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Home > Alaskan Amber brewed by Alaskan Brewing - Juneau, Alaska

Alaskan Amber brewed by Alaskan Brewing - Juneau, Alaska


Alaskan Amber brewed by Alaskan Brewing - Juneau, Alaska         

Alaskan Amber is brewed an an alt ale. This beer style comes from the German word "alt" meaning "old". This refers to the aging that alts undergo since they ferment more slowly and at colder temperatures than most ales. Slow fermentation helps condition the flavors in Alaskan Amber, contributing to its overall balance and smoothness. Alaskan Amber is based on a recipe from a turn-of-the-century brewery in the Juneau area. It was voted "Best Beer in the Nation" in the 1988 Great American Beer Festival Consumer Poll and was the first GABF Gold Medal Winner for Alt style ales in 1987.
     

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Story Behind the Label
There are no roads connecting the remote coastal community of Juneau, Alaska to the Lower 48 or even the rest of the state. Everything must travel by air or sea. Oceangoing vessels, from fishing trollers to small skiffs, are a common sight as they travel the icy waters of Southeast Alaska. Each evening fishermen from all walks of life return to a safe harbor and close the day with a cold Alaskan Amber.
  

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Review by Beer Advocate
Poured from bottle into a pint glass the beer arrives a clear dark copper amber color with a 1/5 finger cream/off-white head with some retention and lacing, but not much. The nose is caramel sweet with an undertone of toasted barley. A hint of fruity nature as well. The flavor is very much the same, malty, with a semi-sweet presence. Mildly bitter, hints of fruit and nuts. Very easy to drink, very approachable. Earthy hops are mild in flavor. Creamy. Very enjoyable. Finishes smooth and creamy and clean. Adequately carbonated and lighter bodied. Not a ton of flavor, but this is an altbier, and one of the most enjoyable and drinkable I've had.
 
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History of Alaskan Brewing
Alaska has a rich history of brewing. From the explorers of the 1700s through the Gold Rush, many a thirsty Alaskan has been able to enjoy locally made beers.

In 1986, 28-year-olds Marcy and Geoff Larson reignited that tradition when they opened the Alaskan Brewing Company, the 67th brewery in the country and the first brewery in Juneau since Prohibition. Alaskan beers reflect many of the same characteristics of beers that were brewed here during the gold rush era. From the historically based Alaskan Amber recipe to alder-smoked malts and Sitka spruce tips, Alaskan beers reflect Juneau's local brewing history and innovation.

Marcy and Geoff were drawn to the beauty and adventure of Alaska, but finding a livelihood that would allow them to stay was a challenge. "Why not start a brewery?" a friend suggested. Other than the extreme financial and logistical challenges of brewing beer in the Last Frontier, they couldn't think of why not.
Maybe the idea wasn't so far-fetched. After all, Geoff was a chemical engineer and a homebrewer and was married to Marcy, an adventure-seeking accountant and aspiring bush pilot. Together they brought a unique skill set to the task of opening a brewery in Alaska.

While researching brewing in Alaska, Marcy unearthed shipping records from Douglas City Brewing Co. (1899-1907) that listed ingredients for its popular beers and a newspaper article that described the way it was brewed. Geoff homebrewed a batch of the Gold Rush-era brew and they could see what made it so popular. That beer is now known as Alaskan Amber.

In December 1986, Alaskan Brewing Co. officially began operations when Geoff, Marcy and 10 volunteers spent 12 hours hand packaging the first 253 cases of Alaskan Amber for distribution in Juneau, Alaska. From that very humble beginning, Alaskan Brewing Co. has grown to become the most award-winning craft brewery in the history of the Great American Beer Festival and expanded distribution to 12 western states.
  





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