BREWERY: Alaskan Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Juneau, Alaska
STYLE: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5 percent
RELEASE DATE: 2011
AVAILABLE IN: 22-ounce bottle
BEERS POURED: One
The inception of Alaskan Brewing Co. dates back to 1986 when Marcy and Geoff Larson were 28-years-old. One cool thing about them, other than being in Alaska, is that they were the first brewery in the US to install a carbon dioxide recovery system and as a result have not bought carbon dioxide in over 13 years.
Alaskan Imperial IPA’s malt grist consists of pale, Munich, and light crystal malts with the hop bill showing Simcoe, Mosaic, Topaz, Bravo, Summit, and Apollo. That quite the array of hops and the guys at Alaskan seem proud of the fact that their water is glacier-fed.
The label for Imperial IPA shows several Steller’s sea lions hanging out on a buoy near Benjamin Island, just to the north of Juneau. This beer was released as part of what is known as the Pilot series. Described as “a rotating collection of big, bold and distinctive brews” each recipe is first tested on Alaskan’s pilot brew system and released on draft only as a means to test the brew with local patrons. Only the best beers from that Rough Draft program make it to be a part of the Pilot Series.
Poured into a Speigleau IPA glass orange as can be and completely crystal clear. A good two fingers of white foam and constantly rising bubbles all in a row point to ample carbonation. The nose carries a wide range of hop aromas which include pears, blueberries, lemon zest and some familiar pine on the back end. The palate has a soft, fruity bitterness and a great middleweight mouthfeel. Think “Goldilocks” in terms of where Alaskan Imperial IPA’s palate sits. There is zero indication of the 8.5 percent alcohol content and the carbonation is really dialed in perfectly.