Updated

By RJ Johnson

Reach out to any of Alaska’s bars, breweries, restaurants and food and beverage establishments and they’ll do just about anything for you short of asking you to come on inside, belly up to the bar and enjoy a craft beer or another drink with a friend. I totally get the new restrictions and s…

Cynosure owner/brewer Clarke Pelz’s Facebook posting on March 14 that he’d closed his tap room as a precautionary measure made me chuckle. When I sat down to write this article last weekend, I envisioned poking fun at all the doomsday hoarders making it difficult for me to wipe my ass becaus…

On the morning of Monday, March 16th at 10 a.m., some bars and restaurants in Anchorage had already opened. In other locations the day shift was stocking items and making sure that they had enough supplies on hand to meet what was likely to be a slow day shift. The day before St. Patrick’s D…

Anchorage’s first official Rondy Beer Festival went off without a hitch. Sure, when it comes to beer festivals, some things can always be improved, but this event on Saturday, March 7 was a fundraiser for Priceless Alaska and that non-profit is around $34k fatter as a result of the Rondy Rot…

Anchorage Brewing Company is one of Alaska’s most defining breweries. Making this statement is tough for me because each of our over 40 local breweries add to what defines beer in up here. Each brewery contributes to how our beer profile stands out, here and elsewhere. How do we look to peop…

Rondy used to bore me. I got up here in ‘79, but didn’t experience my first Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Festival until 1980. The whole thing was gritty and seemed to be struggling to be glitzy and relevant. As a budding amateur photographer I set out to capture the best of it. I didn’t know any…

Alaskans are full of entrepreneurial spirit and Magnetic North Brewing Company’s owner/brewer Jeremiah Christian is a good example of someone who wants to bring a brewing dream to life, but in a different way.

Ms. Fermento doesn’t drink beer, so getting beer for Valentine’s Day is more about me than it is for her. Ms. Fermento doesn’t dislike beer; she tastes almost everything I drink. Beer is just not her beverage of choice, although by exposure, she knows a hell of a lot about the substance. Sti…

A favorite of mine since 2017 is Alaskan Brewing Company’s Spruce IPA. I love spruce beers. Not everyone does, but spruce is a favorite ingredient in specialty beers for me. Like most everyone else, I enjoy a good IPA, so this style combination is a winner.

There’s still time to get your tickets to the 2020 Alaska Craft Brew and Barleywine Festival that takes place this Friday and Saturday. If you fancy yourself an Alaskan beer aficionado, you should attend one of the three sessions during the two-day event. This year’s gig is an upgraded versi…

A flourless chocolate cake is the "must-have" little black dress of desserts. Minimal, simple and universally pleasing, it's a classic for all occasions. And, short of intravenous therapy, it's one of the most intense forms of chocolate consumption you will experience. A tiny sliver of this …

There is a reason that I am the one that writes this column. I have been a professional in the bar industry in Anchorage since the day I turned 21. I actually served a legal drink before I consumed a legal drink. This has been an industry that has been part of my life for all of my formative…

A favorite of mine since 2017 is Alaskan Brewing Company’s Spruce IPA. I love spruce beers. Not everyone does, but spruce is a favorite ingredient in specialty beers for me. Like most everyone else, I enjoy a good IPA, so this style combination is a winner.

Happy New Year! How do I start a beer column going into a new year and a new decade? Of course, I drink something. I want something reflective. I need something that looks both forward and back.

My Dec. 5 beer column recapped the painful-to-hear announcement from Steve Shepherd — event organizer of the 26 year Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival – that he’d jerked the plug on the gig a mere eight weeks before the 2020 event’s January 17 and 18 dates. It wasn’t so much my news,…

Frosted Axe Throwing had their Grand Opening celebration less than a month ago. The new business located on Fireweed Road was approached by someone looking for a donation for a charity event that was happening and without hesitation gave some time for people to come try out the service that …

Kassik’s Brewery in Nikiski – just north of Kenai – has been for sale for the last couple of years. I first heard of the offering from the real estate agent. He called or emailed me – I can’t remember now — suggesting that a column about the sale might tease an interested party out of the ba…

The holidays are here, and no matter where you stand with family, religion or soul-crushing commercialism, any event that brings people together to enjoy a Dionysian spread of food and drinks is objectively good and commendable. Ironically it is the sheer variety of foods on holiday dinner t…

It’s about two weeks away from Christmas — about the time of year I should be thinking about Christmas shopping, but I dislike the whole concept enough that I push it to the back of my mind and think about what beer I’m going to buy for myself over the holiday season. It’s a recurring theme …

People who have never been in the bar and restaurant industry will truly never know what it is like to be part of this weird and wild community. Around the country bartenders have the same complaints and anecdotes about the ridiculous things that happen with customers and behind the scenes. …

By Beer by James ‘Dr. Fermento’ Roberts

By Lawrence D. Weiss

Americans are twice as likely to get food poisoning from food served in restaurants compared to food prepared at home. Here in Alaska you can find recent food safety inspection reports for your favorite restaurants (Warning! After you read the inspection reports they may not be your favorite…

Cross wine off your drink list for Thanksgiving dinner. Write in beer instead. Beer is as mainstream and sophisticated as wine is and worthy of a place setting during the holidays.

The South, or at least Huntsville and Nashville grew up immensely in terms of craft beer since my last visit to that area about five years ago.

Join me in a belated celebration of Firetap O’Malley’s 10th Anniversary. On Tuesday, November 19 at 6 p.m., I’ll be hosting a Winter Beer and Food Pairing at south Anchorage’s premier craft beer destination.

I don’t like traveling except for one thing — new beer. I don’t do well with the confinement and lack of personal space on airplanes, and being 6-feet-4 makes me uncomfortable at best when I travel, but the reward of new foamy horizons is sometimes worth it.

Bah Humbug starts early in the season for me. Halloween finds me cloistered in a darkened house ignoring those that brave the dark driveway just in case my naturally ghoulish figure might crack the door and hand out little dollops of sugar. Even my own four grandchildren – they live three ho…

The Man Show was an American comedy TV show on Comedy Central between 1999 and 2004. Most adult males around at that time recognized the show and quickly came to recognize the co-hosts Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel. Most adult females around at that time thought the whole man show concept wa…

News about the third annual Alaska Crafted Beer Festival came to me late, but I’m super-excited to announce what could be the best beer drinking deal of the year for the best cause at one of Alaska’s best venues with support from some of Alaska’s best peeps.

It’s been a little over 10 years since I announced the opening of the Firetap Alehouse in south Anchorage on O’Malley Road and the Old Seward Highway. Since then I’ve enjoyed a constantly rotating selection of 36 different beers on tap and have dined from an incredibly diverse mid-scale menu…

The people in charge at Matanuska Brewing seem to have a knack for taking things that have history in Alaska and successfully making something entirely different out of them, while keeping the spirit of the location. Matt Tomter, along with head brewer from Glacier Brewhouse, Kevin Burton, s…

Oktoberfest is halfway over. In Munich, Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony on October 12, 1810, precipitating the annual event that clogs Munich and the surrounding communities with thirsty revelers every year. Traditionally, the celebration runs between the third weekend…

By Kellen Brent Pierce

A record-breaking inferno of a summer is now in Alaska’s rear-view mirror. As the city’s annually-planted flower gardens being to wilt under the cold rain, most of the area food trucks are due to shutter and roll home for the winter, with the Oktoberfest Food Truck Party being the official l…

I may be taking some liberties with the English language, but I’m calling this week’s column a trifecta. This is the first time in my 22-year history of unerring weekly beer columns that I’ve been able to announce a new Alaska brewery three weeks in a row.

In November of 2013, I learned that Rhonda and Paul Langley were working on opening a brewery in Valdez. This was destined to be Valdez’s first post-prohibition brewing operation and I was pretty excited about it. Even back then, breweries were popping up all over in rural Alaska, and some w…

On August 18, 2018, an iconic Anchorage restaurant closed its doors after 54 years. Nearly 11 months later, a pair of young local restaurateurs re-opened those doors, looking to begin a new legacy with the Alleyway Grille.

The city of Palmer unanimously passed all three ordinances it took up on the agenda on Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting that followed an audit of the 2018 budget in a special meeting.

It’s about time. I started hearing rumors of a brewery starting in Valdez — another perfect and long overdue community for one — as far back as 2013. Growler Bay Brewing Company never materialized. “What a great name,” I thought when I interviewed Rhonda Langley about the prospects of becomi…

Do you have your ducks in a row? If you do, it means you’re prepared for one of the activities aligned with 49th State Brewing Company’s 907 Day. This event celebrates the fact that we’re Alaskans and proud of it. 907 is our area code, after all, and I’ve seen all manner of pride associated …

PALMER— The annual cabbage weigh-off at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer is one of the most highly anticipated events of the season, and this year’s high number of participants proved there’s a growing interest for up and coming gardeners.