Friday, August 30, 2013

Welcome to Fall

Well, it's pretty obvious that summer is pretty much over here in Alaska.  Daytime highs are in the upper 50s to lower 60s, we're getting a fair amount of rain, and I just had a winter's worth of firewood dropped off at my house, so I guess I'll spend my Labor Day Weekend stacking wood.

Click to enlarge
The good news is that all the special fall beer releases are either on the street or just around the corner, and we're not quite done with beer festivals yet.

In my last couple of blogs, I talked about the upcoming Bodega-Fest (Saturday, September 14th) in Anchorage and Talkeetna Beer Festival (Saturday, September 28th) in -where else? - Talkeetna.  If you can attend either or both, I'd highly recommend you do so, as I'm sure they will be excellent festivals.  Let's get out and enjoy ourselves while we can, 'cause we'll be hip-deep in snow before you know it.

Speaking of getting out and enjoying yourself,  Glacier BrewHouse will be having a Beer Dinner on Thursday, September 19th, starting at 6:30 pm.  It's $69.95 per person, which includes even the tip.  Here's the menu:

Click to enlarge

Sounds like it will be some amazing food paired with exceptional beers, which is my definition of an outstanding beer  dinner.  Call 274-2739 for tickets.

Don't forget the Kassik's Brewery's upcoming Beer Dinner on September 11th at Jack Sprat Restaurant in Girdwood.  It will be $75 per person and you can make reservations at 907-783-5225. It's a five course meal, and I haven't seen a food menu yet, but Kassik's has posted that their Abbey Ale, Orion's Quest Red Ale, Caribou Kilt Wee Heavy Scotch, Smoked Russian Imperial Stout, and award-winning Vanilla Blueberry Cream Ale will all be served.

I wrote last week about the coming closure of Ring of Fire Meadery in Homer.  Thestarted a liquidation sale last Tuesday.All meads and merchandise - except cysers - are half price.  There a limit of 25 750ml bottles per person per day.  See my column in next week's Redoubt Reporter for more details on the closure.

Speaking of sales, Gold Hill Imported Beer and Fine Wines on the Parks Highway, just south of Fairbanks, will be having a Craft Beer Tent Sale today and tomorrow from noon to 9 pm.  The sale will take place rain or shine, so if you're reading this in Fairbanks, you should check it out.

As long as we're talking about Fairbanks, Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company has a new brew on tap: Blueberry Groove, a Blueberry Wheat Ale.  Here's how they describe it:

Using the same base as the Paystreak Hefeweizen, Pacific Northwest blueberries are added and the beer is then filtered. The banana esters and blueberry aroma come off the nose and go to the finish. 5.6% ABV, 13 IBUs.
At HooDoo Brewing, their Stout is back on tap, replacing their XPA.

Denali Brewing in Talkeetna has announced that they will be releasing their Chuli Stout in cans soon.  Here's a picture (lifted from their Facebook page) which shows what the news cans will look like.

That will give them four beers in cans: Mother Ale, Twister Creek IPA, Single Engine Red, and Chuli Stout.

Anchorage Brewing Company has announced that they will soon be releasing a batch of Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast brewed at their facility.  Here's the graphic for it:

Snow Goose Pub/Sleeping Lady Brewery has a new cask version of their Braveheart Scottish Ale on tap; this one has heather flowers added to the cask.

At Midnight Sun Brewing Company, they've just released this year's batch of their justly famous Berserker Imperial Stout.  You can find it at the brewery on in the stores around Anchorage; I don't think any has made it down here to the Peninsula yet.

I topped in for lunch at St. Elais Brewing Company yesterday.  In addition to their usual regular beers, they were offering Island Girl, Flower Child XPA, Fair Trade Porter, and their Framboise Lambic.

I've also received word from Rob Weller of Specialty Imports that a couple of new brews from Gigantic Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon, have made it to Alaska.  Here are the labels and descriptions:

High Fidelity, a dry-hopped pale ale, 5.9% ABV, 35 IBUs

Hellion, a dry-hopped Belgian Golden, Ale, 8.5% ABV, 23 IBUs

Given how much I've enjoyed most of Gigantic's previous releases, I'm definitely going to give both of these a try.

I only have two new beer reviews for this week.  As promised last week, I tried Anchor Brewing's BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red Ale.  It poured a clear red color in the glass, with a nice, cream-colored head.  The aroma was sweet and slightly nutty, with the maple being easy to pick out.Carbonation was good, and the mouthfeel was medium.  The flavor profile was well-balanced, with some nice up-front bitterness.  Overall the beer was slightly sweet, then a bit more bitter on the finish, with elements from Anchor's house yeast.  Another nice brew from the legendary Anchor Brewing Company. 6% ABV.

The second beer I tried was Milepost #2 from Denali Brewing Company's Flag Stop series, a
Flanders Red Ale.  This beer will not be released to the public for another six weeks or so, but Boe Barnett was nice enough to give me one to try last month when I was in Talkeetna.  It poured a deep clear ruby, with a massive off-white head. The nose had plenty of tartness, including some sour cherry notes.  Carbonation is excellent and the mouthfeel is nice.  The flavor profile is clean, with good lingering sourness on the finish. 6.6% ABV. An excellent take of the Flanders Red Ale style, and even better than Milepost #1, in my humble opinion!  If you like sour beers, don't miss this one!

Well, that's it for this week.  Hope you all enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and drink lots of great beer.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

No comments: