Photo Credit: Big Swig Tours

Alaska Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries

IMG 8457 alaska alaska breweries

Even if you’re not the kind of beer fan who sports a waxed mustache and skinny jeans while quaffing your favorite new IPA, it’s hard not to notice the nationwide emergence of a fast-growing industry—the craft beer revolution.

Even though a large chunk of our beautiful state sits above the 66th parallel, isolated from its lower 48 brothers and sisters, Alaska is not one to miss the bus. In fact, one might argue that Alaska is driving the bus, carving out its own niche in an industry thriving with growth and excitement.

At the moment, Alaska boasts an impressive count of almost 40+ breweries — and the number changes regularly. With its total population teetering around 800,000, Alaska is ranked eighth in the nation for the number of breweries per capita. How can a small population support so many breweries? The answer: Community-driven success. Alaskans aren’t easily impressed, and just another fizzy yellow beer, without any character behind it, isn’t going to make the cut. Statewide, our breweries work hard to bring their Alaskan spirit and creativity, from grain to glass. Passion is infused in every step of the brewing process, delivering high-quality ales and lagers to local taprooms filled with smiling patrons.

There Must Be Something in the Water

So what makes Alaska craft beer so special? For one thing, Alaska must source the majority of its brewing ingredients, packaging, and equipment from Outside. With high shipping costs to such a remote state, life as a brewery owner in Alaska is serious (and often risky) business.

But one can’t overlook the fact that Alaska has one of the cleanest and most abundant resources that is vital to a beer’s quality: Water. Indeed, we have lots of it. Our watersheds are born from the source—glacial ice and snowmelt—producing cold, clean, and soft water. It’s a brewer’s dream. Since 90 percent of beer by volume is water, Alaska breweries are able to produce some of the cleanest, most true-to-style ales and lagers in the country.

Alaska’s Beer Map

From the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks (just 200 miles from the Arctic Circle) to Sitka (only 900 miles from Seattle), Alaska’s 40+ Breweries are spread over a large geographical distance. Some of these breweries fall off our limited road system and are only accessible by boat or airplane. So, if you plan on visiting them all in one trip, fuel up the Super Cub and get busy. (Otherwise, you can also take a few good road or rail tours that help point the way—and do the driving for you—like Big Swig Tours, led out of Anchorage by Alaska beer expert Bryan Caenepeel.)

Show Map

Wineries & Breweries

Craft beer, local­ly sourced food, and a ter­rif­ic loca­tion in the heart of down­town Anchor­age all add up to a can’t‑miss expe­ri­ence. Dine inside the two-sto­ry restau­rant, or step upstairs to the rooftop deck for mag­nif­i­cent views of the Alas­ka Range and Cook Inlet.

How unique is the 49th State? For starters, it’s the only brew­pub restau­rant here that serves Alaskan yak, in the form of a yak burg­er. Or tuck into the buf­fa­lo meat­loaf, a spe­cial­ty. Don’t miss the house­made Bavar­i­an pret­zel. And Fri­days bring a spe­cial treat — a pig roast, with a pig from a local farm, roast­ed in ale and smoked over alder wood

Ursa Major was one of the first dis­til­leries in Alas­ka and the first legal dis­tillery in Fair­banks. Today they’re ded­i­cat­ed to the fine craft of small-batch spir­its, and you can enjoy their akav­it, rum, vod­ka, gin, canned cock­tails, and sea­son­al releas­es of whiskey. Vis­it the tast­ing room, join a tour, or take a mixol­o­gy class!

The Glac­i­er Brew­house is a favorite among locals and vis­i­tors alike. Meals are served in a large rus­tic din­ing area, com­plete with a fire­place in the mid­dle, cre­at­ing a warm and invit­ing atmos­phere that’s always abuzz with con­ver­sa­tion. Here you can enjoy fresh seafood and meats while sam­pling a spec­trum of home­made beers. Before or after you meal, be sure to check out the brew­ing equip­ment on dis­play through the glass wall. 

High-qual­i­ty spir­its craft­ed and mixed with local ingre­di­ents have brought suc­cess to this tiny dis­tillery. Its set­ting in a ren­o­vat­ed, post-and-beam struc­ture over­look­ing Chilkoot Inlet add charm to the experience.

Homer Brew­ing Com­pa­ny opened its doors in 1996 and has been a local fix­ture ever since. The brew­ery is open 7 days a week, until about 6pm (hours vary slight­ly, so it does­n’t hurt to call ahead). While there isn’t an offi­cial tour, you’re wel­come to look around while you enjoy your brew. 

Bob­by Wilken, Own­er and Brew­mas­ter, walks vis­i­tors behind the counter and through the process from raw grains (stacked in the back cor­ner) to fin­ished beer, which takes three weeks from start to com­ple­tion. Vis­i­tors get a close-up view of the mill, pro­duc­tion ves­sels, and stain­less steel stor­age and fer­men­ta­tion tanks through which the beer must pass. Bob­by, an approach­able and pas­sion­ate busi­ness­man, breaks down the sig­nif­i­cance of each step  ...more

Din­ner and a $4 movie. Bear Tooth brings togeth­er inex­pen­sive, late-run movies, food, and draft beer and wine. Order yum­my piz­za and bur­ri­tos from full-ser­vice kitchen, deliv­ered to your the­ater table. Adults sit on the main floor, while any­one can sit in the bal­cony. Not in the mood to catch a show? There’s a sep­a­rate restau­rant. Part of Moose’s Tooth fam­i­ly. High­lights: Piz­za Pub & Movie The­ater Con­tact: 1230 W 27th Ave, 9072764200  ...more

Serv­ing up local­ly brewed beers in a fun, fam­i­ly-friend­ly pub atmos­phere, St. Elias is a favorite with locals and trav­el­ers. It draws a crowd and can get loud and a lit­tle wild if they have live music. But with­out a band, it’s a fun, hap­pen­ing place. They have a great deck for nice after­noons, serve sam­pler flights of their beer and have great piz­za and big salads.

Orig­i­nal­ly the Fox Road­house, this old-style build­ing has been ren­o­vat­ed to house a brew­ery and brew pub. Ten miles from Fair­banks, the brew­ery has at least a dozen house-made beers on tap, and a huge selec­tion of bot­tled brews, many of which can’t be found any­where else in town. There’s a large, open beer gar­den out back, ide­al for sum­mer nights. And the food’s great. 

Arkose Brew­ery is named after Arkose Ridge and Arkose Peak in the Tal­keet­na Moun­tain Range of Palmer, Alas­ka. You can enjoy a pint of arti­san ales, take a brew­ery tour (every Tues­day at 6 p.m.) or attend one of our fun events such as Beer Meets Can­vas and Beer Meets Choco­late. Find Arkose beer at many loca­tions through­out the state. See our web­site and face­book page for more infor­ma­tion. Cheers! 

This is a local favorite that serves what could be the best piz­za in Alas­ka. It’s also a micro­brew­ery. That said, its crowd­ed and loud. They don’t accept reser­va­tions and a wait isn’t unheard of. But there is plen­ty of space inside and out­side to wait for your table. And, you can even enjoy a brew (or a home­made cream soda or root beer) while you wait. 

You’ll find this invit­ing brew­ery and restau­rant on Main Street in Tal­keet­na. Sin­gle Engine Red, Twister Creek IPA, and the Slow Down Brown are local favorites. 

Anchor­age Brew­ing fer­ments their beer in oak for months, and it’s all brewed with bret­tanomyces, a com­plex wild yeast that gives the beers abun­dant flavors. 

If you pre­fer big and bold beers, look no fur­ther than Anchorage’s old­est craft brew­ery, the award-win­ning Mid­night Sun Brew­ing Company. 

This brew­ery in Skag­way, Alas­ka is also is restau­rant. Sig­na­ture brews include the Prospec­tor Pale, Chilkoot Trail IPA, Boom Town Brown, Blue Top Porter. 

You can stop into this local Kenai brew­ery for a taste, or a tour. Tours are offered every oth­er Fri­day at 6pm. Be sure to call in advance. 

Estab­lished in 1986, the Alaskan Brew­ing Co was the first brew­ery to open in Juneau after Pro­hi­bi­tion. Stop in for a guid­ed tast­ing to sam­ple a vari­ety of brew unique­ly cre­at­ed by the own­ers to reflect fla­vors sim­i­lar to those of the Gold Rush Era. Gift Shop and Tast­ing Hours Win­ter: Octo­ber — April: 11 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., Mon­day — Sat­ur­day Sum­mer: May — Sep­tem­ber: 11 a.m. — 7 p.m., 7 days a week 

Enjoy a glass in the tast­ing room, or pick your favorite to go. Beers are avail­able in 6‑packs, 64 oz. growlers, and kegs for larg­er gath­er­ings. Favorites include Ski­lak Scot­tish and Sunken Island IPA. Now also serv­ing food! Mon­day — Sun­day, 12pm — 8pm. 

Alas­ka may not be known for its wines, but it is famous for its great berries — full fla­vors that make for won­der­ful wines. At this small win­ery and B&B in Homer, you can taste and pur­chase a com­pelling mix of award-win­ning fruit wines and fruit grape wine blends.

Kodi­ak Island Brew­ing Com­pa­ny opened in 2003 and is the only brew­ery on the island. Their invit­ing Tap­room allows locals and vis­i­tors to sam­ple some brews, enjoy a pint or two or take a growler to go. 

Locat­ed on Main Street in Haines, Alas­ka, you can enjoy a brew inside or in their out­door beer garden. 

King Street Brew­ing Com­pa­ny has a fan­tas­tic line­up focus­ing on tra­di­tion­al, Euro­pean beer styles rather than big bold standouts. 

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