US - Northwest Alaska Area Guide

Discussion in 'Beer Travel, Events and Releases' started by BulkCarrier, Apr 26, 2014.

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  1. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    So I'm new here on TalkBeer but I live in Juneau and was recommended by ForkAndSpoonOperator to start an area guide for peeps heading up to the Last Frontier.

    I hope this will be a work in progress and hopefully other Alaskan Talkbeer peeps come out of the woodwork.

    Here goes, I'm starting with Juneau because that's what I know and will mention some other places that I "know" a tad about but haven't been able to visit yet.

    Here goes:

    Best bar/restaurant in Juneau (IMO): Hangar By the Wharf (according to the website, it says over 100 beers to choose from, probably I'm thinking they may be exaggerating a bit :rolleyes:), as I think its probably closer to 40 beers. It is true there is about 20 taps during tourist season. Stellar food and proper glassware as well.

    Across the channel, second best place is The Island Pub. They don't mention their beers on their website, but they carry about 10 taps with about 25-30 bottles to choose from. The food is exceptional.

    Triangle Club (I actually haven't been to yet) is right in the downtown area and down the street from a nice bottle shop called Percy's (good rare finds not normally found in the rest of Juneau [Southern Tier, Eel River and Victory products] with a ton of other liquors in the front of the store.

    Tourists take a taxi out to the Valley to McGivney's, nice little local flavor with about 10 taps, absolutely excellent food. You'll most likely find me here after I'm done shooting at the local gun range.

    During tourist season, Twisted Fish (owned by the people of Hangar By the Wharf) makes exceptional food and has a very good Gourmet line up along with a decent amount of taps (I think mainly Alaskan Brewing Company)

    The one and only brewery, Alaskan Brewing Company (known for their world wide acclaimed Smoked Porter)showcases currently 33 different beers.

    Breeze In is our only growler station we have at the Lemon Creek location. The other two carry some good beers, but the one across the channel in Douglas carries a very limited amount.

    I think that sums it up for the Juneau area.

    Here's what I know about the Anchorage area for bottle shops, there's La Bodega, but I've never been there.

    I'm sure most people know about these beer companies: Midnight Sun and Anchorage which I can get their wonderful brews here in Juneau.

    I've heard of this place, but have never been there, Snowgoose.

    Last but not least, I'm gonna give a shout out to a small brewery in Sitka that only sends their beer to the states of Washington and Oregon at the moment, Baranof Island Brewing Company which makes some good beers that I've had.

    There's many more breweries and I hope to add on and that others will too.

    Cheers!
     
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  2. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Alright, I'm back sorry for taking so long to the fine folks of Talkbeer. But if anyone's traveling to the Fairbanks area, here's my research.

    Fairbanks has two breweries in operation, Silver Gulch and HooDoo. Neither one actually sends their beers to Juneau, so I hope some day I can get up there and try their beers.

    The one and only beer store that I can find at the moment is Gavoras Liquor and Wine. I see they got growlers there and some homebrew supplies.

    So there's Fairbanks for ya. I'm still going to report as much as I can on the state I live in and hopefully will be here as soon as I can.

    Cheers.

    Adam
     
  3. jmgrub

    jmgrub real Gs move in silence like lasagna Contributor

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    Very cool of you to go to the effort to put together this resource solo. For what it's worth, I know a couple people who have taken beer vacations to Alaska, and I've heard nothing but the best. Glacier Brewhouse Big Woody Barleywine, for one, comes very highly recommended.
     
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  4. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Thank you. I've heard good things about Glacier Brewhouse as well, now if only I get my fat beer a$$ up there. Hmmm.... yeah someday. Right now, its what I got in Juneau and research for the rest of Alaska until I can get some help from some other Alaskans or perhaps other Talkbeer peeps who have been around the rest of the state to help me out here.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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  5. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Alright, sorry to be piecing this piece by piece, but here's what I know of Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Brewery.

    Eventually, I'll get this done before tourist season, sigh, I see that tourists are starting to show up. Sorry, Talkbeer, I'll work harder to get this out before tourist season is in full bloom.

    Cheers, all!
     
  6. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Alright, I'm back, here we go with some more places and breweries.

    Ok, so today, I'm traveling in my head to the Kenai peninsula. Do we have any fishermen/fisherwomen on here? As I understand, its a spectacular salmon fishing paradise of the world. Anyways, onto the beer, here we go.

    Here in Juneau, the two breweries that are in the Kenai both distribute here. I have some good access to Kassik's and love their Smoked Russian Imperial Stout which is quite similar to ABC's Smoked Porter. If you find yourself in the Kenai, my recommendation is this beer. Kenai River cans three of their beers, Sunken Island IPA, a hoppier English IPA which is often a go to beer for me. The Skilak Scottish Ale, a Scottish ale, that is good for the style. They just started canning their Peninsula Brewer's Reserve, a blond ale.

    In the vicinity of Kenai, Alaska is the town of Soldotna and the home of St Elias Brewing Company. This company doesn't send their brews to Juneau, so I'll have to make my way eventually out there to check them out.

    Ok, so now we're gonna go South a bit towards Homer and give a shout out to one of the newest breweries of the state of Alaska which is Homer Brewing. They're not sending their stuff to Juneau yet, so another brewery I'll have to take the time off to go over, do some fishing and report back on my findings.

    Cheers and I'll keep adding to this thread as I get more information and if they are any Alaskans out there or those who have been up here, feel free to chime in to help me out. Thank you.

    Please send more tourists. ;)
     
  7. jmgrub

    jmgrub real Gs move in silence like lasagna Contributor

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    I had a beer or two from Denali Brewing Company at FoBAB last year. It was some sort of barrel-aged version of their Chuli Stout. Did not remember great things, but it looks like they have some decent-to-solid reviews.
     
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  8. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Yes, thank you for the help. Doh! I can't believe I've forgotten about Denali. :oops:

    I've heard about that beer but have yet to see it in Juneau. I would agree, decent to solid is a spot on description of what they produce. However, because of their prices and I can be a cheap bastard at times, I'll grab a 12 pack of that Twister Creek IPA and makes for a great packable can for a day out fishing, or kayaking or just hiking with some friends.
     
  9. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Not sure if anyone is interested in the "dive bar" strip of Juneau, so uh...here's what I've learned recently:
    The Lucky Lady (sorry no link), but sometimes they'll get some Baranof, Midnight Sun and Denali, other than that, it is what it is. Though I've mentioned Triangle Club above (yes - confirmed dive bar). Next up is Rendezvous, one of the better dive bars I've actually been to in this nation as the tap tends to be just a tad better than some other places in Juneau. Next we have is Viking Lounge, yup, it sure is a dive bar along with Red Dog Saloon (if anything and this is really true for gun lovers - Wyatt Earp's guns are actually resting in Red Dog Saloon which I thought was cool to get my picture with). Last up in the middle of the dive bar strip is a decent bar with food: Front Street Café and Imperial Saloon.

    Well, that's the dive bar situation.

    Here's the only place I know about Ketchikan: Fat Stan's Bar & Liquor Store, sorry no link. Sorry, I honestly don't know much about this place but the one time I was there I was actually fairly impressed as they had some Stone, Midnight Sun, Alaskan Brewing Company, Baranof, Elysian, Ninkasi, Deschutes, Bridgeport, Big Sky and Pyramid, so its a decent place more or less.

    Last but not least two stores I didn't mention up above are:

    Oaken Keg, an attachment of Safeway, but actually has a decent amount of craft beers. Tourists you'll have to take a taxi and just tell your taxi driver to take you to Safeway and you'll see it off to your right at the end of the strip.

    DeHart's Liquors is an attachment to a corner grocery store with amendments to fill up on gasoline before you drive up North to get on the ferry or off depending upon which way you're going. I look at DeHart's as the end of the line as once you go North of the ferry terminal, there ain't nuttin' there other than bears, porcupines, salmon and beautiful scenery. Honestly, DeHart's is your place to go when you forgot to get whatever you wanted for your boat trip in the regular part of Juneau (yes, they have a good amount of cans). I've actually seen more New Belgium there than any other place in the Juneau area.

    Sigh, did I finally get all of Juneau? Dag gum, I certainly hope so.
     
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  10. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Nope, didn't get all of Juneau:

    Here's Salt, a bit of one of the higher end places in Juneau, definitely caters to politicians and snooty fucks. I've only been there once and probably won't ever go back, 4 taps of beer and more wine doesn't impress me, but I realize, yeah I live in the capital of Alaska, so I'll leave it at that. Extremely over rated and over priced in my opinion. Food leaves a bit to be desired for the price.

    Better than Salt, here's Rockwell. Puts Salt to shame with their 15 taps, three of which are rotating ciders (if you like that sort of thing). The food is way better here and probably the absolutely cleanest of beer bars/restaurants in all of Juneau (hangar on the wharf should probably take some tips from this place). Glad the snooty politicians don't know about this place (yet). Luckily because this is up the street from the dive bars, that is probably why they don't know about this just yet.
     
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  11. dvelcich

    dvelcich

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    My wife and I will be cruising around Alaska from the 2nd through the 10th. Here's the itinerary:

    DAYPORTARRIVEDEPART
    Day 1Seattle, WA4:00 PM
    Day 2... Fun Day At Sea------
    Day 3Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord
    Day 4Skagway, AK7:00 AM9:00 PM
    Day 5Juneau, AK7:00 AM4:00 PM
    Day 6Ketchikan, AK10:00 AM9:00 PM
    Day 7... Fun Day At Sea------
    Day 8Victoria, BC, Canada10:00 AM10:00 PM
    Day 9Seattle, WA7:00 AM

    Anyone have any suggestions as far as beer related things to do, sightseeing, or excursions? I'm also interested in ticking some Alaskan TBers if anyone is interested. Let me know, and thanks in advance.
     
  12. OakedCanuck

    OakedCanuck

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    I'm not sure how successful you'll be in those AK destinations. If you were up in Anchorage I could help but alas. Sorry.

    Victoria --> Driftwood Brewing. Bottle shops = The Strath (it is in the old Strathcona Hotel, srs).

    I'd love to tick you if you have some time in Seattle. Hit me up.
     
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  13. dvelcich

    dvelcich

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    We'll be there tomorrow evening. I haven't done any Seattle research. Any suggestions?
     
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  14. OakedCanuck

    OakedCanuck

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    How long will you be in Seattle? I am meeting up with jmgrub tomorrow for some golf and beers. Will probably end up at Brouwers or Fremont Brewing. Are you mobile?
     
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  15. dvelcich

    dvelcich

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    At Toronado now. We'll be heading to Bottleworks, then Brouwers, then Fremont, then Elysian.
     
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  16. dvelcich

    dvelcich

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    At Bottleworks drinking some Almanac sours... Awesome.
     
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  17. dvelcich

    dvelcich

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    Brouwers drinking Adam and slamming a lamb burger.
     
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  18. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Sorry dvelcich for missing you, dude. Agree with OakedCanuck Anchorage has it the best in this state.

    However, for anyone else who is learning more about Alaska, here's the latest for Skagway:
    Alaska Liquor store has a decent selection for brews as Anchorage, Midnight Sun, Elysian, Ninkasi, Two Beers, Deschutes, Kona and Lagunitas and Stone were seen here.

    Also, this little seasonal brewery by the name of Gold Rush makes a hell of a way better AIPA than Skagway's. Their other stuff is just okay. Skagway Brewing makes a great brown ale and Spruce Tip blonde ale.

    Red Onion is a tourist trap unless you're into checking out big boobed jailbait.

    Bonanza is probably one of the better choices for Skagway as they carry some Ninkasi, Alaskan and Midnight Sun. The food is the best in town.

    Cheers.
    Adam
     
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  19. blackcloud

    blackcloud

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    Well, I'll toss in what my pal Nakedwhendrunk has apparently left out, the second best selection of handles in Juneau, the Alaskan Hotel and Bar. 15-ish taps, with an obvious slant towards AK brews, usually about 5 of them are Alaskan Brewing, but they'll also have at least one Midnight Sun, usually a Baranof, and occasionally Glacier, Denali, or Kenai River beers, along with other NW craft (think Elysian, Ninkasi, Deschutes, etc), and Old Rasputin is always on. Don't let Adam make you have a pint of it as your last beer of the night, you'll regret it the next morning.

    As for my former home of Fairbanks, He got it right with Silver Gulch and HooDoo (HooDoo is WAY better and an absolute must-hit for anyone traveling through Fairbanks) Gavora's is a great spot to pick up beers, with a 20-tap growler bar as well, however beware of old beers. I was there last month and noticed some 2+ year old IPA's in the cooler.

    The best beer selection in Fairbanks currently resides at Brown Jug. 40-tap growler bar, a great selection of bombers and multi packs from the NW and the best selection of AK beers in the city from I believe every brewery that packages... And on my last visit a greatly increased selection of belgians, and other euro beers, as well as probably the biggest mead selection in the interior.

    Northern Vines is another good spot with a small, but well curated selection of beers, some of which you won't find anywhere else in town.

    And just out of town between Fairbanks and Ester is Gold Hill Liquors. Prior to Brown Jug, this was definitely your spot for euro beers in the area, along with interesting stuff that you won't see at other stores in town. However, most beer is warm, and exposed to light, and often OLD. buyer beware, but you may be able to find that limited release that has disappeared from shelves everywhere else in the world hanging out here.
     
  20. jmgrub

    jmgrub real Gs move in silence like lasagna Contributor

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    So Red Onion is like a classic car show, look but don't touch?
     
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