Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Okay, We're Full Up Down Here!

Less than a week to go on dip net season, and I'm confident that I speak for all the inhabitants of the Central Peninsula when I say "Enough already!" For the last couple of weeks, we've been inundated down here with the fisherfolk. Just turning on to the Sterling Highway means taking your life into your hands, the grocery stores are packed, and as for visiting any of the local breweries/brewpubs, good luck! I managed to slip into Kenai River Brewing last Friday to do a book signing, in the hopes of aiding owner Doug Houge in offloading some of the inventory he was so nice to buy from me. Doug told me that for the last week, they'd set a new record for food and beer sales each day. It's great for our businesses down here, but for the rest of us, man, what a hassle!

All the breweries around the state seem to be working at full throttle, trying to keep up with the summer demand. I'm frequently seeing posts about new beers being released, many of which seem to be made with fruit. So if you haven't checked out your local brewery lately, it's probably a good idea to do so and see what they might have on tap that's new.

Speaking of new, Anchorage Brewing Company will be two beers in cans on Friday, 28 July: Crazy Ray's IPA and Lines Double IPA. These will be the first two beers off the brewery's brand-new canning line. Saturday, July 29th will be The Culmination Festival; if you're planning to attend, you'd better have your tickets already, as it's sold out. Gabe Fletcher has also released some additional details about The Deal with the Devil Day, October 28th. It's been decided that sales of the boxed set will be first-come, first-served, one to a customer, so if you want one, you had better plan on standing in line to get it.

Photo courtesy of Anchorage Brewing

Also this Saturday, the 5th Annual Beer & Bacon Fest will be happening in Anchorage:

At Midnight Sun Brewing, long-time brewer Davy Cacy has left to attend diving school. The brewery farewell party for him on July 17th, at which they tapped his last brew, Walk the Plank West Coast IPA. I'd like to wish Davy the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

Congratulations to Odd Man Rush Brewing in Eagle River for winning the Bear Paw President's Community Service Award from the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.

Photo courtesy of Odd Man Rush Brewing

Congratulations as well to Bearpaw River Brewing of Wasilla for winning the 2017 Foraker Award for Best Family Owned Business from Alaska Business Monthly Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Bearpaw River Brewing

Girdwood Brewing now has a crowler machine, allowing it to offer its beers to go in freshly-filled 25.4 oz. aluminum cans.

Photo courtesy of Girdwood Brewing 

Seward Brewing Company and Bleeding Heart Brewery have brewed their first collaboration beer: Imperial Chowder Stout. Ingredients included potatoes from Palmer and oysters from Ressurection Bay.  Should be interesting, to say the least...

Photo courtesy of Bleeding Heart Brewery
Tickets are now on sale for the 6th Annual Capital Brewfest, to be held at the Juneau Arts and Cultural Center on September 23.

Tickets are also on sale for the 7th Annual Kenai Penisula Beer Festival on Saturday, August 12th, at the Soldotna Sports Center. You can get them online or at one of the local breweries. As you can see from the flyer below, there will be over 20 breweries in attendance.

I'm still doing Drinking on the Last Frontier, my monthly radio show, on KDLL FM 91.9 Kenai-Soldotna. My next show will be broadcast this Saturday, July 29th, at 11 AM. On it, I'll be interviewing Bobby Wilken of HooDoo Brewing Company in Fairbanks and Matt Pyhala, the Festival Coordinator for the Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival. If you miss the show's broadcast, you can find a podcast of it on

Eat your heart out, Edward R. Murrow...

That's it for news this time around. I've only got one new beer review this time, though I just pulled a couple of beers out of my cellar. I haven't opened them yet, but I'm sure I will have before my next blog.

Kenai River Brewing's Grapefruit Lil' SIPA: I reviewed the base beer, KRBC's Session IPA or Lil' SIPA, back in my 9/28/2016. I liked it then and I've enjoyed it frequently since then. This version is infused with grapefruit, obviously. It poured a hazy red-gold color with a small white head. The aroma had strong grapefruit notes, almost completely overwhelming the contribution from the Citra hops. The mouthfeel was light and the carbonation was good. On the palate, there's a ton of grapefruit flavor, but it interacts well with the bitterness and citrus notes from the hops. If you really love grapefruit, you'll certainly like this beer. If like me, you're not terribly fond of it, you'll likely find this beer not to your taste. 4.5%, 65 IBUs.

That's it for this blog. As mentioned in this blog and my last one, there are many beer festivals happening in the next few weeks, so it's a good time to be making plans about which ones you'll attend. Maybe I'll see you there!

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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