“I believe we have some of the best beer and breweries right here in our own backyard,” says Nicole Pearce, Brown Jug’s Alaska Region Beer Merchant. Nicole spent many summers working as a hiking guide in Denali. That experience got her hooked on the Alaskan way of life. She adores the outdoors, the mountains, and, last but not least, Alaskan beer. If you’re curious about Alaskan beer, read on! Our in-house beer expert has a lot to share.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT BEER?
“Beer is the perfect beverage to enhance social activities,” explains Nicole, the beer-fluent globetrotter. “It’s about community! It’s great after a long hike, by the campfire, and while you’re hanging out with the neighbors. The beer community is a really fun group of people.” She encourages travelers to always keep an eye out for local breweries, as they’re an ideal place to learn about a region’s history and culture, and meet locals.
BEER TASTING TIPS
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to beer tasting, but certainly keep these three factors in mind:
1.) Pour it in a glass. For optimal taste, don't drink it from the can or bottle. When you drink beer from a glass you get the full effect of the taste and aroma.
2.) What are you supposed to notice? Three things:
- Aroma (how does it smell?)
- Appearance (color, clarity)
-Body (how does it feel in the mouth?)
3.) Try tasting the beer after it warms a bit. Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors. As a beer warms, its true flavors will pull through and become more pronounced.
BEER PAIRING NEVER GETS OLD!
There’s nothing better than finding a great beer pairing. Nicole can attest to this as she was amazed when she discovered that apricot jam pairs really well with Kölsch.
Her most recent favorite pairings are Thai peanut beer with shrimp and grits, and a Caribbean-style blonde ale with mango and pineapple, paired with Kombu-cured Hamachi.
BROWN JUG’S GROWLERS ARE THE BEST ICEBREAKERS
“Every gathering is a potluck in Alaska,” explains Nicole. She always shows up with Deschutes growlers from the Brown Jug Growler Bar. She says growlers attract a lot of attention and have the power of persuasion. She’s seen entire rooms of professed IPA haters drinking IPA (and liking it) because they thought the growler it was in was really cool! Apart from growlers, Nicole says there are always really fun magnum bottles out around the holidays. She says that Anchor Christmas beer is always a hit!