Category Archives: Brewing

Drinking and Reviewing NA Beer during Sober October, Part 2

In my last blog post I explained why I’m currently drinking NA beers, and reviewed three that I had tried so far. So, today I’ll be reviewing the rest.

We are in week 3 of sober October, and I have to say that we’ve been pretty good. I didn’t have any beer at the Alaska Craft Brew Festival, but I did have some at the Great Northern Brewers Club meeting.  Why would I go to a beer festival when I’m not drinking? I had a booth at the event to sell my beer art. Anyway, I am back on track and have just over a week left, and intend to finish strong.  It’s been great — I feel good, physically, and about myself too. I always tell people if they slip up on a detox from drinking to take heart and get back on the wagon. Your body won’t even notice the day you cheated on your discipline, but going back to old, bad habits is definitely going to hit you in the liver.  

So, I left off last time talking about Non-Alcoholic, or NA beer options.  I went into La Bodega and bought some beers to review: Athletic Light, Bitburger 0.0, Weihenstephaner Non-Alcoholic, Athletic Upside Dawn Golden, and Samuel Adams Just the Haze Non-Alcoholic Hazy IPA. 

I can’t recommend the Athletic brand, all three I’ve tried have that bad flavor of cooked alcohol in the beer.  And same with the Bitburger 0.0.  I was surprised, as Germans love their NA beers, and I would have thought Bitburger would have come through for me. I wanted something crisp and clean, but the beer Bitburger offered can’t hold up to the alcohol removal process.  I wonder why more breweries even try to make a beer and then remove the alcohol. Why not just make a malt and hop flavored soda? It seems to me that a beer-flavored drink would be easier to make than removing the alcohol.  The Russians have been enjoying Kvas for hundreds of years, and it has very little alcohol to begin with. I actually like drinking carbonated fruit juice beverages like IZZE and Blue Monkey more than an NA beer.  I normally cut them with sparkling water to extend the goodness, and to tone down the super sweet flavor of straight juice. 

The NA beers I can recommend are the Weihenstephaner, and the Sam Adams Just the Haze.  Germany comes through with the Weihenstephaner, it is a hefeweizen style of brew and has that estery quality that a good German weissbier should have.  Hazy and golden yellow with an aroma of cloves and banana. The mouthfeel is full bodied like a hefe, and the flavor is just like the aroma. If you love German wheat beers and can’t drink alcohol, this NA beer is a good choice for you. 

The Sam Adams not only won Gold at GABF for NA beer this year, it is actually really good! Also hazy and yellow, this NA beer provides a nice aroma of clean aroma hops.  The mouthfeel is slightly more watery than I would have liked, but the flavor makes up for it. They must have an expensive machine for taking the alcohol out of the beer, because if I didn’t know any better, I would call it a session IPA.  And session you can, since it has less than .05% alcohol content.  You would have to drink 100 of them to have the same alcohol that is in a regular beer.

Cheers to your health, your mind and your body! 

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Drinking and Reviewing NA Beer during Sober October

Today is day five of sober October, yeah I started a day late.  I’m doing well, and haven’t had a sip of alcohol since Saturday. The first time I took a whole month off from drinking was in 2012 in McCarthy, Alaska. There is an event at the Golden Saloon that happens at the end of every season called Last Man Standing, which is a party the bar throws for the whole town to get rid of all perishables, such as food, beer, soft drinks, and NA beer.  Everything is free! In 2012 the bar shut down later than usual, in mid-October, and so that was the first time I ever drank non-alcoholic beer. At the time, my options were St. Pauli Girl NA, and O’Doul’s. I tried both. The O’doul’s was alright, it had a bit of a sweet and sour, grainy flavor and not much hops, but I had a couple at the party.  The St. Pauli Girl NA was definitely worse. The owner had a hard time getting people to drink the NA beer, so he gave me a 12-pack to take to my cabin.  I drank one every night, until they were gone.

Today, I am in Anchorage, and I thought some NA beer might be kind of good. I wasn’t hankering for O’Doul’s, so instead I got a six-pack of Lagunitas IPNA.  I have been drinking one per night for the last five days, and I have to say it is better than O’doul’s, or St. Pauli Girl.  Today I went to La Bodega and bought a mix pack of other NA beers.  Let me tell you, the NA beer market has really expanded since 2012! I had heard that Athletic Brewing Co. made a decent NA beer, so I picked up a few of those, as well as a couple German options and a Sam Adams Hazy NA IPA. I will review both the Lagunitas IPNA and Athletic Brewing Company’s Run Wild IPA today. Next time I will give you a rundown on the other five.

Lagunitas IPNA smells great, just like a regular IPA. It tastes like watered-down beer, but has a pleasant IPA and malt flavor.  The beer is clear and light brown, and doesn’t retain any foam like a real IPA should.  To me it tastes like the brewers took a bottle of the Waldo’s Special Ale, poured it into a gallon of water, added some caramel coloring, then carbonated, and bottled it into 12 bottles.  Overall, I would consider buying it again. It is good, and possibly a decent alternative to real IPA when one is trying to stay away from alcohol.

Athletic Brewing Co’s Run Wild IPA has a copper color, and beautiful foam that stays around for a long time. The flavor is weird, not really like an IPA. It reminds me more of an O’Doul’s. It has a nice body to it, and the mouthfeel is spot on. The smell is grainy, and a bit like smelling malt extract straight from the barrel. It only has a hint of hops. There is a pronounced bitterness after the sour grainy flavor dissipates.  As it warms up, the weird sour grain flavor gets stronger. But, if you want to look like you are drinking IPA, it fits the bill perfectly.  And I would drink it again, especially during sober October.  

Next week I will review a few more of these beers, and let you know which one is the best. So far Lagunitas IPNA is the best NA beer I have had.  I know the Germans like to drink a bunch of NA beer, so maybe they make something decent. NA beer has got to be better for you than sugary sodas, and more tasty than drinking sparkling waters. 

Cheers to sober October!  I hope you are having a good time, whether participating, or not!    

My Salmon Stock Recipe

Finished salmon stock ready for the canner

Today I would like to talk about salmon stock. Not the music festival now known as Salmonfest, but the base for making soups.  Maria and I always participate in the annual Alaskan salmon harvest, whether we catch fish, or buy it directly from a commercial fishing boat.  I lean towards buying fish, because every time I go fishing, there’s another piece of gear I need to buy, plus ice, gasoline, and not to mention the wear and tear on all the equipment, including our truck, that all adds up. It also takes a bunch of my time, which takes away from activities and work that I prefer doing.  When Maria and I bring home the fish we start processing it right away. Maria is on the filleting, and she hands me the heads. I stock pile heads in a bowl, while I prepare the vegetables.  I get the vegetables sautéing in some avocado oil. When the veggies are ready I add a bunch of water, about 2.5 gallons, to my 5 gallon stock pot. I remove the gills and fins, and clean out any guts that might be lingering in the head cavity. I leave any meat there, it is good for the stock.  I usually use 15 heads. The stock needs to simmer/lightly boil for about an hour, or so, after all the heads are prepped and plopped into the stock pot. Then strain out all the particles. We normally wait over night to do anything more, in order to let the stock cool down, and then Maria makes a soup, freezes some, and cans the rest in quart-size mason jars.  We take the shelf-stable jars to the cabin, and Maria makes yummy ramen there. I always drink a pint straight from the pot. This stuff is nectar from the sea gods! Cheers to the liquid gold, and I don’t mean beer this time!

Salmon Stock Recipe

Ingredients:

2.5 gallons water

15 Salmon heads (Sockeye, Coho, or Chinook)

Avocado oil

2 large leeks

2 large onions

2 large carrots

1 bulb of garlic

1 bunch celery (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Sauté vegetables in avocado oil

2. Add water

3. Prepare and add salmon heads

4. Boil until the heads disolve into mush

5. Remove everything but the liquid

6. Can, freeze, or eat

7. Can at 10 pounds pressure for 25 minutes for quart jars

Stirring the pot
Salmon stock makes amazing ramen!

And the Winner of the Tart Side Challenge is… Me!

Turnagain Brewing graciously hosts a contest each year for members of the Great Northern Brewers Club called the Tart Side Challenge. Ted and Mary Rosenzweig, owners of the brewery, give each club member one gallon of wort containing the brewery’s proprietary sour culture from the solera tank we all affectionately call Big Bertha. Our task is to flavor the wort any way we wish, and to ferment it into beer. The entries get judged at the GNBC annual summer campout, and then Turnagain Brewing brews the winning recipe. Last year, Maria won the contest. When I created the recipe for my entry this year, I referred to my experience making small batch beers. I had been mixing beer and fruit for a couple of years now, and I know how much fruit to add to make a beer explode with flavor. I wanted to bottle-condition this beer, since oxidation is one of the easiest and worst things that can happen to a beer at this stage.  I also know that people generally tend to like slightly stronger beers over weaker ones. Since this was a beer tasting committee I was aiming to please, I added a 1/2 cup of malt extract to not only slightly increase ABV, but also to restart fermentation. I also added some of my own yeast from my yeast ranching project, since bottle-conditioning doesn’t work without yeast present.

I was unsure what fruit I wanted to put into the beer. Last year Maria won with a blueberry recipe, so I knew blueberries were a crowd pleaser. I also love the Piña Colada beer Ted has been making for Serrano’s Mexican Grill. It all became clear to me when I was making my morning smoothie with a healthy dosage of sour yogurt, pineapple, and blueberries.  Blueberries and pineapple would play the starring roles in my beer.

Ted didn’t have enough space to ferment my beer, so he used a French oak barrel, which added Brett to the equation. Ted and I were sipping on the finished beer at the brewery and I suggested that he bottle my beer, so we could cellar it to allow the Brett to develop. Since I’m the local beer artist, I also offered to make a label design for my beer. 

I had to design the label quickly, and I think best when I am out running on the trail. The next morning I figured it all out when doing my five mile loop.  I came up with the name, “Solera Eclipse” and decided upon a design inspired by the yin yang of T&C Surf Designs.  Ted’s solera is where the wort originated, and an eclipse is a noteworthy astronomical event.  The yin yang showed off the the contrast of the blueberries and pineapple perfectly.  Since it was fermented in Ted’s favorite old wine barrel, I included some barrel parts in the design making a sun. 

I am very excited to try the commercial version, I have one bottle left of my homemade version, and I look forward to sampling them back to back! The beer will be released at my art opening at Turnagain Brewing tomorrow (12/03/2021)! I’ll be there 5-8pm, and hope you’ll stop by to try my beer, check out my art, and buy a couple bottles to cellar.

Cheers to Turnagain Brewing for doing this fun contest for GNBC!

Ted taking a small sample of my beer from the barrel to see if the Brett flavor had sufficiently developed.
My design for the bottle label.
Solera Eclipse sour ale with blueberries and pineapple.

A Surprise Trip to a Hop Farm!

We recently got back from a trip to America — I hadn’t left the State of Alaska for over two years!  Maria and I had to go to Pullman, WA to attend my aunt’s memorial service.  We decided to make the flight worthwhile by extending our trip a bit to go see some of the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park.  Did you know there are 63 National Parks in the US? The Olympic National Park is pretty wet in late September.  The highlights for me were walking to the Sol Duc waterfall, and soaking in the hot springs there.  Hot springs are nice in the rain. We also saw the biggest Sitka spruce tree in the world, and the largest red cedar tree.  They are huge! 

The largest red cedar tree in the world!

We had to drive to Pullman for the memorial, so we decided to stop in Yakima along the way, because we knew it was time for hop harvest!  First thing we did was go to the hop shop, Yakima Valley Hops.  Surprisingly, this year’s hops were not available there yet.  I bought a little bit of last year’s harvest, which smelled pretty good.  The sales attendant was very helpful and told me to come back in three weeks when the hops would all be ready for sale.  We asked about stopping at a local farm, and she recommended going to CLS Farms, and maybe we could get a tour there.  That evening we went to the Public House of Yakima, and sampled about 15 different fresh hop ales!  Some were good, and some were quite… interesting.  We learned about NDA — non-disclosure ale, which means the hop variety used in that beer is a secret!  The Public House offers 5oz pours and serves up flights of different brews.  Saturday was going to be the big fresh hop beer festival, but we had to be at the memorial at that time.  Still, I feel I got a pretty good example at the Public House of local fresh-hop IPAs.  

All fresh-hop IPAs!
NDA – non-disclosure ale

In the morning we planned to stop at Bale Breaker Brewing, our favorite brewery (with a small hop farm) in the Yakima Valley, to get supplied for the trip to Pullman, but they were not going to open until 3pm.  Instead, Maria found directions to CLS Farms, and we followed a hop truck into their parking lot.  I nervously knocked on the office door and a strapping young man came out.  We told him what we were about, and asked about a tour.  He said he could give us a tour right now!  They were actively harvesting El Dorado hops, a critical ingredient in some special West Coast IPAs.  He said a lot of it goes straight to California to Stone Brewing, for their “Drink By” series, and the El Dorado IPA.  Huge plants were being loaded onto the conveyor and being stripped of flowers.  The air was astringent with pungent hop aroma!  It felt like breathing IPA.  There are two hop stripping machines at CLS, but what was really interesting was the kilns that dry the hops.  Rows of huge flat trays about 50×50 feet large, and four feet deep were filled with full cone hop flowers!  After a couple of hours they pull up ropes from the bottom of the trays, and the hops from the bottom are stirred to the top — a cool, low-tech way to ensure an even drying process.  Next, we went to the baling station.  I wanted to buy a bale from our guide, but it was 200lbs, and I don’t know how I would have gotten it back to Alaska.  I could have bought some fresh hops on the spot, but our tour guide said they start going bad after 24 hours.  We got a picture with the hop pile at the baling station, and I guess that will have to be good enough.  Our guide said that most of their hops go straight to CA, with Sierra Nevada, and Stone Brewing showing up with fleets of trucks and getting the stuff straight from the farm.  I have to say I was a little jealous of the quality of the hops that were not available to me, a super small-time home-brewer-artist guy.  

We stopped at Fred Meyer and bought a few six packs of Bale Breaker brews, and headed to Pullman.  I will never forget the hop farm experience!  Those guys need a brewery at the farm to give the whole hop experience, something for us hopheads to wet our lips with, and not just smell!            

Cultivating a New Yeast Culture for My Cherry Beer

A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law gave us a bag of organic cherries from Costco that she said were too sweet for her.  I thought, “Great! I will make a beer with them using some of the yeast I have been cultivating from a project I started well over three years ago.”  I have been a little too busy to brew on the regular schedule that I normally follow.  When I went to look at my yeast, I saw mold in it, and it smelled like old socks.  Three years of use is a very good run for a yeast culture. I think it might have happened because I had started using a smaller malt-extract-to-water ratio for feeding it. So, I started over again, making a new yeast culture, and I got to play with my yeast science equipment.  

After I collected the yeast in a baking pan from the air next to an open window in my condo in West Fairview in Anchorage, I put the starter into an Erlenmeyer flask.  Before, I had used a growler.  I brewed up a batch with the cherries after feeding the yeast for about two weeks.  It was frothing in the flask when I pitched it into the cherry beer wort I made.  When the flask was open, I also took a small sample out and viewed it with Maria’s new microscope (I gave it to her for her birthday, she requested it). It is now happily fermenting away in the corner of my second bedroom.  I only brewed a gallon, and used one pound of cherries.  The wort tasted great, so I have high hopes for the final product, but you never know when utilizing wild yeast.  There will only be 8, or 9 bottles total as the cherry puree and trub will absorb some liquid. I intend to brew another gallon batch this weekend but I will use lingonberries instead of cherries.  

Cheers out there!  I hope you find tasty beers to keep you fortified during the pandemic!  

The science station.
The new yeast culture viewed through the microscope. The big green blog is a hop particle.
The yeast culture in the flask, and a small batch of cherry wort ready to ferment in the green jug.

Stop Blaming the Beer!

Many people have told me that beer is bad for your health.  Some even say that it makes men grow breasts, not to mention a beer belly.  There’s an “herb-an” legend that hops contain estrogen, which causes male bodies to start resembling those of pregnant women.  Obviously, drinking too much alcohol, whether it be wine, spirits, or beer, is bad for you, especially your cardiovascular system and your liver functions.  My doctor told me a guy my size should only consume on average two drinks per day.  She did not say that beer was any worse than the other beverages.  I have heard doctors say that wine is better than spirits, or beer, because at least you are getting a little bit of grape juice.  It seems to me that straight distilled alcohol is the harshest on your system due to its dehydrating effects.  

Where do the fatty guts and man breasts fit in?  I was talking to Dr. Ted over at Turnagain Brewing and he said that plant-based estrogen is different from animal estrogen, and will affect your body differently.  So, drinking hoppy beer is not like taking an estrogen pill, which would probably make a man grow boobs.  People tend to overeat and drink too much when they are stressed out, and this pandemic is intensifying the problem.  I am no doctor, but it seems to me increased stress leads to lack of motivation, and lack of exercise.  Sedentary lifestyles lead to a testosterone level decrease.  Quit blaming the beer, make healthy decisions, workout!  Even a 30-minute walk every day will make you feel great!  Cut back on those extra snacks, remember to take time to make that bowel movement, and then maybe beer will lose that negative stigma.  Cheers to verisimilitude!  Don’t let anti-beer propaganda make decisions for you!  

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #82 by Scott Clendaniel. July 21, 2016. Rainier BEAR. 11"x14", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #82 by Scott Clendaniel. July 21, 2016. Rainier BEAR. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

How I Won My First Beer Brewing Contest – by Maria Benner

This is a guest post by Maria Benner, the Business Manager of Real Art Is Better.  Scott asked me to write this post today about my experience winning my first beer brewing contest.  He had a lot to do with that!

During Alaska Beer Week, one of the events is Turnagain Brewing‘s Tart Side Challenge.  Members of the Great Northern Brewers Club who choose to participate pick up 1 gallon of unfermented wort from Turnagain Brewing, which is the brewery’s base for its sour beers.  Then contest participants flavor the wort at home with ingredients of their choice, bottle the beer, and submit it for judging.  The brewery then brews a big batch of the winning recipe.  Well, Alaska Beer Week was re-scheduled at the last minute this year in January, so I missed it, because I was in India.  So, Scott showed up to the brewery to pick up his 1 gallon, and Ted, the owner, let him take another gallon on my behalf, and the two of them entered me into the contest by proxy.  Scott called me, and asked me what I wanted to do, and I told him to put blueberries in it.  He flavored my gallon with frozen whole organic blueberries from Costco, and added a little DME for extra carbonation.  When I returned from my trip, I bottled the beer, and then we submitted our entries to the brewery a couple months later.  Scott flavored his batch with honey and ginger, which was delicious!

The judging took place at the GNBC annual campout in June, and my blueberry beer was declared the winner!  So Ted called me to congratulate me, and to ask me how I made the beer, so I told him that I was in India, and Scott flavored it.  So Ted called Scott to get the recipe.  Turnagain Brewing was short on fermentation capacity, so Ted fermented my blueberry beer in a red wine barrel.  So the beer turned out very different from my/Scott’s version, but it was really tasty!  The red wine barrel added depth, and a bit more sour flavor.  Ted also boosted the amount of blueberries by 25% to 1.25 lbs per gallon, and pulverized them, instead of adding them whole.  The result was a deep purple beer!  We named it Blueberry Avalanche.

Well, the big release date was set for August 12th, but no one checked with us, and we had already planned to be at our cabin in McCarthy during that time.  So Ted was kind enough to arrange a wholesale of one pony keg to the owner of The Potato restaurant in McCarthy, just so I could also drink my beer along with everyone else on the 12th.  Scott and I personally delivered the keg to McCarthy.  The night before the big day I texted the owner of The Potato to ask when my keg would be on draft.  She told me we had to finish some keg of kristallweizen first.  So the next day I texted her again, and stressed the importance of debuting my blueberry beer on August 12th, the same day as in Anchorage.  She was kind enough to switch out the kegs, and I was super happy to drink two pints of my beer in McCarthy on the release date!  Some of my friends in Anchorage were drinking it at Turnagain Brewing, and sending me messages about how much they liked the beer!  I heard it was very popular.  There were only six pony kegs in existence, and they were all gone in less than five days.

Thanks to Turnagain Brewing, my hubby, the GNBC, and The Potato for making this experience so fun for me!  I’m looking forward to participating in more brewing contests!

“Brewed by local Maria Benner”

Cheers!

 

National IPA Day, or Business As Usual

Today is National IPA Day!  For me, everyday is IPA day, but it’s nice to know that there’s a day especially dedicated to this hoppy style of brew.  I’m celebrating in the small community of McCarthy, Alaska, where IPA is the most popular style of beer aside from PBR.  I feel the only reason people drink PBR here over IPA is the price.  IPA requires a lot of hops, which makes it more expensive.  When I brew a five gallon batch and I dry hop the beer to make it an IPA, I lose a gallon due to hop absorption.  I need a huge french press to squeeze out the hops from the beer!
On Saturday Maria and I went to Cynosure Brewing, and were drinking a really fresh dry-hopped Hazy IPA called #005.  We convinced the local restaurant in McCarthy “The Potato” to purchase a keg per our recommendation.  The owner and beer purchaser for The Potato was an easy sell on a keg of IPA.  She said that IPA is the most popular beer they sell at the restaurant!  So the #005 is here and I can stop on in for a draft of the freshest IPA around.  I have a 1/6 barrel keg, here at my cabin, of Glacier Brewhouse IPA, which I had bought a few days before I made it into Cynosure.
In honor of the important holiday, tonight I will be having a little IPA tasting.  I have a couple of different selections from Anchorage Brewing and Broken Tooth Brewing, as well as the keg.  Cheers to hoppy beers!  IPA all the way!

Enjoying Cynosure Brewing’s #005 hazy IPA at The Potato in McCarthy, Alaska.

Life Is Short, Drink Good Beer, and to Get Good Beer, Buy Local!

I have made a new commitment to myself to only buy beer directly from breweries in order to get the freshest product.  Not just for on-site consumption, but also for savoring at home.  I’ll probably still order a beer occasionally at local bars and restaurants, although I will still seek out local offerings.  When I travel I will do the same thing — buy beers directly from local breweries in the area.  While traveling I have definitely picked up some shelf turds at the local grocery store.  No more!  From now on it’s from the brewery direct!  I have three main reasons for doing this.  The first is to get the freshest beer possible, especially of the IPA variety.  The second reason is driven by economics — my money is going directly to the breweries, and I strongly believe in supporting local businesses.  Lastly, I’m doing my small part to reduce waste by using re-usable containers to purchase my liquid nourishment.

Scott Clendaniel enjoying an IPA at Turnagain Brewing

Enjoying a fresh-hop IPA at Turnagain Brewing

Nothing is more disappointing to taste than a seven-month old IPA that has been left next to the heater on the liquor store floor.  When I was doing the Year of Beer project I came upon such beers fairly frequently.  A stale cardboard-like malt backbone with a cheesy, vegetative hop aroma is not how the artisans who made the beer wanted their product to taste.  All the local breweries in Anchorage store their beer properly, and the overall flavor is so much better!  IPA always tastes great directly from the brewery!

Celebrating Cynosure Brewing's third birthday

Celebrating Cynosure Brewing’s third anniversary!

Aside from getting the freshest product available, I like that my hard-earned money is going directly to the breweries, helping to keep the product more affordable, and stimulating our local economy.  Not many products available in Alaska are made here, but beer is definitely one of them.  I always get a smile from brewery employees and management when I tell them about this new policy of mine.  I’ve been spending a bit more, but I am not upset with my purchases.  In the pre-prohibition era, people had to buy locally as distribution was not up to the current capabilities.  Every town had its local brewery and its local flavor.  A growler used to be a wooden bucket with a lid.  The 20th century’s automation and big business homogenized, packaged, and marketed mass produced macro-brews, resulting in a lack of a local brewery scene.  Beer is available from all over the world, not just Europe.  Today I can buy beer from Zimbabwe if I feel like it.  Although, the last African beer I drank was pretty stale, and not much better than an AB inBev product.  I say drink beer really brewed “the hard way,” and drink straight from the brewery! 

Local beer artist Scott Clendaniel with one of his paintings that 49th State Brewery bought

I buy local beer, 49th State Brewing buys local art!

In addition to being good for our economy, buying a local product that is often sold in reusable containers is a win for the environment.  Grain comes in big bags, so do hops.  The heaviest ingredient, water, is locally-sourced, and we are lucky to have very good water here in Anchorage for making beer.  Mother Earth is smiling every time you get a growler filled and don’t have any waste material.  If we all bought locally brewed beer, less fuel would be spent shipping beer from all over the world, less water would be drained from dried-up aquifers, and less waste would be left in our local landfill!  If you don’t want to consume a whole growler in one evening, and you don’t like drinking leftover oxidized beer the next day, opt for a half growler (howler) fill.  You could also splurge at the local home-brew shop and buy a U-Keg one gallon CO2 charged growler, which holds ~12 servings and keeps beer fresh for a long time.  Or go big and get a whole home-brew style draft setup and buy at the gallon price-point.  Anyway, there are many container options out there, just find the right one for your drinking habits.

Simply stated, “life is short, drink good beer!”  And to get good beer, buy local.  There are so many great options right here.  King Street Brewing and Midnight Sun Brewing have six packs for about $10.  Glacier Brewhouse offers growlers for as low as $6 every Tuesday, which is cheaper than many out-of-state options per ounce.  Anchorage Brewing is putting out world-class four-packs and amazing bottle releases.  Turnagain Brewing, 49th State Brewing, and Cynosure Brewing all fill growlers, and l love stopping in for a glass in house.  Anchorage produces barleywine, IPA, stout, hefe, lager, pilsner, saison, spruce-tip ale, and many other interesting-flavored malt beverages that are on par with anything available worldwide.  The closer you consume to the brewery, the fresher your beer will taste!  Cheers to Anchorage, our breweries, and to drinking locally!