ALL ABOUT CRAFT BEER IN THE CITY WE LIVE IN EXCLUSIVE AUGUST NEWS
I recently had the opportunity to visit Alaskan Brewing in beautiful Juneau, AK. During my visit I was very interested in a process they call “Beer Powered Beer”. So I met up with Andy Kline, their Communication manager, to discuss this concept. Living in such a gorgeous part of our country with incredible wildlife, multiple glaciers and pectoris landscape it’s very important to the brewery to have a sustainable business and brewery. Their goal is to have a “zero negative impact on their environment by reclaiming and reusing at least as much waste and emissions as they produce.”
The whole goal of the “Beer Powered Beer” is to do more with less, and that’s exactly what they are doing. First, by being the first brewery in the U.S. to install a CO2 Recovery System. During the fermentation process the yeast creates the byproduct of CO2. This system captures and cleans the carbon dioxide then the brewery uses it for packaging and purging oxygen from holding tanks. This eliminates the need to have CO2 shipped in tanks to the brewery from the lower 48 states, it also prevents over one million pounds of CO2, a greenhouse gas, from being released in the atmosphere each year.
Ten years after the CO2 recovery system, Alaskan found another way to cut their impact on their environment by installing a “Mash Filter Press”. This system saved over one million gallons of water and 60,000 gallons of fuel in its 1st year. The Mash Filter presses the mash , extracting all liquid out of it to maximize yield. This process in turn helps to dry the spent grain out. Many breweries will sell their grain to local farmers or send it to the landfill. Since there are no farms in Juneau; Alaskan would dry their grain out and pay to have it shipped on a barge down to Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers. In 2011 they developed a first of its kind “Spent Grain Steam Boiler “fueled entirely by their spent grain. This steam is then used to power a lot of the equipment at the brewery.
The other method of power at the brewery is electricity which also is very “green”. All of Juneau generates its electricity — through High-Alpine Lake Taps, that are fed by Juneau Icefield (made of many glaciers) and from rain and snowfall filtered through the ground. The power company taps the bottom of these high alpine lakes and run turbines off of them to provide Juneau with electricity. Over 99% of their electricity comes from this method, which does not interfere with fish or any other animals. It is not a dam, but taps into the bottom, barren, part of lakes at high altitudes. So it is one of the most “clean” methods for generating power in the world.
Alaskan also promotes Coastal CODE, which is the sustainability of the Pacific Ocean and coastlines. They work to protect the health of the Ocean and the waterways that lead to them. They donate 1% of all proceeds from sales of Alaskan Icy Bay IPA to this cause.
So while sitting at The Hangar Bar, right on the Juneau docks, enjoying a cold Alaskan Amber and looking out over the water at my beautiful surrounding; I felt extremely rewarded and as if I was part of something bigger than myself. Sure you get caught up in the moment but there is no denying Alaskan has some extremely well made beers and doing their part to make the Craft World and our world a little better place , one pint at a time!
“Meet the Sisters”….the Goose Sisters. This is no ordinary gaggle, these are some of the most limited release sour beers from Goose Island. These beers are truly incredible and take a lot of time and patience to create. All named after women, all sour and all aged in some form of wine barrels. The wine barrel aging program began at Goose Island in 2007 as a small batch of Juliet and grew from there. Over the course of a year the breweries will sample, score and test these beers weekly waiting for the perfect flavors to peak so they can blend them, very much the same way Belgian breweries did their Flanders and Lambic styles. These beers are truly a labor of love and appeal to both Beer and Wine drinkers.
“Words without experience are meaningless”-Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Does this take you back to college? The 1955 novel that showed up on most required reads about a professor and a young girl is the inspiration behind the name of Goose Islands Raspberry Sour-Lolita. A Belgian Pale Ale aged in wine barrels on top of locally sourced raspberries. The oak barrels add a lovely buttery oak and vanilla to the smooth tart raspberries.
Halia, is a saison aged for at least nine months in white wine barrels with 12,000 pounds of fresh peaches from Michigan. Halia was brewed in memory of a dear friend of one of the breweries who loved peaches; in Hawaiian Halia means “remembrance of a loved one”. Halia pours slightly orange in color with a light tartness and sweet hints of pear, dried apricot, honey and juicy peaches.
Gillian, is a whimsical saison brewed with 10,000 pounds of strawberries and 4,000 pounds of honey and white pepper. Gillian was inspired by an amuse bouche that was often prepared by the wife of Goose Island Brewer Keith Gabbett. Keith loves this dish so much he was inspired to create a beer based on those flavors. The name comes from one of his favorite actresses Gillian Anderson…most of us remember her from the X-Files. This beer is refreshing and effervescent with a sweet and tangy finish.
Juliet, named after the sister of the owner and fourth generation brewer of Cantillon Brewery in Belgium….ones of the number one rated sour breweries in the world. This beer is aged for at least 8 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with 9,000 pounds of Michigan blackberries. This beer is tart and fruity, with complex notes of wood, tannin, dark fruit and spice.
Madam Rose is a Belgian style Flanders Brown ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on Michigan Sour cherries in cabernet wine barrels for 18 months. Madame Rose is a homage to Belgium’s first female Brewmaster, Rose Blancquaert-Merckx. As the former brewery manager of the historic Liefmans brewery; Rose’s passion for the tradition of brewing became an inspiration to the Goose Island brewers. After 18 months of aging, the brewers will blend multiple barrels together to create this amazingly complex crimson colored beer with layers of malt complexity, sour cherry , spice and wood notes.
“The Sisters “are very limited and normally not available at the same time. These beers cannot be rushed, and just as in wine making the barrels will determine when the beers are ready. Also like wines, these beers can be stored for several years, developing and changing in the bottles.
Goose Island Migration week takes place the end of this month, with a number of events around the valley. Watch our website for a list of where and when. You will find some of “the sisters” at these events.
Anderson Valley Dreef Foop-6.5%ABV
Faced with some extra hops from other brewing projects, we set out to brew a PacNW style IPA. It is brewed with Pale two-row malt and Columbus, Citra, and Centennial hops, then dry-hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra. Flavors and aromas of herbal pine, grapefruit, orange.
Joseph James Rootbeer
Style-Non Alcoholic Soda
Solid non-alcoholic Rootbeer brewed with sugar cane, and a twist of honey and vanilla. Brewed locally in Henderson.
Amber in color. This medium bodied beer has achieved its impeccable taste by balancing the roasted malt flavor with the perfect amount of hops. Having a rich textured palate with an underlying sweetness true to tradition.
Goose Island Halia-7.5%ABV
Style: Sour Peach
99 Points RateBeer
Halia is a farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels with whole peaches, resulting in bright, effervescent fruit notes in a soft, hazy body that finishes slightly tart and sweet with the pleasant character of ripe, juicy peaches.
10 Barrel Joe-6.9%ABV
95 Point RateBeer
Kona’s traditional farmhouse style ale with Keitt mangoes and French Saison yeast conjures a uniquely Hawaiian twist of citrus and spice flavors with a touch of tartness.
Elysian Night Owl-5.9%ABV
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Ale brewed with pumpkin & pumpkin seeds & fermented with spices. Our original pumpkin ale is brewed with over 7 lbs. of pumpkin per barrel and spiced in conditioning with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
Golden Road Saison Key Lime-5.8%ABV
Hints of bright Key Lime and subtle spice are complemented by juicy Citra and Galaxy hops. German malts create a soft malt profile that makes this bright and effervescent Key Lime Saison the perfect companion to warm sunny days.
Joseph James Desert Snow-4.7ABV
Style: White IPA
White IPA starts with an ultra-light malt bill consisting of Pilsner malt, wheat, and oats. Bringing a truly American twist to this otherwise traditional Belgian ale, we add an obscene amount of Mosaic, Equinox, and El Dorado hops at finishing. Coriander and orange peel accent the fruity characteristics of the Belgian yeast.
Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis-7%ABV
Style-Oatmeal Stout w/Vanilla
95 Points RateBeer
A delicious Oatmeal Stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity.
Kona Pipeline Porter-5.3%ABV
Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor.
Uinta Punk’n-5% ABV
Harvest the flavors of fall with a bottle opener and a stroll down the craft-brewed beer aisle. Four+ Punk’n Ale is the pick of the crop with notes of roasted pumpkin and seasonal spices. Savory. Crisp. The sweetness is in the celebration, not on the palate.
Woodchuck Fall-5% ABV
The fall harvest brings farmers and communities together to celebrate another year of fruitful labor. It is a time of shorter days, cooler nights, and great apples. This cider has a complex and elegant character full of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg balanced with a hint of American White Oak.