So I'm visiting my uncle in this tiny town in rural Mississippi, and I idly reach into his beer cooler and pull out...Alaskan Amber Ale. I had to blink twice to make sure I was reading this correctly. I've been hearing about this beer for EIGHT YEARS! My hand trembled a little and a bead of sweat formed at my temple as I reached for the opener. I poured it into the pint glass and marveled at the handsome burnt amber color. My eyes glazed as I inhaled the heavenly malty aroma. I took a hefty mouthful, swished it around and suddenly--eyes wide open with sickening realization--I thought, "...Meh." That's it? After all these years?!? This holy grail of beers and all I can come up with is "meh"? Sighhh...once again, proof you should never get something built up in your mind; it's bound to wind up a disappointment.
Reviewed: October 28, 2006
I came across this similarly by accident, but not quite the same way as Sam did. A couple of friends of mine vacationed in Alaska last summer, and the husband enjoyed beers from Alaska Brewing so much, the wife ordered some for his birthday. We were visiting them while on vacation in NJ, and knowing my love of beer, I was given one to try. It's an Altbier-style, with pale malts and top-fermenting yeast. Not a lot of bitterness, but instead a nice slightly sweet maltiness that I enjoyed. It was handed to me in a bottle, and not wanting to be rude I neglected to ask for a glass, but if given the opportunity I'd like to try it again poured into a glass to learn the other characteristics about this beer. Like Sam suggested, it won't blow your mind, but it's not supposed to. Altbiers aren't special seasonal ales, they are the standard every day beer of Düsseldorf and the Rhineland region, to be purchased by the case and drunk every day. You can't go wrong keeping this on hand and handing out to guests, unless you live in NJ or Mississippi and can rarely get this.
Reviewed: March 15, 2009