Friday, June 13, 2014

There's a New Place to Eat & Drink Craft Beer in Town

Hello again, folks.  Been a busy couple of weeks.  First, I was sick as a dog for about four days (101+ fever anyone?), then my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson came up for a visit.  Hadn't with visited my #1 guy Liam since he was born in September, so spending time with him has taken precedence over writing about beer!

Liam Kile Thompson

However, while they were here we all went to dinner at a brand-new restaurant, The Flats Bistro, at 39847 Kalifornsky Beach Road in Kenai, which just opened on Friday, June 6th.  Not only do they have exceptional food, they have twelve beers on tap, all of which are brewed in Alaska.  Breweries represented include Kassik's, Kenai  River, Midnight Sun, Denali, Silver Gulch, Glacier BrewHouse, and Alaskan. Even more importantly, owners Luke and Naomi are taking their beer offering seriously.  I know this because (full disclosure) they had me provide training to their staff on beer serving and food pairing on the Monday before they opened.  So if you're going to be in this area and are looking for a place to have some wonderful food and great craft beer (or wine; they have that too), I strongly recommend checking out The Flats.  You can get reservations at 335-1010, but they always hold half their tables for walk-ins.

Photo courtesy of The Flats Bistro
Moving on to other beer news, HooDoo Brewing has been offering a cask-conditioned version of their IPA, as well as a special Fathers' Day deal on their Braulers and glassware.

At 49th State Brewing in Healy, they'll be having a Solstice Brewfest Brewer's Dinner on Thursday, June 19th.  Here's the poster:

Click to enlarge
The Solstice Brewfest itself will take place on Saturday & Sunday, June 20th & 21st.  To see a list of bands and to buy tickets, check out this webpage.

Arkose Brewery reports that their beers are now on tap at the Eagle Hotel and Lounge in Palmer. Ask for their High Ridge Double Red, New Colony Hefeweizen, and Boxcar Porter.

Anchorage Brewing Company has just bottled a couple of new beers.  First, there's their collaboration brew with Jolly Pumpkin, Calabaza Boreal.

Photo courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company

Next, there's Thank You, a German Hefeweizen dosed with Brett.  It's made in gratitude to Gary Klopfer, owner of  Sleeping Lady Brewing, whose brewhouse Gabe has been using to produce his beers. 

Photo Courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company
Finally, the next batch of ABC's original beer, Whiteout Wit, will have a new label design:

Photo courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company

Over at Glacier BrewHouse, there's a new beer on offer, a Black Rye Bock.  Here's how they describe it:

This dark lager combines the characteristics of three winter beer styles. All three of these styles traditionally come from the colder harsher areas of Europe. The styles are (1) Black Beer (aka Schwartzbier) originating from Bad Kostritz in Thuringia (former East Germany); (2) Rye Beer which at one time was only made in hardier areas of Eastern and Baltic Europe; and (3) Bock Beer which is widely known as the higher alcohol lager of Northern Germany. Our Black Rye Bock has a distinctive bitter chocolate palate and black color reminiscent of a black beer. The spiciness from the rye malt shines through in the flavor. The high alcohol balanced with malty sweetness rounds out this black beauty. Smooth drinking with a punch makes this lager a perfect dark quaffer for our Arctic summer. Alcohol: 6.67% by volume. Starting gravity: 17.45 Plato (1.072 S.G.)

Photo courtesy of Glacier BrewHouse
At Midnight Sun Brewing Company, the big news is the return of a classic: Barfly Smoked Imperial Stout is back! See my review of this wonderful brew back on 2/1/2011. MSBC is limiting folks to 6 bottles per person, but even so, it will go quickly, so get yours while you can!

Photo courtesy of Midnight Sun Brewing

Moving on to the Peninsula, Kenai River Brewing has their Black Water Bender back on tap.  I hear they did a roaring business at the Kenai River Festival last weekend.

On Monday, I and my family paid a visit to Seward, and while we were there we stopped in at the Seward Brewing Company.  They had four of their beers available, and I had a pint of their Inked Out Stout, which was quite tasty.  As good as the beer was, the food was even better.  I had a plate of their lamb fires, which are fries smothered in shredded lamb, cheese curds, and gravy.  They were exceptional, and the perfect choice for a cold and rainy day, which is what last Monday was.  If you find yourself in Seward, be sure to stop by and check them out.  I also see that they released a new Imperial IPA yesterday, weighing in at 8.8% ABV.

I shared a growler of St. Elias Brewing Company's TurmOil CDA with my son-in-law a few nights ago and found it to be excellent: nice and dark but no roasty flavors to distract you from the hop flavor.  St. Elias just put two more of their returning summer brews back on tap today: Island Girl Raspberry Kolsch and their Hefeweizen.

Well, that's about it for this week.  I should have some new beer reviews in my next blog, as well as some pictures from the various festivals I been to in the last month or so.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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