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SAVOR Brewery Profile: Alaskan Brewing Company (@alaskanbrewing)

Since opening in 1986 in Juneau, Alaska has been continuously brewing award-wining beers on its way to becoming one of the largest breweries in America. Despite this massive amount of growth and volume, Alaskan only distributes to a dozen states so having them at SAVOR this year is a real treat.

I clearly remember my first experience with Alaskan Brewing a couple years ago. I was traveling for work and was checking in at SeaTac airport for a long flight back to Dulles. I had sprung for an upgrade to first class that ran me a mere one hundred dollars. Considering it was a five hour flight, I couldn’t get my credit card out my pocket fast enough.  Upon boarding, and for the remainder of the trip, I enjoyed multiple super fresh bottles of Alaska Amber. I had really shot myself in the foot by not having any Alaskan the whole week while working in Seattle, but I consoled myself by cruising in the first class cabin while drinking fine craft beer all the way home. Since opening in 1986 in Juneau, Alaskan has been continuously brewing award-wining beers on its way to becoming one of the largest breweries in America. Despite this massive amount of growth and volume, Alaskan only distributes to a dozen states, so having them at SAVOR this year is a real treat.

Location: Juneau, Alaska

Type: Production

Available in DC Market: No

Beer #1: Alaskan Amber (Altbier / 5.3 % ABV)

Beer Advocate: B (446 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 85 Overall, 92 Style

Notes: A classic amber with balanced amounts of hops and sweetness. The style is often labeled as boring, but I for one enjoy a having a decent amount of malt without having to take down a big and viscous beast of a beer.

Beer #2: Alaskan Smoked Porter (American Porter / 6.5% ABV)

Beer Advocate: A- (738 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 99 Overall, 100 Style

Notes: The Smoked Porter is Alaskan’s claim to fame amongst beer geeks and is currently ranked as a Top 10 American Porters per Beer Advocate. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and slight smoke come through in this beautifully crafted porter creating a quite complex beer. What surprises me the most about this is how sessionable this one really is. Despite this, Alaskan Smoked Porter is one that should be sipped and enjoyed for a good amount of time. I can’t wait to see how this works with the seared duck.

This is the second year in a row that Alaskan has made the trip over for SAVOR. While I’m not 100 % sure that the same two beers were poured last year, I’m pretty sure that’s the case. I don’t suppose I can find fault in this, but a little part of me wants to try more Alaskan. At the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoy these two beers and can’t blame Alaskan for bringing these two award-winning ales.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.

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