NIKISKI - “It's just so darn good.”
That is how the owner of Kassik's Brewery, Frank Kassik, describes the beer that comes out of his brewery on a daily basis, and he adds that his beer stand out in the crowd.
“We are not just yellow, fizzy beer anymore. There is a wide world. There is an artistic value that I see.”
Kassik's opened six years ago with two beers, the Moose Point Porter and the Beaver Tail Blonde. Since then business has been brewing.
“The kegs,” said Kassik pointing to a stack of empty kegs in his warehouse. “It seems like every year we are buying $20,000 to 25,000 worth of kegs just to keep up with the growth.”
In the last year the Kenai Peninsula beer lab brewed 1,927 barrels of beer. That is about 59,237 gallons of brew, which makes about 347,560 22-ounce bottles of beer.
“Right now what they are doing is fermenting,” said Kassik, standing next to his new protégé pulling fermented grains out of a silver fermenter. “Yeast likes two things; it likes sugar and it likes oxygen. When that yeast is really happy, and consuming that sugar and oxygen, it's producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.”
Just ten years ago Kassik was just a Kenai homebrewer with a passion for not only the taste of beer, but the science that goes behind producing a batch of Alaska's finest.
“So the bubbling you see out of the buckets there is actually carbon dioxide bubbling out. Yeast is happy in there and it’s making alcohol.”
And happy alcohol, according to Kassik, means happy customers and a very happy business owner.
“You would say I am passionate about brewing beer,” said Kassik, with a smile on his face.
The brewer has big plans for his future. He said he intends for the beers to go statewide, with over 20 unique flavors, and he has plans to go national.
Kassik said a busy business means little time to himself, but that is okay with him, as long as his days are spent in the brewery.