Updated

For many Alaskans, getting “trapped in town” — meaning being stuck in the state with no chance of getting out for a previously planned vacation, or just because sometimes being up here for extended periods can seem a little confining – can be pretty depressing.

Juneau’s Devil’s Club Brewery’s humble opening just two years ago in April didn’t prepare the three Juneau born and raised owners for the explosive popularity and instantaneous cult following their brewery, taproom and beer would create.

Alaska’s more than 40 craft breweries are all suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. No business is spared during this time, but it’s going to be a rough year for our brewers, even as things are starting to open back up.

Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse has been through hell the last couple of years. Oh, there was that bankruptcy thing in 2018, but, the last 46 days of being shut down due to COVID-19 were devastating, as they were for all food and beverage service industries.

By Kellen Brent Pierce

The bar and restaurant industry has been in a constant state of flux for the past month or so. The last week has provided even more changes and challenges. There are bars that are getting approved for curbside service and as of Monday some restaurants decided to open for dine-in service foll…

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that in Phase 1 of a multi-phase plan to help Alaska get back on its feet economically – just in time for the oilfield to crash – restaurants could open for limited dine-in service subject to a number of protective requirements including advanced reservati…

Today, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz released safety criteria that must be met for certain businesses to open or expand operations beginning Monday April 27, 2020. The health metrics established in the “Safe Anchorage: Roadmap to Reopening the Municipality of Anchorage” plan have been met, and indic…

By Cory Leicester

I haven’t been in every liquor store in town, but I’ve been in enough of them to confidently award the La Bodega liquor store in the Metro Mall with the title of “most diligent” when it comes to social distancing, hard surface disinfection and a damned good attitude while adhering to some pr…

Like many families, we've been trying to process all of the information about the coronavirus outbreak and stay in good health.

I guess if we’re all subject to this local distancing thing – which is 100 percent appropriate – and we can’t mosey into our favorite local watering holes and enjoy a pint or two with our friends, maybe we should go hang out in an alley and get some beer and stand at least six feet apart and…

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.