• 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

    Whittier police patrol Gridwood Forest Fair, review possible future of town’s law enforcement

    by Eric Ruble on Jul 01, 22:16

    The Girdwood Forest Fair is celebrating its 41st year this weekend. Signs outside of the fair read “No Politics. No Religion,” enforcing the idea that the festival is about food, music and fun. Longtime attendees of the fair will likely notice something new — four Whittier Police Department officers patrolling the area. They are in […]

  • Sports

    The Birdman: The man, the myth, the crowd favorite at Mount Marathon

    by Emily Carlson on Jul 01, 21:52

    There’s a lot of characters that run the grueling, punishing and sometimes bloody slog up and down Mount Marathon. Some would say, you have to be a touch crazy to endure the 3,033 foot climb. However, the most popular racer may be the creature known as “The Birdman.” “Birdman is the guy who has his […]

  • Lifestyle

    Daughter of Anchorage survival instructor battling rare cancer

    by Shannon Ballard on Jul 01, 20:52

    For the past 37 years Brian Horner has made his living teaching survival training courses. He’s the founder of Learn to Return Training Systems, Inc., and considers himself an expert in making it out of horrible situations. “I’ve been to Antarctica twice with Norman Vaughn. I’ve climbed with Rob Hall before his Everest tragedy. I’ve looked for […]

  • News

    State threatens oil producer with unprecedented demand

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 01, 19:36

    There is even more tension in the fight to build a natural gas pipeline across Alaska. On Thursday, the state sent a letter to BP and threatened to let the oil producer’s operating plan expire in late-fall if it doesn’t explain how they plan to market their natural gas. In the letter from the Alaska […]

  • News

    New trampoline park continues Northway Mall revitalization

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 01, 19:34

    East Anchorage’s Northway Mall will soon be home to a new trampoline park. Shockwave is opening at the end of July. After three solid months of work in the old Office Max building the features are starting to take shape. “This is the quarter pipe trampoline that goes eight feet up the wall,” owner Barry […]

  • News

    Obama administration discloses number of civilian deaths caused by drones

    by CBS News on Jul 01, 18:53

    The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) says that the number of civilian deaths in Pakistan, Yemen and Africa, as a result of U.S. counterterrorism strikes is between 64-116, between Jan. 20, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2015. These numbers do not, however, include Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, where the government has conducted thousands of air attacks. […]

  • News

    Family sets funeral arrangements for murder victim

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 01, 18:17

    The family of murder victim Jacqueline Goodwin says there will be a viewing at Legacy Funeral Home on Saturday, July 2, at 9 a.m. They invite her friends to attend and pay their respects. The woman who says she took care of Goodwin, Geraldine Turner, says Goodwin will be laid to rest in Kotzebue, next […]

  • Lifestyle

    The Hungry Chum: Thai food truck brings city flavors to Girdwood

    by The Hungry Chum on Jul 01, 16:32

    It was like a treasure hunt, with hand-drawn signs every few blocks that eventually led us between two buildings, past a rhubarb bush and a large, lazy husky. Then we found it — in a little courtyard sat the small pink and blue trailer. Known as Cheech & Nong’s Aroy-D Thai food truck, or any […]