JUNEAU, Alaska — Summer seems finally to have arrived in Southeast Alaska and Alaskan Brewing Co. has responded by announcing the return of the eagerly anticipated Alaskan Raspberry Wheat Ale, scheduled for release May 31.
Raspberry Wheat was first unveiled in 2010 as the inaugural brew in Alaskan’s Pilot Series. It proved to be very popular, particularly in its home town of Juneau, and the brewery has released it in early summer every year since.
Raspberries and other berries are a summer treat in Alaska, and like much in the brief Alaskan summers, their ephemeral availability drives substantial demand in the 49th state. “There are almost fifty types of wild berries in the state,” said Alaskan Brewer Jessie Perry, “so they’ve long been a staple in the diet of both Alaskans and the many bears that live here. Brewing a beer that features some of our favorite berries is a natural fit.”
Alaskan Raspberry Wheat is an American-style wheat ale highlighting the bright flavors and inviting aroma of more than 3,000 pounds of real raspberries added during fermentation. The tart flavor of raspberries balances the full-bodied wheat profile and malt sweetness of this enticingly red-hued brew. Bigger than most traditional fruit beers, Alaskan Raspberry Wheat has a little extra kick to its dry and effervescent finish.
The 2012 release of the beer saw a record turn-out of fans, and the Brewery’s Gift Shop sold out of the entire initial bottling in under an hour. This year, Alaskan has increased the inventory and the release of the Raspberry Wheat will be celebrated with a pancake feed featuring raspberry syrup and special flapjacks prepared by the Brew Crew to serve to the expectant crowds—some of whom have already promised to camp out to reserve their places in line.
Alaskan Raspberry Wheat was awarded the 2012 Northwest Brewing News Readers’ Choice Award for best fruit beer, and is a member of Alaskan’s growing list of rotating specialty recipes released in the brewery’s limited-edition Pilot Series. Pilot Series beers represent the creativity of the Alaskan Brew Crew.
“Each new recipe is first created on our one-barrel experimental brew system, perfected in our ten-barrel pilot brewhouse, then put to the test through our Rough Draft series of draft-only beers distributed in Alaska,” explains Alaskan Production Manager Dave Wilson. Those special brews that stand out to the Brew Crew and their fans in Alaska graduate to a limited release in the Alaskan Pilot Series. “Alaskan Raspberry Wheat has been one of our favorite Pilot Series brews.”
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, Freeride APA, White, IPA, Stout, Smoked Porter, Winter Ale, Summer Ale and an array of limited edition beers in the Alaskan Pilot Series.