In our recent Beer Traveler issue, we profiled a select group of beer towns. We didn’t have the space to print them all. You can now find them here on our web site.
Though Alaska is a very large state, its population is concentrated around the edges due to the inhospitable weather. Forty percent of its residents live in Anchorage, which is the state’s largest city with around 280,000 people. For such a small town, there are plenty of beer choices.
There are four breweries in Anchorage: Glacier Brewhouse, Midnight Sun Brewing Co., Moose’s Tooth and Sleeping Lady (which also goes by the name Snow Goose Restaurant). There are also several bars that stock good beer, including Bear’s Tooth, Cafe Amsterdam, Cahir 5 Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse and Tap Root Cafe. If you can visit only one, Humpy’s is your best bet.
For buying beer, try either Brown Jug WareHouse or La Bodega, which used to be called Yukon Spirits. The local Brewers Guild of Alaska has of late tried to promote Alaska Beer week in early January around the same time as Anchorage’s premiere beer festival: The Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival. Beerwise, the whole town comes alive that week and it has become a popular best fest destination.
Despite it being cold outside, there are plenty of outdoor activities, especially if you love snow which the town gets around 70 inches of a year. Even In July, the high rarely hits 65 degrees. There are dozens of parks, many with hiking trials and several ski resorts. The area is also home to around 250 black bears and 60 grizzly bears. Moose have a summer population of about 250 but swell to 1,000 in the winter. Both are common sights in town.
If you prefer to stay indoors, there are numerous museums, such as the Alaska Museum of Natural History, the Anchorage Museum, the Imaginarium (or Science Discovery Center) and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.