The Last Craft Beer Frontier, Alaska!
We'd enjoy the Midnight Sun a bit more with a tasty Alaskan-brewed ale in our hands. Just saying.
When we consider Alaskan Brewing companies and taprooms and the sources from which they derive their ingredients, we consider water in its purest form, running off the back of a cold glacier. We consider verdant brewing materials, like the actual spruce branches used in Skagway Brewing Company's Spruce Tip Blonde Ale. We consider the hard work, determination, and grit of frontier life, and how that informs their craft beer artistry. We've never been to an Alaskan brewery before, but we're fairly certain that those qualities and the flavors come through in the beer are Alaska itself.
Why? Because it's Alaska. Because the 49th state's people are hearty and vigorous. This isn't some homebrewer on the East side of Cranston, RI plying his trade with a Coleman cooler and the outdoor garden spigot, though we'd drink that beer too. No, to be part of the Alaskan Brewing community is to commit to quality.
And also, Rhode Island Breweries are quality. Sorry about that, RI. No disrespect.
Regions of Alaska
Wow. There's no other way to describe the majesty of the state. Alaska is ~20% of the United States by land mass. Mountains, rainforests, river valleys, and all types of geography comprise it. Alaska's diversity extends into all aspects of its culture, ecology, economy, topography, and more. Here are the state's regions and some of their approximately 50 breweries. The rest are further down.
Brewery-less. That we know of. Who knows, maybe Moose have learned how to brew and make a mean Belgian Quad. Probably take a whole case of beer to get them drunk, am-I-rite!?
With breweries in Fairbanks and Healy, the Interior Region isn't left without, like the Far North, but it isn't quite Southcentral either. Any further and we stare down the Far North. Breweries of note include:
There's nothing like enjoying a 907 Frontier-style lager on the roofdeck of 49th State Brewing.
Southcentral plays host to microbreweries and tasting rooms in Anchorage, among the Kenai Peninsula, and along the Matanuska River. Folks in town to view the Northern Lights can enjoy a fresh pint at several of the Matanuska taprooms that are spread out amongst the region. They could even take a class at Anchorage's Magnetic North Brewing Company and learn how to brew a tasty pale ale.
If you're looking for an English IPA in the last frontier, Kenai River Brewing's Sunken Island IPA is it. If you're looking for a brewery tour, check out Anchorage's Big Swig Tours who are "... exploring the Last Frontier, one craft brewery at a time."
Southeast Inside Passage
Home of Glacier Bay National Park, dozens of islands, and the state's capital city, Juneau, the Southeast Inside Passage is a much easier place to get a fresh pint of brew than the Far North, Interior, and Southwest regions. The land is known for having plenty of waterfalls, both in nature, and in regional taprooms and Alaskan brewpubs.
Unfortunately Skagway's Gold Rush Brewery and Sitka's Baranof Island Brewing Company closed, the latter taking their robust barley wine with them. Fortunately, on the other side of the coin, you can buy kegs at Alaskan Brewing Company, along with crowlers and growlers.
Southwest Alaska consists of Katmai National Park, Kodiak Island, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Yukon Delta. Kodiak Island Brewing is a great stop if you're in the actual city proper. If you can even call the Olds River Inn within city limits, well, then you got us, since it's about 35-40 minutes out of town.
A List of Craft Beer Breweries in Alaska
Each listing includes their street address and/or contact information. Some breweries include both. For the ones that we have patronized, we have listed a write-up review with some thoughts on their beer, food, menu, tasting room, etc.
Feel free to reach out to us if the information is inaccurate, or the brewery closed, or, if you really just wanna talk about beer - we are here for you.
All breweries, taprooms, and brewpubs in AK. Now go visit them.