Anchorage Brewing Company opened for business this past summer, adding to the variety of breweries and beer-centric hot spots in Anchorage. The brainchild of acclaimed Alaskan brewer Gabe Fletcher, the brewery turns out a unique product available nationally and abroad.
Beer in Fletcher’s brewery doesn’t flow into stainless steel cylindrical tanks, the standard at many other breweries. Instead, his operation more closely resembles the cellar of a winery, featuring 140 oak barrels and two massive oak tuns. Each tun contains approximately 252 gallons of fermenting beer. In addition, the brewery utilizes a state-of-the-art, customized bottling system to fill painted-label wine bottles. Many of the triple-fermented and brettanomyces (a form of yeast)-infused brews are pre-sold before they’re even produced and include six variations of the oak-aged beer.
Denali National Park and Preserve is one of the most well known parks in the nation. As of 2010, visitors to the landmark attraction can travel 10 miles north on the Parks Highway to the year-round community of Healy to enjoy a new brand of tasty beer after a day of exploring Alaska’s pristine wilderness. The 49th State Brewing Company opened last year as a restaurant and pub featuring local food, Alaska beers and live music. Its owners also operate Denali Park Salmon Bake Restaurant and Prospectors Historic Pizzeria and Ale House located at the park's entrance. This past summer the brewery began developing its own handcrafted beers. Visitors can access the new brewpub at mile 248.4 of the George Parks Highway. Overnight accommodations are available at the accompanying RV park and campground.
Thirsty travelers looking for an added stop on a driving itinerary to Denali National Park and Preserve should turn off in the charming town of Talkeetna, located in the upper Susitna Valley between the park and Anchorage. The Denali Brewing Company opened in Talkeetna in 2009 and serves four year-round beers and eight seasonal beers, as well as lunch and dinner. Talkeetna is host to many visitors stopping on their way to flightsee Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest peak.