Tap Into Local Flavor
Here is a great travel tip that can be used anywhere you visit: go local. Seek out activities or sites to see that are unique to that area. Dine at neighborhood establishments that serve regional specialties. And to really get the flavor of the destination, visit a local craft brewery.
Anchorage has no shortage of craft breweries and locally made beverages that are very popular with residents and visitors alike. All these companies are proud to call Alaska home and many use locally grown ingredients in their beverages. In fact, clean glacial water is the key to successful brewing in Anchorage.
Whether you are a microbrew enthusiast or just enjoy an occasional brew, these locally produced beers allow you an opportunity to sample a new favorite and support the community. Here are a few of our favorite breweries, brewpubs, and other adult beverage makers in and around Anchorage, along with a drink suggestion for each.
Stick around after the list to learn how you can win prizes just by drinking and eating at these establishments!
Midnight Sun Brewing Company
Anchorage’s oldest brewery currently produces over 40 varieties of ales and lagers. They are known for their unique barrel-aged stouts and barley wines, ideal drinks for the cozy winter Alaska days. For those days playing under the midnight sun, crisp Indian Pale Ales and Belgian Ales are great choices. Seasonal and specialty beers (an Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter for Halloween…yes, please!) as well as canned cocktails are all brewed and served here. Their brewery features a restaurant, The Loft, with 16 beers and 2 sodas on tap – all made on-site, along with a daily menu of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and melts.
Must try: Sockeye Red, their flagship India Pale Ale
Established in 1996, Glacier BrewHouse consistently ranks in the Top 10 brewpubs for beer production in the U.S. It’s easy to understand why their 110-seat restaurant fills up quickly: huge flavor and selection. Offering a line of 13 craft beers from blonde ales to stouts plus barleywines, this brewhouse is all about local with their menu featuring fresh Alaska seafood, salads, chowders, and appetizers.
Must try: Order a Flight to sample six of their flagship brews and discover your new favorite.
If lagers and Belgian-styles beers are in your wheelhouse, stop at Cynosure Brewing. With up to 10 beers on tap in the tasting room, this spot is a popular gathering place for a variety of food trucks as well as beer enthusiasts. You may order from the trucks and bring food inside, order in from the menu offered, or even bring your own food to enjoy with your brew. Check them out on social media channels too, as they announce special bottle pours, tappings, and releases often.
Must try: Leyland Lager – an American lager and Blue-Ribbon winner at the 2021 AK Beer Awards
49th State Brewing
With humble beginnings in a bus barn in 2010, 49th State Brewing has grown to two brewpub locations with a third opening soon. They also created and operate two different festivals annually. Augtoberfest is a take on Octoberfest, complete with traditional Bavarian food, music, activities, and of course, beer. Solstice Brewfest is celebrated during summer complete with one of their core brews, Solstice IPA, in a special and unique variation each year. This beer was created as an ode to Alaska’s 24 hours of sunlight on the summer solstice.
Must try: Solstice IPA, which is nationally rated in the Top 10 IPA on Untappd
Odd Man Rush Brewing
This microbrewery was founded in 2015 by three friends who share a passion for creating unique flavored brews and hockey. Their hobby turned business has become a local favorite, with about 15 ales, ciders, IPAs, and more on tap. They also serve wine, craft cocktails, margaritas, craft sodas, and other beverages to satisfy any thirst.
Must try: Cherry Bomb! – a barrel-aged sour w/ brett, pedio and lacto aged on sour cherry.
Winner of the 2022 Best Tap Selection in Anchorage by Press Picks, this brewpub has three locations and statewide distribution of an assortment of craft beers, hard seltzers, and ready-to-drink canned cocktails. Their menu features locally grown food and entrees such as beer-battered Alaska fish (made with their beer of course), reindeer sausage biscuits & gravy, and elk pepperoni topping for your pizza.
Must try: Backcountry Blue – one of their signature brews, this blueberry blonde ale is low in bitterness and high in taste.
Ready to try Alaska-grown and distilled Aurora Gin, Glacier Vodka, or Straight Rye Whiskey? How about a Blueberry or Ghost Pepper flavored Vodka or Cinnamon Moonshine? Since 2007 Anchorage Distillery has been using its “Grain to Glass” process that includes glacier fresh water and Alaska grain to create their line of spirits and canned craft cocktails featuring a distinctly Alaska flavor. Try a straight sample or a craft cocktail in the tasting room, open 5 days a week, and free tours are given every Wednesday.
Must try: The Forget Me Not, a mix of blueberry-flavored vodka, house-crafted blueberry lemonade, and a touch of lavender syrup, is a tasting room favorite.
Double Shovel Cider Co.
The first and largest micro-cidery in Alaska specializes in producing hard ciders made in part with Alaskan-grown apples, berries, and fruit. Their tap room features at least 10 ciders on tap with unique flavors such as Pineapple Toasted Coconut, AK Apple, Cranberry, and Pepper Peak. With a daily rotation of food trucks and plenty of seating on the outdoor patio, this is a great place to get a true taste of Alaska.
Must try: the cider taster flight is the best way to sample many of their fantastic flavors.
Two Seasons Meadery
If you’re not familiar with Mead, or “honey wine”, Two Seasons Meadery is a great place to start. This thousands-year-old fermented drink is made from honey and through modern brewing techniques, a variety of different flavors are achieved, from raspberry to apple to sweet & spicy. This truly unique craft drink is available for tastings and purchase in the Meadery’s taproom.
Must try: Meadarita – white clover honey, limes, oranges, and blue agave nectar combine to make a margarita-tasting mead.
Big Swig Tours
If you’re short on time and not able to visit all of these breweries or want to delve deeper into the craft brew scene, this is a good option for you! Join a knowledgeable Tour “Hoperator” on a 4-hour behind-the-scenes tour where you will visit three local craft breweries, enjoy a minimum of 14 tastings and charcuterie boards, and have a chance to meet the brewers and learn more about the history, process, and local impact of each brewery. Tours are limited to 14 guests to help ensure a personalized and unforgettable experience.
Local Flavor Pass
When you sign up to receive the Anchorage Local Flavor Pass on your mobile phone, you can explore many of these breweries in addition to the best dining and entertainment in town and earn prizes while supporting these local businesses! A complete win-win for everyone.
How does this work? Simply follow the easy instructions here to get the mobile exclusive pass sent to your phone. No app to install, your pass will instantly be delivered to you via text and email.
When you visit a participating business, just check in on the pass (using your phone’s GPS) and start earning points toward prizes! Earn 300 points and automatically be entered into a grand prize drawing to win a $100 gift card to the Anchorage Museum Store.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Anchorage today!
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