JUNEAU, Alaska – As the snow line descends from the mountains and the geese migrate south, Alaskan residents know fall has arrived bringing with it reason to celebrate. It is once again time to replenish their cache of Alaskan Brewing’s vintage Smoked Porter, releasing this November.
With a robust, dark body and a striking smokey flavor, Alaskan Smoked Porter captures a cozy winter night spent hearthside in a wilderness cabin or around a roaring fire. At 6.5% ABV, this porter incorporates six varieties of malts, two varieties of hops and the pristine water of Juneau, Alaska. Showcasing uniquely Alaskan ingredients (such as Alderwood smoke) this porter firmly balanced to deliver an adventuresome, yet refined drinking experience born of its Alaskan roots.
2021’s vintage will continue a brewing tradition for the Alaskan Brewing Co. spanning 32 years, with the first Smoked Porter released in 1989 representing the revival of the German “Rauchbier” style in the United States. The remarkable origin of this porter makes the brew nothing short of a creative miracle and a natural expression of the land from which it came. Inspiration struck Alaskan Brewing Co. founders Geoff and Marcy Larson and the Brew Crew while they enjoyed smoked salmon and beer with their close friends at Taku Smokeries conveniently located across the street from the brewery. They bantered between them how they might brew an Alaskan beer bold enough to stand up to the rich smoked flavors of local meat and seafood.
Geoff took further inspiration from the malting processes used by Gold Rush era brewers in Alaska when smoke was a natural flavor inherent to roasting malted grain over open flames.
It is from these simple beginnings that the brewery would go on to develop the Alaskan Smoked Porter inspired by the local use of Alderwood for smoking and preserving meats. Fans of the brew would soon learn; the smoke also imparts preservative qualities to the beer when allowed to age in the bottle. Smoked Porter matures in flavor over the years as smokey flavors mellow and rich raisin, stone fruit and sherry notes come forward. As the porter ages, its more defined smokey qualities ebb, flow and slowly wash out giving way to sweet notes such as toffee and bread. Bitterness gracefully fades away and the brew begins to present notes of black currant which tend to taper off after a few years.
In time, Alaskan Smoked Porter would become one of the most decorated brews in the United States winning more medals at the Great American Beer Festival than any single beer in history. Geoff later traveled to Bamberg, Germany to co-author “Smoked Beers” with Ray Daniels, a top-selling authority on the style in the United States.
Find a taste of history and the authentic local taste of Alaska as you settle in with the warm Northern embrace of the Alaskan Smoked Porter.
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