Friday, March 27, 2015

The End of March

It's the end of March and April is right around the corner. Our early spring here on the Kenai seems to be continuing, which is good news. On the downside, the Alaska Legislature is still in session, which means no man's life, property, or liberty is truly safe. However, on balance, things are looking OK right now.

The grand opening of Anchorage Brewing Company's new brewery at 148 W. 91st Avenue last Saturday was a huge success. I got there right at 2 PM, which was smart, since by 3 PM the line to get a beer was about 100 people long! All the usual suspects attended, and everyone admired the amazing facility that Gabe Fletcher has constructed. It truly is a cathedral of beer. If you weren't able to make it to this event, the brewery taproom is open from 2 to 8 PM, Wednesday thru Sunday.

The serving counter

The beer line at 2 PM.

The barrel room

The brewhouse

Having a drink with Jed from Bearpaw River Brewing

The beer line at 3 PM!

Since I was back in Anchorage, I also stopped by Resolution Brewing Company. While there, I sampled its Ixelle Tripel. See my review below. Resolution has another new event happening tomorrow: yoga.

Today is the start of Talkeetna Beer Trippin'. Unfortunately, I'm not able to attend this year; maybe 2016. I posted the Schedule of Events back on March 6, but here is the menu for tonight's Beer Dinner with Denali Brewing at Twister Creek Restaurant.

Click to enlarge

Broken Tooth Brewing Company has announced that for a limited time it will be offering 5 gallon kegs of its gold medal wining Darth Delirium Imperial Stout. The kegs are $110 each and won't last long, but if you're looking for something special for your kegerator, here's your chance.

Alaskan Brewing Company has announced a couple of pieces of good news, following the completion of its major expansion project. First, its new brewery taproom and retail store will open tomorrow, March 28th. Second, thanks to its newly-expanded packaging space, its Icy Bay IPA will soon be joining its Amber Ale and Freeride APA on store shelves in cans.

Photo courtesy of Alaskan Brewing

La Bodega has a sake event coming up in two weeks, on Saturday, April 11th. Here's what they had to say about it:

We're proud to host sake ambassador Marcus Pakiser for our second annual Sake Expo! This year it will be Saturday April 11th at O'Malley's on the Green. We also have tickets for the Sake at the Movies event, to be held at the Snow Goose Theater. $10 to see Akira Kurosawa's classic "Yojimbo!" Sake flights and food available for purchase, popcorn with seasoning bar included in ticket price.

Midnight Sun Brewing Company is releasing three new beers. The first one is being released today, Double Red Hot Ale. Clocking it at 8%, Double Red Hot Ale is a red  double ale with an addition of cayenne, cinnamon and 50 #'s of red hots.

 The second beer, Spiced Carrot Ale, will be released tomorrow.

 The third beer is a surprise, so we'll just have to wait and see...

Glacier BrewHouse has also  released a beer: Citrus India Pale Ale.

Photo courtesy of Glacier BrewHouse
Here's how it's described:

This West Coast style was brewed using orange & lemon peel along with Simcoe & Amarillo hops to render incredible floral & citrus aromas. Unfiltered & tropical. Alcohol: 6.53% by volume Starting Gravity: 15.50 Plato (1.063 S.G.)

Haines Brewing Company is tapping its Captain Cook's Spruce Tip Ale today at the brewery, to celebrate the opening of "Arctic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage" at the Anchorage  Museum. There are even two kegs of the beer at the museum! I reviewed this excellent beer on 6/1/2009.

Finally on the news front, today would have been the late Michael Jackson's 73rd birthday. I had the great honor to meet him on two occasions, and found him to be both a gentleman and a scholar. All of us who read or write about beer owe him a tremendous debt. So please join me today in raising a glass to the Bard of Beer.

Michael Jackson, 1942 - 2007

Moving on to beer reviews, I have six for this week, so that should make up for the last few weeks.

Kenai River Brewing's Frozen River Doppelbock: It poured a deep, clear honey color with a small, cream-colored head that dissipated to a collar. The aroma was full of deep, rich malt notes. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was nice. The flavor profile was classic doppelbock, with deep, rich malt notes predominating. The flavor profile was very clean, and there was a touch of alcohol heat on the finish from the 10.5% ABV. This is the first lager ever produced by this brewery and an excellent example of this classic German style.

Kenai River Brewing's Duck it Down Rye Pale Ale: Brewed in
collaboration with Midnight Sun Brewing, this beer was hopped with Warrior and Sorachi Ace hops and dry-hopped with the latter as well. It poured a deep, clear gold color with a nice white head that left good lace on the glass. The nose was of lemon grass and dill from the Sorachi Ace. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. On the palate there was a lot of dill flavor up front, then some nice peppery notes from the rye. After a couple of glasses, the dill flavor became a bit overwhelming, which did reduce its drinkability somewhat. 6.0% ABV, 50 IBUs.

Resolution Brewing's Ixelle Tripel. Brandon Hall wants to focus on brewing Belgian styles, and he nails the tripel right out of the gate. Ixelle poured a slightly cloudy gold, with a nice white head that slowly dissipated to a collar. The aroma had the spicy, earthy, slightly peppery notes you'd expect from Belgian yeast, plus hints from the coriander added. Carbonation and mouthfeel were both very good. The flavor profile was classic Belgian tripel, slightly sweet with lots of interesting fruity notes, before falling away to a nice finish. As I said, this beer nails the style, so if you like tripels, be sure to get some before it's gone. 9.2% ABV.

Sierra Nevada Brewing's 2015 Beer Camp Hoppy Lagers: This hybrid style is becoming more and more popular, as it blends the hoppiness of an IPA with the clean flavors of a lager. This one poured a nice clear gold with a big white head that left good lace on the glass. The aroma was of hops, but not overpoweringly so. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. There was a nice bitter attack up front, followed by good hop flavor. The only flaw I detected was a rather abrupt finish, but overall, a very nice blend of lager and IPA styles. ABV 7.0%, 55 IBUs.

Sierra Nevada Brewing's Hop Hunter IPA: The beer poured a clear gold with a nice white head. The nose had tons of bright floral and citrus hop notes. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was nice. The beer was clean and crisp on the palate, but not overly bitter, with lots of nice hop flavor and aroma. Overall, a nice IPA, but not as good as Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA, IMHO. 6.2% ABV, 60 IBUs.

Oskar Blues Brewing's Deviant Dale's IPA: This beer poured a deep, clear copper color with a big cream-colored head that left good lacing on the glass. The aroma had lots of big, citrusy American hop notes. Carbonation was good, but the mouthfeel was slightly on the thin side. There was good but not overpowering bitterness, nicely balanced by the malt backbone, then falling away to a good finish. Another fine beer from this excellent craft brewery. 8.0% ABV

Well, that's it for this week. Next week's blog may be a bit late, as I have some events to cover next Friday. Meanwhile, let's keep enjoying this nice spring weather by drinking lots of good, local craft beer.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

No comments: