Day 1 Fairbanks
After arriving in Fairbanks, rent a car or RV and drive north along the Steese Highway for 10 miles. Silver Gulch Brewery is located in the small mining community of Fox. Silver Gulch opened in 1998 and is America’s northernmost brewery/brewpub.
Day 2 Talkeetna
From Fairbanks, drive south five hours on the Parks Highway to the quaint pioneer town of Talkeetna. (On the way, stop off 10 miles before the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve in Healy to taste handcrafted brews at the 49th State Brewing Company.) Once in Talkeetna, have lunch or dinner (or both!) at Denali Brewing Company/Twister Creek Restaurant.
Day 3 Anchorage
Head south on the Parks Highway from Talkeetna for just over two hours to reach Anchorage, home base for a multitude of breweries and brewpubs. Spend a bit of time brewpub-hopping to Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Glacier BrewHouse, Moose’s Tooth Brewing Company and more. Travel back to Fairbanks or continue south to sample more of Alaska’s finely crafted brews.
Day 4 Soldotna and Kenai
Drive south from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula, a renowned destination for fishing and wildlife viewing. Soldotna is approximately three hours from Anchorage and home to the Kenai River Brewing Company and St. Elias Brewing Company. Both feature an impressive selection of seasonal and year-round beers in visitor-friendly environments. Both are also widely available at restaurants and bars in the area. Visit the nearby City of Kenai and stop in at Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop. Kassik’s is housed in a small warehouse and has seven brews on tap, as well as nine seasonally rotated beers.
Day 5 Homer
At the western tip of the Kenai Peninsula is Homer, about an hour and 40 minutes from Kenai. Homer Brewing Company, Homer’s first commercial brewery, opened for business in 1996. It has expanded exponentially over the years and now offers five flagship beers, available year-round. The brewery also offers four seasonal/specialty beers and produces two styles of Indian spiced teas.
Instead of renting a car in Fairbanks, board the Alaska Railroad to Anchorage. Overnight stops on the way can include Denali and/or Talkeeta. Once in Anchorage, rent a car and continue south or take the return train trip north.
From Homer, board the state ferry system— the Alaska Marine Highway— to Kodiak Island. Charter flights and commercial airline flights are also available from Homer or direct from Anchorage. Kodiak Island Brewing Company in the city of Kodiak has three standard beers and 21 tasty specialty beers that pair nicely with a day of brown bear viewing in Alaska’s Southwest region.
Wherever you roam in the quest for Alaska beer, be sure to enlist a designated driver. Many of the state’s breweries also serve up handcrafted root beers and cream ales for the most responsible member of your traveling party.