Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alaskan White Ale

NOTE: This entry contains updated information courtesy of the Alaskan Brew Crew.

The Beerocrat is back after a long absence.

My wife and I just returned from an Alaskan cruise last week, where we marveled at the unparalleled beauty of Alaska'a glaciers, mountains, and wildlife. I also had to make a pit-stop at Juneau's Alaskan Brewery to take the tour (and of course, have some beer). While I was there, I noticed that Alaskan released a new beer, Alaskan White, that looked particularly tasty. Our friend from college, who lives in Juneau and was taking us around the city for the day, said that ever since Alaskan released its version of a Belgian witbier, people in Juneau have been drinking it as if it was water. Since I wasn't sure of its availability in Reno, I had to grab a bottle.

Alaskan White Ale has had a long journey. It was originally brewed by Alaskan brewer Tracy Bird as a part of their Rough Draft program in 2001. Ever since then, Alaskan's Brew Crew has been fine-tuning the recipe, finally making it available to the state of Alaska earlier this year. However, they also made it available in the rest of Alaska's distribution area (AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, and WY) in early May. (I also heard on the tour that New Mexico and Minnesota may be next on Alaskan's list, so keep your eyes peeled!) (Alaskan White Ale Press Release)

Here come the stats:

Alaskan White Ale
BREWERY: Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK, USA
STYLE: Witbier
CALORIES/SERVING: ~157 per 12 oz. bottle
ABV: 5.3%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 11.63° Plato (1047)
MALTS: Pale malt, malted wheat, and others
HOPS: (proprietary)
SPICES: Coriander, bitter orange peel
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: Spicy food, lighter fare, fresh summer salads, grilled shrimp, grilled halibut
AWARDS: Bronze in the West Coast Commercial Craft Beer competition (although Alaskan looks forward to entering it into many future competitions, including the GABF, World Beer Cup, and European Beer Star)

All info except the calories, malts, hops, and serving temperature comes from Alaskan's White Ale homepage and press release. The rest comes from the great folks at the Alaskan Brew Crew. Thanks again for the information guys, and keep up the good work!

This beer had a wafting citrus aroma that erupted from the glass during pouring. The beer had a semi-cloudy golden color to it, accompanied by a bright white fluffy head. The taste was a little hoppy but wasn't overpowering; I also could taste a little maltiness and citrus flavor, and it wasn't too carbonated either. The finish was very smooth with no stale aftertaste.

It's easy to see why this beer is a favorite of Alaskans whenever the sun comes out. I would love to have a pint on tap sometime, but I may just have to settle for a 6-pack. Pick one up this summer anywhere west of the Rockies.


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