Happy Solstice! I am always more excited about winter solstice, because now we’ll start gaining light, which is a big deal in Alaska. I don’t understand why summer solstice is a bigger celebration; to me it’s a sad day when we start losing daylight. At 11 AM here in Anchorage, Alaska, I am just beginning to see full daylight outside. A nice little dusting of snow on the ground graced our beautiful solstice morning. It will start to get dark at 3:45 and will be dark as night by 4:30, so we’ll get a nice solid 5 hours of daylight today. Not bad when you compare that to Barrow, the most northern town in Alaska, where it has been night for well over 30 days now. On the 20th of November the sun set, and will not rise until the 23rd of January! So I’m glad to have five whole hours of sun today!
The featured beer painting is of Anchorage Brewing Company’s Darkest Hour Imperial Stout aged in whisky barrels! I opened this bottle yesterday at an ugly Christmas sweater party, and it was a big hit. Possibly, the best commercial beer available at the party among good homebrewed stouts including the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which was very palatable, and a homebrewed Russian Imperial Stout. The homebrewed RIS was about 15% ABV, while the Darkest Hour is a mere 13%, although the Darkest Hour won the darkest flavor! I am sure this beer will cellar very well, and I am hoping I get a chance to buy a few more bottles before it is all sold out. It pours like black engine oil, with a dark brown foam, and has rich dark grain flavor that will make you involuntarily go, “Mmmmm!” There must be a ton of dark grain in this beer, but the sourness of it is completely destroyed by the mighty Saccharomyces and the aging process in different kinds of whisky barrels.
Cheers to the diabolical dark genius of Gabe Fletcher at Anchorage Brewing! I can’t wait to visit the new brewery!