JUNEAU, Alaska — As winter descends upon Alaska, Alaskan Brewing Co. is again releasing its unique Winter Ale. This seasonal brew made with locally harvested spruce tips is an annual favorite, and should see its fans through another scurvy-free winter.
That’s right, scurvy. Alaskan’s Winter Ale is brewed in the style of an English Old Ale—a traditionally malty, warming beer brewed in the fall and consumed through the winter. Alaskan’s take on this style is inspired by none other than seafaring adventurer Captain James Cook, who discovered the pleasant flavor and scurvy-preventing value of Sitka spruce tips during one of his 18th century voyages in search of a Northwest Passage.
“The spruce tips harvest for this beer is an annual early summer ritual for the community of Gustavus, Alaska,” says Alaskan co-Founder Geoff Larson. “It seems like it is eagerly anticipated, and all of the tips are picked in a period of just a few days – so we get them in the peak of their flavor.”
This winter ale balances the sweet, heady aroma of Sitka spruce tips with a clean, crisp noble hop finish, and its malty richness complements the alcohol warmth.
Alaskan Winter Ale has been a part of Alaskan’s seasonal releases since its launch in 2000. Fans of this great winter warmer will see the bold and complex brew in bottles and on draft in select locations throughout Alaska and the other 16 states where Alaskan beers are sold, through December.