Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Blog of 2013

This will be it for 2013, baring some incredible breaking news that would necessitate me taking up my virtual pen between now and the New Year.  Looking back, it's been another great year for craft beer, and craft beer in Alaska in particular.  Good, sustainable growth, more new breweries on the horizon, multiple exceptional brews released -- yes, 2013 was a darn good year.  So let's wrap it up and go have a nice strong beer...

Lots of breweries and brewpubs will be closed on various days in the next two weeks, so rather than try to list them here, I will just remind you to check their websites or Facebook pages.

Speaking of websites, the one for AK Beer Week has been updated and new events are being listed regularly.  If you will be in Anchorage anytime from 10 to 19 January, you should definitely check out your options.

The Twelve Days of Barley Wine at Glacier BrewHouse is close to wrapping up, but you still have today and tomorrow to try them out.

Denali Brewing has released Milepost #2 in their Flagstop series; it's a Flanders Red Ale (see my review on 8/30/2013).  You can find bottles at their Beer Garden or Twister Creek in Talkeetna, or at SubZero in Anchorage.  They also have a slew of beer dinners coming up.  Here's the list that Shawn Standley sent me:

Fri, Dec 20: DBC Beer Dinner at Chinooks in Seward.  Each course will also have a bourbon paired with it. Here's the menu:

Chinook’s Bourbon/Beer Dinner Dec. 20, 2013
Welcome Beer: Agave Gold

Course 1
Grilled Spot Shrimp, Grits, Candied Bacon, Red Eye/Red Pepper Gravy, Truffled Popcorn
Cask Conditioned Single Engine Red aged with Pomegranate

Course 2
Smoked Beet and Goat Cheese Pie, Radish Sprouts, Pickled Beets, Foie Gras Mousse
Slow Down Brown

Course 3
Porter Braised Beef Cheek, BBQ Baked White Beans, Peppered Cabbage Roll, Pickled Peppers
Krük Schwarzbier

Course 4
Buttermilk Ice Cream, AK Barley Waffle, Vanilla Scented Fried Chicken, Bourbon Syrup
2010 Old Mad Dog Barley Wine

Mon, Jan 13: DBC Beer dinner at Eagle River Alehouse featuring: Agave Gold, Slow Down Brown, Kruk, NO DAM Way RyePA, 2013 Old Mad Dog Barley Wine

Mon, Jan 13: DBC Beer dinner at the Anchorage Curling Club.  Beers to be determined

Thurs, Jan 16: "I'll Have Another" collaboration release party at Café Amsterdam.  Coffee Stout.  Breweries: Denali Brewing, Midnight Sun, Kenai River Brewing, Haines Brewing

Jan ?-19: Burgers and Brew challenge at Taproot featuring burger and beer pairings from Denali Brewing and Midnight Sun

Note the collaboration beer release above at Cafe Amsterdam.  Each year, the four breweries listed agree on a beer style at the Haines Beer Fest to brew and release for AK Beer Week.  This year the style was coffee stout and all four beers will be released at 5PM on Thursday, January 16th.  Here's the flier for that:
I posted back on 12/6 pictures of Anchorage Brewing Company's new labels.  Here's some shots of the bottles themselves, "borrowed" from the Facebook page, fresh from being imprinted:

ABC will also be doing a Deal with the Devil Day at four bars in the Lower 48, and releasing their Jolly Pumpkin collaboration beer, Calabaza Boreal at The Culmination Festival on May 17th.

Out at Kassik's Brewery, they are rotating several specialty draft brews through New Years. including Chocolate Cherry Stout, Spiced Cream Ale, White Chocolate Ale (new release), and Smoked Russian Imperial Stout. They are also offering 10% off select 22 oz bombers, hoodies, shirts, hats, ornaments, and glassware.

Speaking of glassware, Homer Brewing Company has 2014 collectible pint glasses on sale.

Kenai River Brewing just finished brewing  batch #3 of their famous Gummi Bear Tripel, using 7,425 of the little candies.  Not sure when they plan to release it, but it's on the way.  I had a great time at the brewery last Friday night, signing books and drinking beer, even if it was blowing a blizzard out side!

St. Elias Brewing Company will be releasing H & H Winter Warmer tomorrow, Saturday, December 21st.  See last week's blog for a description of this collaboration brew between myself and Zach Henry.  If you try it, I'd appreciate some feedback, so feel free to make a comment and tell me what you think.

Speaking of feedback, if you are one of the folks out there who has purchased a copy of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Everything In Between (Beer on the Last Frontier: The Craft Breweries of Alaska) (Volume 2) , I'd appreciate it if you would take a moment to go onto and write a short review of it.  Feedback like that is the only way things get improved, and I'm always eager to write better.

Well, I think that about wraps things up for 2013.  I want to thanks each and every one of you for taking the time to read my ramblings in this blog.  I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.  I'll see you in 2014.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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