Home > Alaskan Brewing Wins 2 Gold, 1 Bronze Medal at West Coast Brew Fest
Alaskan Brewing Wins 2 Gold, 1 Bronze Medal at West Coast Brew Fest
Alaskan Brewing Wins 2 Gold, 1 Bronze Medal at 2013 West Coast Brew Fest
Company was awarded two gold and one bronze medals in the 14th Annual
Commercial Craft Brewing Competition of the West Coast Brew Fest. The awards
were announced this week, and the winning beers will be poured for attendees
of the Brew Fest, on Saturday, May 18, at Miller Park in Sacramento.
Alaskan Brewing Company’s Summer Ale was awarded a gold medal in the “Mixed”
category. Summer Ale is a Kolsch style beer, released every year as a seasonal,
and perfect for warm weather and outdoor grilling. Another seasonal, the
spring-released Alaskan Black IPA, was awarded the gold medal in the
“Porter/Black IPAs” category. Black IPA has come out the past two years during
Alaska’s spring breakup, and combines the crispness of an IPA with the rich
malted taste of a porter or stout.
One of Alaskan’s Limited Edition Pilot Series beers, the Imperial Red, was
recognized with a bronze medal in the “Amber Ale” category. Imperial Red
features a full flavor profile balancing big malt flavor with intense hop
Alaskan Brewing has been honored many times in the West Coast Brew Fest,
including recent gold medal winners Alaskan Birch Bock and Alaskan Barley Wine.
For 2013, over 150 Beers were entered in over 18 categories.
Both Black IPA and Imperial Red were seasonal or limited releases earlier this
year, so they may be getting hard to find. But Alaskan Summer Ale has just been
released for the summer season, and can be found throughout Alaskan Brewing’s 14
state distribution area. Finding Alaskan Beer in your area is as easy as
Alaskan Brew Finder.
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
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.