Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Alaskan Amber

Seattle waterfont

Seattle waterfront

After a very long day filled with intense thinking and a little touch of jet lag, I headed down to the hotel bar where I am staying for a business meeting and asked the following question;

“Do you have any local microbrews?”

“Yep, we have Red Hook!” said the bartender.

My heart sank. Red Hook’s East Coast Brewery is around the corner from where I used to live in New Hampshire, and I was really hoping I could find *something* to drink in the great city of Seattle other than that.

“Do you have anything besides Red Hook? I see some Alaskan beer down there?”

“Oh, we have the Alaskan Amber, But that’s not really local.”

“I’ll have that.”

So, after that silly exchange to try and get to a beer that I hadn’t tried, I was presented with a glass filled with amber goodness. It was a dark orange with very little head, though that’s probably because the bartender filled it to the absolute max. I was happy to see that it seemed to be a nice alt beer instead of a week, non-descript “ale” so I was eager to take a sip.

According to their website, the Alaskan Amber “is based on a recipe from a turn-of-the-century brewery in the Juneau area.” Though I was intrigued that its last accolade from GABF was when I was a scant 8 years old (a little too young to have heard about it, I think), I am all for history. And, Alt style beers are interesting because they’re brewed with a slower and colder fermentation process than most ales – making a nice and smooth beer.

AlaskanAmberWhen I tasted it I was immediately happy that I ordered it. Very thirst-quenching, satisfying and easy to drink. It had a very well-balanced taste, with some toasty maltiness. It wasn’t too heavy but was just full of flavor that was a welcome treat after a long day of meetings.

Though perhaps it isn’t the most interesting beer in the world – it would probably go well with a nice dinner without interfering with the flavors, and the aftertaste makes you really want that next sip. I’d recommend this without hesitation if you’re in the “not really local to Alaska” area of Seattle and happen to see this. Honestly, I’d order it anytime. I think I’d just ask for it by name next time!


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  1. john blair

    Dear sirs
    I first tried Alaskan Amber on a trip to Alasks and fell in love with it I love amber beer anyway but I have not found one that compares with your beer I wished that I could buy it in Alberta Canada.

  2. Larry

    I discovered Alaskan Amber during my recent cruise and car trip into Alaska. It is a fabulous drink and seems to compliment most foods I tried it with. Now to find a source on the East coast (NJ) … might be expensive to ship from Juneau! ;-o)

  3. We first tried Alaskan Amber at a restaurant near Denali, and we loved it!

    We live in Virginia, so getting it here has been a trial. Found one supplier that ships here, but they are frequently out. Seems we’re not the only ones who want to relive our vacation through our beer.

  4. Beer Babe,

    Tried Alaskan Amber at Elliott’s Oyster House in Seattle last year. It was an easy drinking altbier and paired well with seafood.

    When you were in Seattle, did you get a chance to visit the Tap House Grill? 160 beers on tap including a lot of excellent local brews.


    Bill Z.

  5. You don’t find many American microbrews that are the alt style. Gotta say an Alaskan Amber every now and again is a good thing.

  6. Managed to try Alaskan amber on my last trip to the US and it was damb good. really smooth with a really clean cut fresh feel about it.

  7. Patrick

    Are you visiting Seattle? I live here and can recommend some stellar beer bars if you’re interested. Red Hook and Alaskan Amber are good beers but they’re so commonplace here that if you only try them it’d be like going to Napa Valley and ordering a Sutter Home 😉

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