Monday, February 22, 2010

Last Minute News

Well, things are getting down to the wire before Elaine and I have to depart for Denver. The Beerdrinker of the Year competition is on Saturday afternoon and should be over about 5 PM Mountain time. I'll try to send out a quick email with the results as soon as I can afterward.

Before I hit the road, I have a few more pieces of news to relate. First the latest in Kenai River Brewing Company's Single Hop IPA series is now on tap. This one is hopped exclusively with East Kent Goldings. I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet, but I love that hop variety, so I'm really looking forward to it. The beer appreciation class that I teach on Tuesdays will be touring Kenai River tomorrow night, so I plan to sample it then.

Second, I dropped into St. Elias Brewing Company on my way home from work last Friday. There has been some major work on the back of the bar, with the installation of a nitrogen-pressurized wine box (a refugee from the now-closed The Crossing restaurant) and four more taps. Two of the new taps will be dedicated to root beer and cream soda, but adding the other two to the previous eight will bring the total available for beers up to ten.

In addition to his usual line-up, Zach Henry currently has his Moose Juice Barley Wine and a new beer, his Winter Wheat Ale, on tap. He poured the Moose Juice at the Great Alaskan Beer & Barely Wine Festival, so some of you may have gotten a chance to taste it there. It's another of his whiskey-barrel-aged specials, having spent time in a Heaven Hill Bourbon cask, coming in at a hefty 9.6% ABV and 93 IBUs. I had a nice 6 0z. goblet of it. It's a good beer to have when you're only having one beer.

The imaginatively-named Winter Wheat Ale is a new seasonal, an unfiltered American-style wheat beer. At 5.4% ABV, it's a bit easier to handle in quantity that the barley wine. The flavor is delicate, with notes of wheat, oats, and apricots. It's a refreshing prelude to the spring that we are all hoping is just around the corner.

That's it for now. I'm looking forward to Denver, especially squeezing in a couple of visits to local bars and breweries before and after the finals. Wish me luck!

Until Next Time, Cheers!


Liana said...

Good luck in Denver Dad! I love you very much, and I know you are going to win!

Bill Howell said...

Thanks, kiddo! Can't wait to see you in Las Vegas.

Craig Mycoskie said...

This is Craig Mycoskie, one of the brewers at the Wynkoop. Good luck this Saturday and make sure to pop your head in the brewhouse before the competition.

Pablo said...

Hello from the Seward's Malt Marathon home brewers club! Just found the site and will keep up. Lots of Sew brews going on but no plans for a brewery yet.

Paul Tougas

Bill Howell said...


Keep me in the loop and let me know about any upcoming events in Seward. I'd be happy to spread the word!



jgladfel said...

Grats, Bill! I was at the event in Denver and had you winning by a slim margin. Craft beer offers so much more than the general public realizes, and I'm glad to hear you're teaching others about it. I'm trying to get a teacher "gig" here in Denver started. Any hints?

Congratulations again!
jason, 2009 and 2010 semi-finalist :)

Bill Howell said...

Jason: Thanks! Still trying to wrap my head around it myself...

Send me an email at and I'll send you copies of all my class info.



mudshark said...

Congratulations on your award and achievement. You really do know beer and good on you for bringing the award back to Alaska.