It’s no secret that microbreweries have become hot attractions when traveling to a destination. I enjoy finding local breweries and taste their regional takes on beer. On a cruise to Alaska, my family and I happened upon the warmth of the Skagway Brewing Company before embarking to our next port. It made me curious what other tasty beers would be available in the area. After some research, here are 5 Alaskan breweries to visit during your Alaska Cruise or land tour. **Be sure to check the hours of operation before heading out. Alaskan laws require breweries and distilleries to close by 8pm.**
1.) Skagway Brewing Company – Skagway
Making your way down the wood plank sidewalks to the end of Skagway’s commercial district, you’ll find the Skagway Brewing Company. Established in 1897 for Gold Rush prospectors, it’s a cozy building, with restaurant seating for those with families and additional seating in a small patio in the back. You’ll find plenty of tasty dishes and pub fare, but their claim to fame is the unique Spruce Tip Blonde Ale, which incorporates handpicked spruce tree tips to create a refreshing crispness to the fruit and spice flavors. Pair it with the smoked salmon plate or their amazing chili that you can add over fries or tots.
2.) Denali Brewing Company – Talkeetna
The outside patio is a favorite to enjoy the wide variety of beer styles from a blonde ale and Kolsch, to spiced brown ale or dark German lager. They are also home to Denali spirits for those who want to try local distilled products. A smoke whiskey, coffee whiskey, and spruce tip gin are just a couple of the unique flavors. They have a pub fare menu available and during summer months will be visited by various food trucks. Be sure to take a tour when you’re there! Tour tickets need to be purchased in advance online.
3.) Alaska Brewing Company – Juneau
After exploring Mendenhall Glacier or hiking Mt Roberts trails, you can quench your thirst at one of the more mainstream Alaskan breweries, Alaska Brewing Company. Established in 1986, the founders used almost 100 year old shipping records to brew an Alaskan beer with authentic ingredients. This beer, the Alaskan Amber, has become one of their more popular choices. Also give one of their hard seltzers a try! You can pre-book a tour or tasting room reservation online.
Juneau bonus: Head over to Devil’s Club Brewing Company, if you find the crowd too large at Alaska Brewing Company. Along with their tasty brews, they have a rotating selection of non-alcoholic sodas and their kitchen offers sharables, sandwiches, and every Wednesday offer pizza after 4pm.
4.) Midnight Sun Brewing Company – Anchorage
The oldest brewery in Anchorage (second oldest in the state), Midnight Sun Brewing Company produces more than 40 different ales and lagers per year. You can find their core selections of IPAs and Belgian ales, and even a smoked imperial stout. On the second floor, you’ll find The Loft, with 16 beers and 2 house-made sodas on tap. They have a considerable menu of sharables, sandwiches and salads.
5.) HooDoo Brewing Company – Fairbanks
If your land or cruise tour takes you through Fairbanks, the HooDoo Brewing Company is located in the middle of town. They have a nice variety of beers: Kolsch, lager, IPA, stout. Check their calendar, as HooDoo hosts several events, including a half-marathon, Reindeer & Beer Biergarten, Oktoberfest and more! Their brewery tours are free and you can either call ahead or ask the taproom staff about available tour times. While they don’t have a kitchen on site, they are frequented by local food trucks, to get your grub on.
Like most destinations, Alaska adds it’s own take to the food and drink you may order. Take time to experience not just the flavors, but the incredible community surrounding these establishments. It’s sure to add to your enjoyment of your port visit or land tour.
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