This week’s beer painting is of Sockeye Red India Pale Ale — a beer that Anchorage has grown to love since 1995 when it was first brewed for Humpy’s Alaskan Alehouse by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Mark Staples and Billy Opinsky teamed up 20 years ago to make a hop-forward red ale that is now classified as a Northwest style India Pale Ale. I have been loving this beer since I discovered it over a decade ago. Now available in cans, it is a lot easier to procure than buying it only at Humpy’s, like you used to have to in 1995. “Determined and bitter, but amazingly balanced, Sockeye Red IPA is gnarly enough to take you hook, line and sinker.” – Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaskans take salmon seriously, that is why Sockeye Red IPA is close to many Alaskans’ hearts. It is a bold beer for bold people. One of the things we bold Alaskans like to do is go fishing. What do you do with a big fish harvest? You can it! This painting is a play on canning. I placed the Sockeye Red IPA from an aluminum can into a canning Kerr jar. If you go out fishing and catch 20 Sockeye Red salmon, you are going to have to throw one heck of a salmon bake, or invest in a second freezer, or dump everything you had, including the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to make freezer space. The other option is to can the fish. Jars are the way to go if you want to be eating this year’s salmon until you can harvest again next year, or even five years later. It’s shelf stable, baby! Even the best freezer bags will go funky in about 9 months, so Alaskans are big fans of the glass mason jar. These jars are also great beer-drinking glasses, as they are true pints! Have you noticed that the pint glasses at some bars are getting smaller and smaller? Last time I measured, my “pint” glass held a measly 13 oz to the top! If you get a Sockeye Red in a pint jar without any foam, you know you are getting a full pint.
Cheers to the upcoming fishing season, and to good brews to keep us happy on the beach!