Meads, ales, and lagers, oh my!

Rebecca Coleman / Sun Star Reporter
April 26, 2011

The Pub hosted the Taste of Alaska Beer Festival on Saturday, April 23. Eleven Alaska breweries participated, bringing with them a total of 39 beer selections for attendees. Each participant was given a tasting tumbler and 16 tickets, so they could test out 16 different beers.  There was a great variety to suit every pallet.

“It gives you an opportunity to try new beer and Alaskan breweries,” said senior Liz Wallace, a pub employee who was enjoying her night off.  “We have a lot of great beer that regular Alaskans don’t know about because [people] don’t get around. It’s nice when the breweries come to us.”

The breweries represented were: Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company, Alaska Brewing Company, Celestial Meads, Kenai River Brewing Company, Glacier Brew House, Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Kodiak Island Brewing Company, Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop, Sleeping Lady Brewing Company, Moose’s Tooth Brewing Company and Denali Brewing Company.

“Celestial Meads is my personal favorite,” said senior Bronwyn Harrod.  “I’ve never had them disappoint.”  This is the second beer tasting Harrod has attended at the Pub.  Her first beer tasting was also her first Pub experience, so the event has sentimental value for her.

Celestial Meads brought one beer, “Cyser Does Matter,” which was a blend of mead and cider.  It tasted like apple pie in beer form.  It was wildly popular, so they ran out fast.

“Cleopatra’s Kiss” from the Denali Brewing Co. was also a crowd favorite.  This was a Belgian pale ale.  It had a unique flavor due to its combination of spices: gingerbread, nuts, chocolate, toast and a hint of lavender.

Due to the popularity of “Raspberry Wheat” from Moose’s Tooth that the Pub usually carries, it was no surprise that the Glacier Brew House’s “Raspberry Wheat” was also a crowd-pleaser.  Glacier Brew House’s version of this classic was different from Moose’s Tooth’s because it was less sweet and you could taste the tart raspberry flavor.

Kevin Burton, the head brewer at Glacier Brew House, comes up every year.  “It’s enjoyable because it’s civilized,” he said.  “Everyone is interested in beer.”

Everyone seemed to have a good time at the four-hour beer tasting, but Collin Todd, who came with his girlfriend, had a suggestion.  “There could be more desserts, like desserts with beer in them.  Like chocolate-stout cake.”

“I really liked the demographics of all of the breweries,” said Heather Hege, Wallace’s guest.  “It really shows off the breweries of the state.”

“We’re beer connoisseurs,” said junior Joey Balog, who enjoyed tasting so many new varieties.  “It’s good to bring the community together, and it’s great for Alaska because it gets local brewers out and spreads the wealth.  And it’s a good way to kick off summer.”

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