Since Jim & Liana were due in to Anchorage at 5 AM on Thursday, Elaine and I drove up there Wednesday afternoon and spent the night. I realize it's a bit of a departure from my usual subject matter, but it's my darn blog so I'm going to take the liberty to talk about where we went for dinner that night: Jimmy's New York-Style Sushi Restaurant at 301 E. Dimond Blvd. I had seen the sign on previous Anchorage trips and --like just about everyone else-- wondered what "New York-style" sushi could be. Then I read a very positive review of the place in The Anchorage Press, one which mentioned that they actually had an "all-you-can-eat" sushi deal for $35. Given how much I love sushi and how expensive it is, I had to give that a try.
When Elaine and I walked in, the place was empty, and it stayed that way the entire time we were there. On the plus side, this meant we got exquisite service, both from our waiter and from the owner, Jimmy Zhou, behind the sushi bar. I negelected to snap pictures of most of the beautiful and delcious platters we enjoyed, until a couple at the very end.
|Lightly grilled white tuna with sauce|
|A pickled seafood salad|
Everything, including Elaine's chicken teriyaki, was outstanding. It's amazing to me that this place isn't absolutely packed with folks. If you're in Anchorage and you like sushi, head to Jimmy's, give them your 35 bones, and prepare to be stuffed with amazing dishes.
Green Flash Brewing Company of San Diego, CA and our own Midnight Sun. It's Midnight Sun's Arctic Devil Barleywine that's been hopped using the hop schedule for Green Flash's Barleywine. Intrigued, I had a glass. It's Arctic Devil heritage is immediately apparent, with the big maltiness, strong alcohol, and plentiful wood-aged notes that I associate with that superb barleywine. However, it had a much more assertive hop character, with the citrus and piney notes that I've picked up in other Green Flash beers. It was a very interesting hybrid, though personally I think I prefer the original Arctic Devil. I don't know how long it will last, so swing by Cafe A and form your own opinion.
|Gabe's new space|
On the way out of town, we stopped by Midnight Sun to pick up a couple of growlers. The place was busy as always, this time with Marines in dress blues loading up on cases of Sockeye Red IPA in cans. That was June 30th and they had just finished their first canning run. As of today, it's made its way down to various stores here on the Kenai (Country Liquors, Three Bears, maybe more). So now we all have another choice for beer in cans.
First Annual Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival, which are now on sale. The Soldotna Rotary is organizing this event on Saturday, August 13th, from 4 to 10 PM, at 37661 Kenai Spur Hwy (the old Glacier Pontiac Dealership). Tickets are $20 and get you in the door, plus a commemorative glass and three 8 oz. samples. Additional sample tickets will be on sale for $3 each. There will be two stages with live music for the entire time, plus food for sale. Attendance is limited, so get your tickets before they sell out! As I said, they're on sale at all our local breweries, and posters should be here soon.
St. Elias Brewing Company has a new beer on, Gunpowder Brown Ale. It's in the style of a Northern English Brown Ale, rather than the sweeter (and much rarer) Southern English Browns. It pours a semi-translucent brown with a nice cream-colored head. The aroma is primarily of malt and caramel, without any discernible hop aroma. Carbonation is good, with excellent mouthfeel. The beer leads off with malt, then a slight amount of roastiness makes itself apparent. Hops are just here for balance, so we're not looking at an overly hoppy brown. Alcohol is about 5.6%ABV, so this beer is quite drinkable. In fact, it reminds me of a stronger version of their much-loved (by me, at least) Marathon Mild from summer 2009. Another delicious brew from Zach Henry & company at St. Elias.
|Tapping the IPA|
|The usual suspects|
St. Elias was also kind enough to host the July party for the Kenai Peninsula Brewing & Tasting Society on Sunday, 10 July. Since the weather gods cooperated for once, we were able to party on their outside patio. Zach was generous enough to donate some pizza and a cask of his Williwaw IPA that had been dry hopped with Falconer's Flight, a proprietary blend of hops from HopUnion. As usual, both the pizza and beer were excellent. Several members also brought in excellent homebrews and ciders; at this rate, I am looking forward to seeing several of our members winning medals in upcoming homebrew competitions. If you live around here and are interested in brewing or just drinking good beer, the Kenai Peninsula Brewing & Tasting Society is probably worth your looking into. And I'm not just saying that because I'm the President of it.
While in Anchorage I also picked up another beer from Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City. I've been impressed with there other brews, so anytime we get a new one up here in Alaska, I'm eager to try it. This time around the beer was their Two Jokers Double Wit. Given that wit beers are traditionally fairly low strength beers, meant to be refreshing thirst quenchers, a double wit is almost an oxymoron, like an imperial mild. Still, the guys at Boulevard generally know what they're about. It poured a cloudy gold with an absolutely huge head that dissipated fairly quickly (a Duvel-style tulip is a good glass choice for this beer). The aroma was of spices and citrus, with perhaps a touch of wild sourness? On the palate, the beer was surprisingly light for its 8% ABV. The spices and citrus were still there, along with the hint of wildness. Very refreshing and a wonderful pairing for a salad or some halibut cooked simply with herbs and butter. Very nice and a perfect summer beer.
Well, that's about it for now. Look for a blog next week, as I'm back in the groove now.
Until Next Time, Cheers!
P.S. I just realized that Sunday, 10 July marked the third anniversary of my starting this blog. Sure doesn't seem like it's been three years. Thanks again to everyone for your interest, and I hope we'll all be here next year.