In this winter beer blog, we are going to sample another brew from Alaskan Brewery. It is their Winter Ale. If you read my earlier beer blog posts on their beers, you know the history of this craft brewery. If you have not, please, read them to get to know this northwest craft brewery. Let us get into this winter ale.
It has a clear copper color with a white to off white constant head. The aroma has hints of spruce tips notes. The taste has a sweet malty with a heavy focus spruce tips notes. The aftertaste has a crisp aftertaste. It is pretty drinkable beer.
Here is a description from their website (www.alaskanbeer.com):
English Olde Ale. Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol, Olde Ales are brewed in the fall as winter warmers.
Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.
From the seafaring adventurers of the 1700s to the homebrewers of today, adding spruce tips to beer has a rich history in Southeast Alaska. Alaskan Winter Ale was first released by the Brewery in 2000.
Alaskan Winter is made from glacier-fed water, Sitka spruce tips and a generous blend of the finest quality European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties and specialty malts. Our water originates in the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Ice Field and from the more than 90 inches of rainfall we receive each year.
Perfect winter warmer by the fireside or an accompaniment to holiday fare. Serve with roast goose, turkey, ham or lamb. A nice complement to holiday breads, pound cake, or apple pie.
The Story Behind The Label:
Throughout Southeast Alaska, bald eagles can be spotted landing atop the towering old growth forests of Sitka spruce trees. As many as 3,000 bald eagles congregate among these evergreen trees on the shores of the Chilkat River for the last large run of salmon before winter. Sitka spruce trees carry a significance of their own to local Alaskans. The tender new growth of the spruce tips lends a delicious, yet subtly sweet floral aroma to teas, jelly and now our Alaskan Winter Ale.
Here is their website and twitter addresses:
In the end, I have been wanting to this beer for a long time. I was pretty excited to them enter the State of Michigan. I was pretty stun that they skip the City of Chicago. Chicago is a pretty big market for craft beer. Most craft breweries did not want to enter that market because of the laws. On the other side, most craft breweries did not want to enter the Michigan Market because the huge push for Michigan craft beers. Beers that are outside of state get pushed away and do not get a fair shake. I did not know if they will be pushing out their seasonal beers right away. I was pretty happy to see this beer on the shelf. I had to pick up a bottle and try it. I was interested to see how Spruce would work in this beer. There is a Michigan craft brewery that used spruce tips and failed on their beer. The beer was terrible. I knew experienced craft brewery would know how to work it correctly in this beer. They did a great job and it is pretty good. There is a nice balance in this beer. I highly recommend this beer. Go get some! Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/
Bill DJ Weiser