two weeks ago, so let me tell you what I've been up to.

First, we hit the Denali Road Lottery for the third time this year, so that meant a trip north. Unfortunately, we got the very last day, Tuesday, September 20, so it wasn't really practical to hit both the Talkeetna Beer Fest on 9/17 and be in Denali on 9/20. However, by all reports, it was another great festival in Talkeetna. We drove north on Monday, 9/19, and made a pit-stop along the way at Denali Brewing Company's production brewery, where I was happy to snag a 12-bottle box of its excellent Louisville Sour Ale. I think this brew is only available at the brewery or at the pub in downtown Talkeetna proper, so if you are driving on the Parks Highway and like sour beers, I strongly suggest you stop in and get some.

A delicious sour from Denali Brewing Company

We continued on up the Parks to Denali National Park. Since it was so late in the season, very little was still open; Prospector's Pizzeria had closed on Sunday night, so that wasn't an option. Fortunately, 49th State Brewing's brewpub in Healy was still open, so we ended up dining there on both Monday and Tuesday evening. I was lucky enough to hook up with Vincent LaRochelle, the head brewer in Healy, to talk about how things have been going since 49th State opened its new Anchorage location. The brewery has been very busy; in all of that year, they brewed 78 batches in Healy, while they are already over 84 for this year, with plans to keep brewing for quite some time and likely top 100 batches total for 2016. Batches of Solstice IPA nd Prospector's Gold have been heading south regularly to keep the Anchorage location from running out of either brew, due to the high demand.

Vincent also told me that 49th State has brewed a collaboration beer with Cigar City Brewing from Tampa, Florida. The head brewer from Cigar City, Nick Streeter, came up to Healy and helped brew an imperial stout using birch syrup and spruce tips in the recipe. So that's definitely something to look forward to next year when it's released. I also picked up a crowler of 49th State's The Great One Imperial Stout, which I'll review in an upcoming blog.

After driving around DNP all day Tuesday, we drove back to the Kenai on Wednesday, and then we drove back to Anchorage on Saturday, 9/24, for Bodega-Fest. This was my first time attending this festival, and I had a superb time. Pam and the rest of the La Bodega Team were celebrating their tenth anniversary, and they couldn't have done a better job.  Here's a map of the fest layout, a list of the booths there, and some photos I snapped early in the event.

The 10th Anniversary celebrations will also continue with a Beer Dinner at Kinley's Restaurant next Wednesday, October 5th, at 6 PM. The menu and beer pairing have just been announced:

 *Sonoma Pitchfork Pear Cider, 6% ABV

 First Course 
*Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, 5.0% ABV
 Pan Seared Halibut Cheek, Pancetta and Pea Risotto, Lemon Brown Butter, Basil Oil, Balsamic Reduction

 Second Course
 *Pinkus Munster Alt, 5.1% ABV
 Spinach Salad, Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Tomato, Chevre, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Tortilla Strips, Raspberry-Chipotle Dressing

Third Course
 *St. Louis Fond Tradition Gueuze, 5.0% ABV
 Lamb Slider, Open Faced on Toasted Pita, Seasoned Ground Lamb, Tzatziki Sauce, Feta Cheese, Tomato, Red Onion

 Fourth Course
 *Gigantic Vivid Imperial IPA 8.5% ABV
 Boneless Beef Short Rib, Coconut-Chili Braising Sauce, Gingered Jasmine Rice, Grilled Baby Bok Choy, Pickled Daikon Radish, Basil, Cilantro, Mint

 Fifth Course
 *Wells & Young’s Courage Russian Imperial Stout, 10.0% ABV &; *Tozai Snow Maiden Nigori Sak√©, 14.9% ABV
 Flourless Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin Sauce and Praline Crumble

Call Kinley's at 644-8953 for Reservations.

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Another upcoming event which I have written about in previous blogs is Zwanze Day at Anchorage Brewing Company, which will take place this Saturday, October 1, starting at 2 PM.

Though you wouldn't know it from its Facebook page, I have it on good authority that Cynosure Brewing Company is open at last. You can find it at 144 E. Potter DR., Unit E, in Anchorage. I don't know its hours yet. Word is that there are three brews on tap, a wit, a steam beer, and a dubbel.

In other beer news, Bearpaw River Brewing Company has signed on with Specialty Imports, who will now be distributing its beers around the state. The beer selection that they are beginning distribution with consists of Sluice-Box Belgian Ale, Mat Maid Milk Stout, and Frontiersman IPA. I'm told that the brewery hopes to begin selling 22 oz. bombers by Christmas and cans in 1 to 2 years. Keep your eye out for a double chocolate version of Mat Maid, planned for release at the brewery's 1st Birthday Party on 17 December.

At Midnight Sun Brewing Company, the cooler weather has brought on the annual release of its Termination Dust Belgian-style Barley Wine as well as the release of a new beer, AutumnFest Marzen. Here's the description:

Midnight Sun's Panty Peeler Tripel also took home a silver medal at this year's Can Can Awards.

Here on the Peninsula, Seward Brewing Company closed for the winter on September 18.

Zach Henry of St. Elias Brewing is just back from his annual moose hunt, so you can expect some new brews on tap there soon. Here's the latest tap list:

Over at Kenai River Brewing, besides its usual flagship brews, here's what's on tap:

That's it for news, so let's do a few reviews.

Prairie Artisan Ales' Prairie Noir Imperial Stout: Another Culmination leftover, this beer poured opaque with a small tan head. The aroma had plenty of bourbon notes, as well as the typical roasted malt elements. Carbonation was okay, and the mouthfeel was heavy. The flavor profile was quite thick and rich, with notes of chocolate, coffee, as well as bourbon and oak. Overall, a nice barrel-aged imperial stout, though not as good as many which are produced here in Alaska. 11% ABV.

Kenai River Brewing's Session IPA: It poured a hazy gold color with a nice, cream-colored head. Lots of Citra hops in the nose. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. The initial bitter attack was respectable but not excessive, followed by lots of Citra flavor and aroma. At only 4.5% ABV and 62 IBUs, the beer is designed to be highly drinkable, and it hits that target perfectly. If you enjoy hop flavor and aroma and want to be able to enjoy more than one beer, this one is the perfect choice for you.

Deschutes Brewing's Black Butte XXVIII: It poured opaque with a mocha-colored head. The aroma had notes of cocoa, molasses, and coffee. The carbonation was good, and the mouthfeel was medium. On the palate, there were lots of roasted porter notes, plus sweeter elements from the cocoa nibs. It gradually fell away to a long, nice finish. Another excellent entry in this long-running series of superb imperial porters from Deschutes. 11.5% ABV, 51 IBUs.

That's it for this time. Remember, while you're getting your home and vehicles ready for winter, don't forget to lay in a good stock of nice, warming brews as well. There's nothing like enjoying a nice imperial stout or barley wine by the wood stove to help pass those long, dark winter evenings!

Until Next Time, Cheers!