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.
When 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!