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Fairbanks Trip

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Hey folks. I just got back from a few days in the town of Fairbanks, Alaska. It was cold…like -30F cold. BUT I got to try some new beers. There’s only a few breweries in Alaska and only one in Fairbanks. Apart from Alaskan in Juneau, there’s Midnight Sun and Anchorage Brewing in Anchorage, Kassik’s in Kenai, and Silver Gulch in Fairbanks.

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Kassik’s is a new one for me. They’ve got some slightly dirty labels, so that’s always cool. The Beaver Tail came home with me, so you will see a review for that soon. The Morning Wood IPA wasn’t all that spectacular, but the Moose Point Porter was a delicious brew with a lot of chocolate and coffee coming through.

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One of the breweries that I’ve been trying my hardest to get is Anchorage Brewing. The brewer left Midnight Sun, which is a great brewery, to start his own…and he’s doing 100% barrel aged beers. That takes some balls. I’ve only had this Tripel from them, but it’s the best Tripel that I’ve ever had. It’s been aged in French Chardonnay barrels with Brett. It was full of flavor and amazingly complex, but like a great beer, showed an amazing amount of balance. Just an amazing beer. If This is on par with the other beers this guy is producing, they can rival Russian River.

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My girlfriend and I went to Silver Gulch Brewing for New Years Eve. This is the only brewery in Fairbanks and they put out a more upscale dinner menu. I had a chance to try three beers from these guys and was really impressed by the quality. They have 4 year-round beers that are bottled, but they have about 8 seasonals/special release beers. I tried the Snow Hook IPA, which was okay. It was strangely sweet. My girlfriend got the Dark Lady chocolate milk stout. That was a great beer. Huge flavor without being too sweet.

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And of course, I had to try the Fairbanks Lager. I was pretty excited to see that they make a couple lagers in addition to all the ales. I got to try their Cold Foot Pilsner earlier in the day, and thought it was a decent brew, but not amazing. But the Fairbanks Lager, pictured above, was a delicious Vienna Lager. Nice hint of toasted malts and a little bit of sweetness in a very drinkable package. It’s no Chuckanut, but still a damn fine beer.

Fairbanks is an interesting place to visit, if you ever get the chance. There are some super friendly people up there and if you’ve never drunk whiskey at 30 below, I recommend you try it once. I hope everyone has a great New Year. Cheers.

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