Monday, October 3, 2016

Anniversaries Aplenty

I'm shifting my regular blogging day from Wednesday to Monday, and I'm going to try to start getting these out weekly again, rather than every other week. This is my "cut-over blog" so it will be a little shorter than has been typical lately.

It seems we've got a plethora of anniversaries happening this time of year. Glacier BrewHouse celebrated its 20th just over two weeks ago on 9/17, and La Bodega celebrated its 10th with Bodega-Fest on 9/24. As I wrote last week, the La Bodega celebration will continue with a Beer Dinner at Kinley's Restaurant this Wednesday, October 5th. Also, if you are need of a new growler, La Bodega has some lovely ceramic ones, emblazoned with its 10th Anniversary logo.

Photo courtesy of La Bodega

But there are plenty of other anniversaries to celebrate. Arkose Brewery opened for business on October 11, 2011, and it is celebrating its 5th Anniversary all month long. Owner June Gerteisen sent me this list of highlights:

  • New beers (Festbier Dunkelweizen on Sept 30, and Mandarina Moose IPA on Oct 21)
  • Anniversary Beer Meets Canvas (plus Lead Dog hot dog stand)
  • Anniversary Beer Meets Chocolate (plus Humdinger's Gourmet Pizza by the slice)
  • Community Drumming Workshops (Oct. 15, 22, 29) with Percussion in the Valley (also celebrating 5 years of business in Palmer)

The debut of the Mandarina Moose IPA (made with Mandarina Bavarian hops and grapefruit) will coincide with the Beer Meets Chocolate event, which will feature a special custom-made pink grapefruit chocolate from JB ChocolatierHumdinger's Gourmet Pizza will be crafting up local pizza by the slice on their portable grill out front of the brewery.

June has even created a new hand-drawn logo to celebrate this milestone, which will be available several items from the brewery store. Here's what it looks like:

So congratulations to Arkose Brewery on its first five years, and best wishes for the next five!

Alaskan Brewing is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Besides releasing its 30th Anniversary Perseverance Imperial Stout (reviewed below), it is also running a contest using "Alaskan Gold Rush" coasters which double as pull-tabs. If you get a coaster that indicates you might be a winner, you tweet a picture of it to #AlaskanGold to be entered to win prizes, including a grand prize of $5000 in gold! So keep an eye out for them!

Moving on from anniversary news, the annual Beers by the Bay event at Seward's Sea-Life Center will be happening this year on November 5th, from 7 to 10 PM. Here's a flier for it:

Click to enlarge

I've attended this event in the past and always enjoyed myself, so I recommend it.

This Friday, October 7th, the Eagle River Brewfest will be happening from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Eagle River Lions Club. All the money raised goes to support the Boys & Girls Club.

Ther will be a brewfest in Sitka on Alaska Day, Tuesday, October 18th from 2:30 to 6:30 pm at the Totem Square Inn. There's also a Brew Cruise from 1 to 3:30 pm on Sunday, October 16th. You can find more information on both events here.

Glacier BrewHouse has received some used whisky barrels from the Laphroaig Distillery, which is located on Islay, part of Scotland's Inner Hebrides. I'm looking forward to tasting what emerges from them once Kevin Burton gets done working his magic...

Photo courtesy of Glacier BrewHouse

HooDoo Brewing (which will be celebrating its 4th anniversary on Halloween) is sponsoring the Chef's Challenge at the Museum next month. Here's a flier on it:

Click to enlarge

Here on the Peninsula, the big news is the release of this year's Winter Warlock Old Ale by Kenai River Brewing. Saturday was October 1st, the date each year when this beer makes its appearance. Look for a formal review in my next blog, but informally, this beer is always fantastic and not to be missed.

Speaking of reviews, let's get to them. I've got three this week.

49th State Brewing's The Great One Barley Wine: I picked this one up in a 32 oz. crowler when I was in Healy on 19 & 20 September. It poured a translucent ruby with a big, cream-colored head. The aroma made it clear this was an English-style barleywine, as it was all malt with no hops noticeable at all. Carbonation was good, and the mouthfeel was medium. The flavor profile was very clean, with none of the hot fusel oil notes you sometimes get on big beers like this one, just malt notes and plenty of them. There was only a touch of alcohol heat on the long finish. And excellent beer, I enjoyed it immensely. 12.5% ABV, 33 IBUs.

St. Elias Brewing's Oktoberfest Lager: This year's version of this traditional fall beer-style poured a translucent ruby with a nice, off-white head. The nose was simple, with notes of caramel and malt. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light to medium. On the palate, there were all the clean, malt notes that are proper for the style, a classic lager taste. Very nice.

Alaskan Brewing's 30th Anniversary Perseverance Ale: Reviewing my tasting notes for the 25th Anniversary release of this beer, I see that I thought that one needed some cellar time to help the sweet notes dry out and better integrate into the overall flavor profile. Not so with this version. It poured opaque with a nice tan head. The aroma was of chocolate and roasted malt. Carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was medium to heavy. Tons of rich malt notes, chocolate, and syrup, but well-balanced and well-integrated. Only a bit of alcohol heat on the finish. I'll be cellaring a couple of bottles out of curiosity, but this beer is certainly perfect to drink right now. 9% ABV, 50 IBUs.

That's it for this week. Be sure to go out and grab some of these special seasonal/anniversary brews while they last.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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