Made in Alaska: Beer
Alaska Beer Week is in full swing
ANCHORAGE - Brewing beer is a combination of art and science. It’s simple enough, though, anyone can do it at home.
“Brewing is a great hobby because it’s got a little bit of everything. It’s got aspects of cooking, a little bit of art and craft to it, little of chemistry and do-it-yourself engineering. Then at then end you get beer that's as good or better than the beer you find in the stores,” said Matt Wallace, who’s been making his own beer for a decade.
Wallace’s beers may just be concocted in his kitchen but they’re getting noticed at competitions, and could soon be on local taps.
“The strong Scotch I brewed last month, they're going to take the recipe and brew it at Midnight Sun in the next month or so. They’ll let it age and it will be out next winter, so that's pretty exciting,” said Wallace.
While brewing hops might be a hobby for some, others take it to the next level and open their own brewery.
“It's a natural marriage here in Alaska. There's a lot of good home brewers and I think that's why we have a lot of good breweries up here too,” said Dana Walukiewicz, co-owner of King Street Brewery.
His business opened a little more than a year ago and its beers can be found at a number of restaurants around Anchorage. This week brewers are kegging their new seasonal brew, Holy Water.
“There's a lot of pressure to brew great beer,” said Dave Short, a brewer at King Street. “There's a lot of people who are going to come and critique you. It's not just your friends coming to tell you, ‘You brewed a great beer.’ There are a lot of people who will be critical of your product. I don't brew good beer, I'm out of a job,” he laughed.
Some beers get special treatment and are aged in Chardonnay and bourbon barrels. “It helps to mellow the alcohol and hop flavor,” said Walukiewicz.
With Alaska Beer Week in full swing, King Street is excited to not only debut its new brew to the public but to taste what others have come up with as well.
“Alaska has world class beers. Not just us, but around the state. We're brewing some of the best beer in the world,” said Short.
King Street’s taproom is open Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m.