Alaskan Brewing is making a few changes to begin 2012. The company, currently distributed in just 12 states across the U.S., will begin sending beer to the Lone Star State through Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors.
In a press release, Ben E. Keith specialty beverage manager Kevin Nettleton commented on the move.
“Alaskan’s line up of award-winning beers has been requested by retailers and consumers in Texas for some time. We are thrilled to be able to distribute this unique portfolio of beers across the state.”
Recall that Alaskan told Brewbound.com last November its plans to entire both Texas and New Mexico by this summer. Entering Texas comes at a time when the brewery is also introducing a new Pilot Series beer and making a small packaging tweak.
Entering the Pilot Series is Alaskan Birch Bock. It is brewed with Alaska Birch Syrup, an ingredient previously incorporated into its 25th Anniversary, Perseverance Ale. Also going forward, the brewery will begin using pry-off closures on all bottled offerings, in an attempt to improve the quality of the beer over time.
“The decision to undergo this conversion was driven by the fact that pry-off closures have been proven superior at protecting the quality of beer flavor in a bottle overtime,” explained Operations Manager David Wilson in a press release.
Below are the three press releases with more detailed information on the changes.
Alaskan Brewing announces expansion into Texas
Juneau brewery partners with Ben E. Keith Company to bring a “taste of Alaska” to the Lone Star State
JUNEAU, AK – Beer drinkers in Texas will soon enjoy brews from the Last Frontier when Alaskan Brewing brings their bottled “taste of Alaska” to the Lone Star State this spring. Alaskan Brewing Co. is partnering with Ben E. Keith Beverage Distributors in Texas to bring their award-winning beers to market throughout the state.
“Alaskan’s line up of award-winning beers has been requested by retailers and consumers in Texas for some time,” says Ben E. Keith specialty beverage manager, Kevin Nettleton. “We are thrilled to be able to distribute this unique portfolio of beers across the state.”
Founded by Geoff and Marcy Larson in 1986, Alaskan has been brewing and bottling award-winning beers that reflect their home in Juneau, Alaska for more than 25 years. The brewery researched the move into Texas for several years, wanting to first ensure they had an established supply chain to support the long trip from Alaska before expanding their distribution to such a large state. Texas will be the 14th state to serve Alaskan Brewing products.
“Alaskans and Texans seem to have a lot in common, especially in their appreciation of wide open spaces and of quality craft beer. We have been getting letters, calls and emails from thirsty Texans for years,” says Alaskan Brewing Co-founder, Marcy Larson. “We are truly excited to finally be answering the call with our partners at Ben E. Keith.”
Alaskan will first enter Texas with their Gold Rush-era inspired Alaskan Amber, along with Alaskan White Ale and Alaskan IPA on draft. These and Alaskan’s seasonal products will be available in kegs and cases in Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio in April.
“We are very proud to represent Alaskan,” shared Ben E. Keith Beverage Division president Kevin Bartholomew. “Geoff and Marcy are wonderful people and they, and their crew, brew incredible beers.”
Alaskan Brewing and Ben E. Keith Co. will be posting news and announcements about launch events and activities at Facebook.com/AlaskanBrewingCoTX and AlaskanBeer.com as they get closer to beer’s release in the market.
Alaskan brings back the birch in new Pilot Series release
Alaskan Birch Bock releases March 1
JUNEAU, AK – Alaskan Brewing announces the release of Alaskan Birch Bock, the newest addition to their Pilot Series collection of limited edition specialty beers. This doppelbock-style ale brewed with Alaska birch syrup will be available on draft and in 22 ounce“Alaskan Birch Bock puts a unique twist on the doppelbock style,” says Alaskan’s Darin Jensen. “Birch syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness mid-palate and a nice cutting dryness at the finish. We used over 45 gallons of syrup for the making so you can really taste it in the brew.”
Alaskan Birch Bock is a tawny, copper-colored ale with lightly toasted and caramel malt highlights and the earthy undertones of birch, figs and spun sugar. Birch Syrup adds a subtle woodsy and sherry-like character that mingles with the hop bitterness to create clean and dry finish that nicely masks the spice of alcohol in this medium-bodied beer.
The 2-3 week tapping window and time-consuming boiling process of Alaska birch syrup make it a truly rare and gourmet ingredient. The rich and spicy notes of birch syrup added complexity to Alaskan’s 25th Anniversary Perseverance Russian Imperial Stout, but this distinct ingredient from the Alaska Birch Syrup Company and Kahiltna Birchworks is the showcase flavor in Alaskan Birch Bock.
“Alaskan Birch Bock is a great addition to our collection of recipes that age well in a bottle,” says Alaskan Operations Manager David Wilson. The natural tannins in birch syrup are akin to those of the spruce tips in Alaskan Winter Ale and of the smoke compounds in Alaskan Smoked Porter and Perseverance Imperial Stout. “The same compounds that preserved and protected the trees, now naturally preserve our beers.”
Other members of the specialty Pilot Series have included Alaskan’s Double Black and Imperial IPAs, award-winning Barley Wine and Raspberry Wheat, which will make another appearance in the Pilot Series this June. Alaskan Raspberry Wheat will be followed by the much-anticipated return of Alaskan Baltic Porter in September.
Alaskan Brewing Transitions to Pry-off Bottle Caps
Packaging change to support quality, shelf life and consistency
Alaskan Brewing is switching to pry-off crowns on all of their 12 oz. bottles starting this month. Alaskan’s Quality Assurance department initiated the change to pry-off crowns to better protect the quality of their products from bottling to purchase.
“The decision to undergo this conversion was driven by the fact that pry-off closures have been proven superior at protecting the quality of beer flavor in a bottle overtime,” explained Operations Manager David Wilson.
The tighter seal of pry-off closures are more effective at preventing oxygen from getting into the bottle. The pry-off closure also makes for a stronger bottle than the twist-off bottles, which have small raised edges on the twist-off closure making them more susceptible to chipping and leaking.
“We understand that there may be some loss of convenience due to this conversion,” says Wilson. “While this is not an issue we take lightly, we also know our consumers are buy our beer for its quality and flavor and we are confident that increase in quality that comes with the transition to pry-off caps will more than make up for any inconvenience.”
Alaskan started packaging with new pry-off closures this week, though the new packaging may not arrive in some markets for several weeks.
About Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaskan Brewing Co. has been making award-winning beer in Juneau, Alaska, since 1986. The Alaskan Brew Crew bottles the unique character of the Last Frontier with historic recipes, local ingredients and glacier-fed water. Alaskan Brewing handcrafts Amber, Pale, White, IPA, Stout, Smoked Porter, Winter Ale, Summer Ale and a variety of limited edition beers in the Alaskan Pilot Series. Follow Alaskan at Facebook.com/AlaskanBrewingCo, Twitter.com/AlaskanBrewing and www.alaskanbeer.com.
About Ben E. Keith Beverages
Ben E. Keith Company, established in 1906, began selling Anheuser-Busch products in 1933. Today, Ben E. Keith Company’s Beverages division is one of the largest independent Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in the country. The company also distributes import beers, craft beers, wine products and nonalcoholic beverages. With fourteen Sales & Distribution Centers in Texas including Abilene, Austin, Brownwood, Commerce, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Ft. Worth, Houston, Kerrville, Llano, Palestine, San Antonio, and Waco, the company operates throughout the state of Texas. For more information, please visit www.BenEKeith.com/beverage .