JUNEAU, Alaska – As temperatures drop and the sunlight hours begin to wane, Alaskan Brewing Co. is bringing back a fan-favorite winter warmer: Alaska Winter Ale featuring Sitka spruce tips. First released by the brewery in 2000, the seasonal release of Winter Ale marks the transition to colder seasons for many dedicated Alaskan fans.
“Winter Ale is one of our longtime signature seasonal rotators and local favorites,” said Alaskan Brewing Co. Communications Manager, Andy Kline. “We tapered off brewing Winter last year and released it on draft only in Alaska, but in response to numerous requests from thirsty fans, we’re releasing it to a wider audience this year in bottles,” explained Kline. “So, all you ‘Lower 48’ Winter Ale fans: brace yourselves, Winter is coming.”
Winter Ale is brewed with spruce tips: the fresh new growth that emerges from the branches of Sitka spruce trees in the spring. This method of sprucing up beer is a tradition with a rich history in Southeast Alaska, with its use noted as far back as Captain Cook’s explorations, when the seafaring adventurers would add spruce tips to their brews to for flavor and to help fight off scurvy.
Spruce tips exhibit a citrusy, berry-like flavor that Alaskan Brewing Co. Head Brewer, Rob Day, says lends itself well to various brews. “We have experimented with spruce tips in other beer styles, recently adding brews like Spruce IPA and Cranberry Tart to our repertoire, but Winter was our original recipe to showcase the unique local ingredient,” said Day. “We brew Winter in the style of an English Olde Ale; it’s rich and malty with a clean, crisp finish of noble hops, with the spruce tips primarily coming through in the aroma.”
Alaskan Winter Ale will be available through December in the 25 states where Alaskan beer is distributed.
About The Alaskan Brewing Company
The Alaskan Brewing Company was established by Geoff and Marcy Larson in 1986. Beginning with Alaskan Amber, a beer based on a Gold Rush-era recipe, the brewery has always strived for creative brews, pioneering innovative brewing processes, and a commitment to the Alaskan way of life.