JUNEAU, AK—The limited edition 2013 vintage of Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Alaskan Smoked Porter officially releases today on draft and in 22 oz bottles throughout the 15 states where Alaskan beer is sold. The smoked malt used in the beer makes for a unique taste, and also acts as a preservative that can allow for years of aging.
“As far as we know, Alaskan Smoked Porter has no real end to its shelf life. We are still enjoying vintages from our cellar that date back to 1993, when we started leaving some yeast in the bottle for better aging,” explains Alaskan Brewing co-founder Geoff Larson. Larson literally wrote the book on smoked beers in 2001, publishing Smoked Beers: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes, which he co-authored with Ray Daniels after over a decade of experience brewing with smoked malts.
The first release of this now vintage-dated beer was called “Alaskan Seasonal” in the late 1980s – a hearty winter seasonal brewed as a nod to the malting and brewing practices of the turn-of-the-century brewers in Alaska who had to malt their own barley using local alder wood for direct-fired heat. While the name officially changed to Alaskan Smoked Porter a couple of years later, the Alaskan Brew Crew still employs the same smokehouse used for the first batch those many years ago.
“Alder adds a traditional smoke character to our Porter that is true to the Alaskan landscape. Due to natural flavor changes in the wood and malt each year, no two vintages will taste the same when brewed, and they will not age in exactly the same way,” says Alaskan Brewing Plant Manager Curtis Holmes, “That’s what makes each year’s release so exciting for us.”
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