• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 38s

What’s brewing in Alaska

By Emily Carlson 10:33 PM January 1, 2014

Alaskan beer lovers can use technology to keep track of what's on tap around them

ANCHORAGE - “We don’t make wine, we’re not on the Mediterranean, we make beer in these kinds of places,” said Alaskan beer lover JJ Tranquilla.

But if you’re not a beer head, and faced with an endless list of beers to choose from, how in the world do you know what to order?

That’s where Tranquilla’s brainchild comes in. He’s worn nearly every hat in the beer-making industry. Tranquilla is a beer expert, but he knows it’s impossible for everyone else to be one, too.

“You overhear a conversation or a waiter will be talking to a customer and describing a beer completely incorrectly,” he said. “This app, it kinda solves the problem.”

That app is called “The Beer Up Here.” It lists all of Alaska’s 22 breweries and all of their beer. You can see the alcohol content, the style, the color, even how much hops.

“We make world-class beer up here,” he said. “Our beer is as good as anywhere else in world and we’ve got the awards to prove it.”

Tranquilla’s app will only get bigger and better. Alaska is in the middle of a beer renaissance, he said. Small, craft breweries are popping up all over the state, breweries that cater to the mature, sophisticated palate, made in small batches for local restaurants.

“There’s a lot of these breweries that are just simply serving their community,” he said. “They’re like the local corner store serving the people who just live there.”

It begins each day at Broken Tooth Brewery in the hops room. Brewers load the barley and spice the beer with a variety of ingredients like orange, juniper berries, and of course, hops.

Head brewer Tyler Jones is constantly scouring for new recipes. Broken Tooth releases a new craft beer about once a week. Before it can be sipped at local restaurants, it’s on Tranquilla’s app for all beer lovers to see.

“There’s competition to put out high-quality, interesting beers. And they’ll tell you when you’ve done something wrong. They are not bashful about letting you know,” Jones said of customers.

While the market for sub-premium beer like Busch is decreasing, the demand for craft beer is drastically increasing, by 13 percent in 2012, according to the Brewer’s Association.

When you consider Alaska is the least-densely populated state, with just a half million people old enough to be legal beer drinkers, there’s only one conclusion: Alaskans not only like beer, they like good beer.

“It’s kind of like indie beer, craft beer is always coming up with different styles, different ways to push the envelope on already established styles,” Tranquilla said.

Now, with the flick of a finger, anyone can be a beer aficionado. You don’t have to be an expert to drink Alaskan beer. The only requirement “up here” is that you never put a cap on your love for beer and always demand your pint is fresh, foamy and overflowing with taste.

You can download the “Beer Up Here” at the app store for your iPhone or iPad. The app will cost you about $5.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Kotzebue welcomes President Obama with uniquely Alaskan greeting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 04, 23:00

    KTVA 11′s Emily Carlson spent some time with villagers in Kotzebue during their preparations for President Barack Obama’s visit. A group of students at the Nikaitchuat Ilisagviat Inupiat immersion school performed a special dance for the president and others at his speech on Wednesday.

  • Politics

    Governor, lawmakers discuss special session for October

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 04, 21:42

    The governor may be calling another special session — this time to discuss plans for a natural gas pipeline. Sen. Gary Stevens says Gov. Bill Walker has considered calling the session in late October. A spokesperson for the governor says he spoke with lawmakers and multiple start dates were discussed, but a date and location […]

  • News

    Bristol Bay community uses river currents to generate power

    by Rhonda McBride on Sep 04, 21:32

    It was a big week for Igiugig. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a shout out to the Bristol Bay community for its innovative renewable energy project, dubbed the “RivGen” power system. Igiugig, in partnership with the Ocean Renewable Power Company, has been testing a system which uses currents from the fast-moving Kvichak River […]

  • News

    Kenai River running fast and high after dam break

    by Jacquie Slater on Sep 04, 21:14

    Officials with the Kenai Wildlife Refuge Center are warning boaters and fishermen to use extreme caution if on or in the Kenai River this Labor Day weekend. On Saturday, an ice dam from Snow Glacier Dammed Lake broke off, causing the water to rush into the river. By Thursday night, the river had crested at […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, Sept. 4

    by KTVA Weather on Sep 04, 20:45

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Expect mostly cloudy skies for Saturday in the Kenai and Prince William Sound with highs in the upper 50s to around 60 degrees. Southeast Rain chances will be likely in the panhandle…some of which could be a bit on the heavier side. Look for highs to be in the mid 50s. […]

  • News

    When disaster strikes: Preparing for emergencies as a pet owner

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 04, 19:12

    Fires, floods and landslides have affected Alaskans throughout the state in recent months, and the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center is urging pet owners to consider emergency evacuation plans that include their animal friends. “If you choose to not take your pets with you, you don’t know when you’ll make it back home. It […]

  • News

    High tides erode banks of Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

    by Lauren Maxwell on Sep 04, 18:42

    High tides are causing big problems on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. High waters have eroded two sections of the bank between Linary Park and the Fish Creek bridge. In some areas the crumbling ground is just feet from the paved trail. In other sections, water has washed out trees by the roots and left […]

  • Lifestyle

    Mexican cucumbers recalled after multi-state Salmonella outbreak

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 04, 16:13

    Some cucumbers packed in Mexico have been recalled after multiple states reported cases of Salmonella linked to the consumption of the vegetable. Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, Calif., issued the recall of garden cucumbers under the label of ”Limited Edition” brand pole cucumbers on Friday, according to a statement from the Alaska Department […]