Monday, September 15, 2008

"So what would you like me to bring you back?"

It's a question that's typically asked whenever an Alaskan travels to the Lower 48 (or "Outside" as we Alaskans call it). We live a good life up here on The Last Frontier, but some things just cannot be had, not for love nor money. Before the coming of On-line shopping, the only way to get certain things was to have some one buy them and then bring them back in their luggage or the trunk of their car. Even with the Internet, the shipping charges to get some things sent here are often prohibitive. I mean, who want to pay five bucks for a widget and twenty bucks shipping? Oh, and it's against state law to sell alcohol through the mail, so you can forget joining the Beer-of-the-Month Club...

Anyway, my lovely wife Elaine just made a two-week trip Outside, to visit her relations in Maine. Prior to her departure, she asked me the standard question and I gave her my standard answer: "Some good beer." After making a list of potential choices and answering a couple of questions on a call made from her cell while standing in a package store in Maine, I received my plunder when she returned last Friday.

I got to try some Shipyard Brewery Export Ale and some Kennebec Brewery India Pale Ale, but the pick of the litter was definitely the Allagash Brewery White. This award-winning beer is their interpretation of a classic Belgian Wit beer. At about 5% ABV, it's a very drinkable and refreshing brew, and one I would likely have never had a chance to try otherwise.

So when you or your loved ones travel -- whether from Alaska to the Outside or vice versa-- don't miss the opportunity to taste new and different beers. Experiencing a great brew for the first time is one of the finest pleasures in life.


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