2007 Alaskan Smoked Porter to be released in November
GABF medals raise excitement for 2007 Alaskan Smoked Porter release.
The highly anticipated 2007 vintage of the Alaskan Smoked Porter is being released in November. There is even more excitement about this annual event since Alaskan Smoked Porter recently won medals for both the 2006 and 2004 vintages at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver.
“We look forward to brewing this beer every year,” said Brewing Manager Brent Kesey. “And we really look forward to drinking it. Each vintage is a little different because the smoking process is never exactly the same.
“The 2007 has been very well received by our crew, so we think it will be by our fans, too.”
This unique beer, which has the distinction of being the most award-winning beer in the history of the GABF with a whopping 16 medals, has a deeply loyal fan base among consumers as well as beer judges. On Oct. 13, the day the GABF awards were announced, a Colorado man left Denver at 3 a.m. to fly to Juneau, Alaska, staying in town only long enough to get a brief brewery tour and pick up four cases of 2006 Alaskan Smoked Porter.
It was the third year running that the Colorado man has made the trip to Juneau for the sole purpose of picking up his favorite beer. This time he brought a friend and the two were treated to samples of the 2005 and 2004 vintages, which were being offered as a special nod to the GABF’s Aged Beer category.
One of the most unique characteristics of Alaskan Smoked Porter is that it can be aged like a fine wine. Some yeast is left in it so it continues to condition in the bottle and the smoke acts as a preservative. There’s no telling how long this beer can be aged, with some people reporting enjoying Alaskan Smoked Porter five and even 10 years or more later.
The 2007 Alaskan Smoked Porter is a particularly special vintage because it’s the first batch made since Alaskan Brewing Co. bought and moved the original commercial smoker to the brewery. The same unit has been used to smoke the malt for every vintage of Alaskan Smoked Porter since it was first brewed in 1988.
Alaskan Brewing’s Tom West takes top prize at Fish Alaska Magazine’s Recipe Contest
Tom West, a veteran member of the Alaskan Brew Crew, won top honors for his Crustacean Pepper Pot at the Third Annual Fish Alaska Recipe Contest, held recently at the Kincaid Grill in Anchorage. West was awarded $11,000 in prizes and his winning recipe will be published in the January 2008 issue of Fish Alaska Magazine.
West’s Crustacean Pepper Pot, which is a Mexican/Thai fusion dish made with Alaskan Summer Ale, beat out three other finalists. He recommends pairing the dish with Alaskan Amber or Alaskan Summer Ale.
The four semi-finalists were asked to prepare their recipes in front of a panel of judges and to provide a serving for each of the 50 guest spectators.
“When they announced my name, I got goose bumps,” West said. “It wasn’t until I returned home to Juneau that it really soaked in that I won.” He said the win has made him consider doing more competitive cooking in the future.
“It was outstanding,” recalled Melissa Norris, Fish Alaska Magazine’s publisher and contest judge. “I wish he could make it for me right now.”
West is no stranger to receiving accolades for his cooking. For the past 15 years he’s been a perennial winner at Alaskan Brewing Co.’s annual cook-off, a fun event that showcases cooking with Alaskan beer. In fact, the Crustacean Pepper Pot won a first-place prize at the 2005 cook-off.
The Fish Alaska Recipe Contest was a much more formal affair. “I felt like I was on the Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef,’ with a couple of exceptions,” West said. “You already knew the recipe you were cooking and there was no secret ingredient.”
West was thrilled by the $11,000 in prizes, which include a three-day stay at the Bear Trail Lodge on the Naknek River, a 38-inch Frigidaire BBQ from Allen & Petersen’s Cooking & Appliance Center and a trip to Valdez including two roundtrip tickets from ERA Aviation.
For recipes using Alaskan beer, visit www.alaskanbeer.com.
Tongass National Forest turns 100 and Alaskan brings Winter Ale to the party
Alaskan Winter Ale is being released this month, just in time to help celebrate the 100th birthday of the Tongass National Forest. The largest temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass is home to many Sitka spruce trees, the tips of which are the prized ingredient in Alaskan Winter Ale. It is the tender new growth of Sitka spruce tips that infuse Alaskan Winter Ale with a subtly sweet floral aroma.
On Sept. 10, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a proclamation setting aside land in the Alaskan rainforest as the Tongass National Forest. This land and other tracts set aside previously and since make up the nearly 17 million acre Tongass National Forest.
“The Tongass is home to a lot of wildlife-including some wild Alaskans,” said Marcy Larson, co-founder and co-owner of Alaskan Brewing Co. “We think the one way to celebrate the centennial is to toast the Tongass with Alaskan Winter Ale.”
Alaskan IPA Named Hottest New Craft Brand
Alaskan IPA was recently named the “hottest new craft brand of 2007” by Dan Wandel, Senior Vice President of Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).
Wandel’s assessment was based on the first 13 weeks of IRI data collected since Alaskan IPA’s release in March, in which Alaskan Brewing Co.’s newest beer outperformed other new craft brands in supermarkets in the Pacific Northwest.
Alaskan IPA was initially released in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. In September it enjoyed a very limited released in a few select locations in California, with full distribution in the Bruin state and Reno planned for 2008.
The fruity, citrus nose and hoppy but balanced flavor, as well as the surfing imagery, have proven popular with craft beer drinkers. Alaskan Brewing’s commitment to give 1% of all Alaskan IPA proceeds to clean up and preserve the Pacific Ocean and coastlines in its new Coastal CODE initiative has also proven popular.
Recent CODE activities include three grants given to the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation in Alaska, Stop Oregon Litter & Vandalism and California Paddle 2007. The Brew Crew have also sponsored and taken part in beach cleanups in Yakutat and Juneau that collected 7 tons of garbage and 3 tons of garbage, respectively.
Together craft beer drinkers and Alaskan Brewing Co. are making a difference one beer at a time.
Please contact Communications Manager Amy Phillips at [email protected] or 907-723-0713 for more information, beer samples or photos.