Friday, June 16, 2017

King Street Breaks Ground

It's summer at last here on the Kenai Peninsula. The weather is sunny, the reds are running, and the tourists are in town spending money. It's a great time to be in Alaska!

There's big news from the big town. King Street Brewing in Anchorage has just broken ground on a new brewery. Opened in September of 2011, the brewery is currently in a rented location at 7924 King Street, and its rapid growth in the last few years has it straining at the seams, so a new building was the next logical step.

The new building will be located 9050 King Street, with the entrance off of 91st Avenue, a stone’s throw from Anchorage Brewing Company. The brewing area in the new facility will comprise about 10,000 square feet of the 18,000 square foot building. The new brewery will be three stories tall.  The brewery side will essentially be a single story. There will be a catwalk for customers to come through and overlook the brewing operations. The tap room will be on the east side. The second level will be unoccupied for a while and plans on that space will evolve after the brewery opens. The third floor will be an event room and some offices. The brewery current 10-barrel brewhouse will also be replaced with a new and bigger system from Specific Mechanical. Plans are always subject to change, but the target date for opening the new facility is March 1, 2018. So hearty congratulations to Shane, Dana, and the rest of the King Street team.

King Street is also holding a Father's Day Event this weekend. Here's what they had to say about it:

You repeatedly asked.  We polled anyway.  You responded with incredible force.  We finally got it.  We've brewed it!  The beer known as King Street Breakfast Hef/OJ Hef/Hop 'O The Morning/and probably a few names we don't even know about is about to be back!
We'll be tapping this wonderful beer in our tap room this Saturday afternoon.  And, we've also been planning a special treat for Dad in celebration of Father's Day!  On Sunday, we will be serving up pancakes, bacon and eggs, a perfect pairing with the Breakfast Hefe.  This breakfast buffet ($9 for adults $5 for children) will run from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM and will include fixings such as mixed berries, whip cream, and a Belgian Beer infused maple syrup reduction.  Berry smoothies and other beery =) combinations will also be available for purchase.
...because we all know that Dad would really appreciate a good meal and great beer on his day. :)
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!
Resolution Brewing Company will also be having a Father's Day Beer & Brunch Event.

Arkose Brewery taps a new beer today, Green Chair Kolsch.

Midnight Sun Brewing Company has received label approval for its new Wolf Pack Pilsner. Here's the label:

It should be released in 12 oz. cans in October. Also on tap at MSBC is this year's I'll Have Another brew.

As mentioned in my last blog, tickets are now on sale for The Culmination Festival taking place on Saturday, July 29th. There are only 300 total, and at last report over 200 had already sold, so if you are planning to attend, you'd better hurry up and buy one. I've got mine...

James Roberts, who has been writing a weekly beer column in The Anchorage Press under the pen name Dr. Fermento for twenty years, has begun writing a new column entitled “Beer Frontiers” for the online magazine Crude. You can find his new stuff at

The man, the legend...
Beer drinkers in Iowa will soon be able to get their hands on an award-winning beer from the Last Frontier, as Alaskan Brewing will be on tap and on the shelves there this summer. Alaskan is partnering with Johnson Brothers Distributing to bring a variety of brews made from the glacier-fed waters of Juneau to the heartland. In a surprising way, this reestablishes a 30-year link that the founders of Alaskan Brewing have with Iowa.

Co-Founder Geoff Larson was mentored by the staff at Millstream, a craft brewery in Amana, where he worked as a short-term visiting brewing apprentice in 1985. “Iowa was where I brewed at a commercial level for the first time. Those were exciting days early in my brewing career, learning from excellent craftsmen and getting to know and appreciate the hard-work ethic of the people of Iowa. Their passion for their community and their work has left a lasting impression on me.” said Larson.

Iowa marks the 19th state of distribution for Alaskan.

Through its so-called “global disruptive growth group” ZX Ventures, Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired a minority stake in RateBeer, one of the most popular and reputable beer ratings and resource websites in the world.

But the deal isn’t exactly new. In fact, it closed this past October following eight months of talks. It went unannounced, however—to both the public and RateBeer stakeholders—because the two sides wanted to get “points on the board” to prove the value of the partnership without the “disruption” of making it public. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Reaction within the craft beer community was swift and negative, with several craft breweries, most notably Dogfish Head Brewing, with CEO and founder Sam Calagione posting the following on the brewery’s website:

 We were troubled by the announcement last week that ZX Ventures, which is fully owned by the global conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev, has purchased a portion of RateBeer. We believe this is a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics and a blatant conflict of interest. The SPJ’s Code of Ethics includes a section called “Act Independently” and includes the following guidelines:
- Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
- Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.
- Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
- Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
- Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.
It is our strong opinion that ABI’s ownership of RateBeer, and other properties positioned to cover the craft brewing community like October and is in direct conflict with multiple guidelines listed above.
To that end, we have respectfully asked Anheuser-Busch InBev and RateBeer to remove all Dogfish Head beer reviews and mentions on the RateBeer website immediately. It just doesn’t seem right for a brewer of any kind to be in a position to potentially manipulate what consumers are hearing and saying about beers, how they are rated and which ones are receiving extra publicity on what might appear to be a legitimate, 100 percent user-generated platform. It is our opinion that this initiative and others are ethically dubious and that the lack of transparency is troubling.
To our fellow independently-owned brewers, we encourage you to join us in this effort to ensure consumers continue to get the best and most accurate information about their beers. For everyone else, we encourage you to shift the sharing of your beer opinions and reviews to another platform that remains loyal to the principles of journalistic integrity. America’s Independence Day is just around the corner. Support the indie craft brewing movement!
As of now, RateBeer has not removed Dogfish Head nor any of the other craft breweries requesting removal from its website.

Personally, I've never really used RateBeer much, being more partial to Beer Advocate, but if you do use it, you might want to rethink doing so.

Lupulin powder experimentation continues. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this hop powder is produced from whole leaf hops using a cryogenic separation process that preserves all components of each fraction. The purified lupulin powder contains most of the resin compounds and aromatic oils derived directly from whole hop flowers. It is ideal for use in the whirlpool or fermenter for imparting intense hop flavor and aroma with minimal vegetal flavor and improved yield. Anchorage Brewing held a second release of its Lines DIPA on June 9, while Girdwood Brewing is using Mosiac and Citra hop powder in its Fairy Dust Session IPA, to be released in conjunction with this year’s Girdwood Forest Fair. The beer will be on tap at the Fair’s beer garden July 7th thru the 9th.

Kenai River Brewing Company has new summer hours. Both tap room and kitchen are now open from noon to 8 PM, seven days a week.

49th State Brewing Company in Healy will be holding another Euphoria Festival next weekend. Here's the flyer:

Click to enlarge
That's about it for news this time, so let's move on to beer reviews. I've got two reviews for you this time.

Ommegang Brewing's Game of Thrones' Bend the Knee Ale: I believe this is the first one of these GOT series brews that I've tasted. It poured a slightly cloudy gold with a big and pillowy white head. The aroma had the earthy, spicy Belgian yeast notes you expect in the style. Carbonation was great, and the mouthfeel was light. The flavor profile was classic Belgian Strong Golden Ale, very similar to Duvel, with plenty of earthy yeast notes and a nice hoppiness. A delicious beer. 9% ABV.

Deschutes Brewing's American Wheat: Full disclosure, I received this beer in the mail as a free sample from the brewery. It's a new release, and apparently the first time Deschutes has brewed and bottled this particular style. It poured a slightly cloudy gold with a small but fairly persistent white head. The nose had light citrus notes. The carbonation was good and the mouthfeel was light. On the palate, the beer had light and spritzy wheat notes. Bottom line, it's a refreshing summer beer, quite light overall. 5% ABV, 25 IBUs.

That's about it for this time around. Remember to listen to my radio show, Drinking on the Last Frontier, next Saturday, June 24th, at 11 AM on KDLL FM 91.9 Kenai. If you miss it, all my shows are available via podcast at If you got any suggestions for topics you'd like me to tackle on the show, feel free to give me a shout.

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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