“You always meet people, you always have fun, and there is just something about an Irish pub,” says Ann Fink-Nelson, one of the many owners of McGinley’s Irish Pub in downtown Anchorage. “There are nine of us, my brother, my sister, myself, Dan and his brother, a construction guy, a Merrill …

This year’s false summer was a doozy. We get a false summer every year, but it’s worse this year. We had the typical run of gorgeous weather that fakes me into washing my truck prematurely, but this year, once it hit, it stuck around. So far we’ve had the warmest spring on record. That all c…

The two stupidest questions that I’m asked regularly are, “what’s your favorite beer?” and “have you ever been to Germany?”

Is Matanuska Brewing Company a brewery, or what? How many Matanuska Brewing Companies are there? I know of three of them with a fourth on the way. And, at the same time, is there enough room for that much beer from one brewery around here?

I’m not much of a technology kind of guy. I struggle with simple things like consumer electronics like stereo stuff and computers. I dreaded it when my home computer shit the bed two years ago. Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but new one still doesn’t work right and hasn’t met my expe…

By Beer by James ‘Dr. Fermento’ Roberts

Valley Trash is a status symbol. It means something if you live in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Being Valley Trash is a badge of dubious honor, but it's risen to stature and distinction over the years. Being Valley Trash predates being a Spenardian, for those of you with that particular br…

I’ve got a great way for you to get out to the Valley and explore Palmer’s bustling beer community and support small businesses at the same time. Although the concept isn’t new, the city’s Taste of Palmer event - with a keen focus on beer and food - provides you with a great excuse to get ou…

When Alex and Lynn Perez were thinking of a name for their second restaurant, they chose to pay homage to Haute Quarter Grill, their original venture that had brought them success. One booth became the most desired seating for the many groups of family and friends to Haute Quarter, given it’…

June 13 will mark 25 years since James Maurer and Billy Opinsky first opened Humpy’s. Whether that silver anniversary celebration will be one of joy or sorrow for the business partners who’ve been friends since their days at West High, may hinge on what happens Friday at the Nesbit Courthous…

There are others, but the most lasting achievement in my lifelong beer adventures is being able to wander into Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse in downtown Anchorage and see my dollar in a frame on the wall. I was Humpy’s first patron, and it wasn’t by happenstance.

South Restaurant on Old Seward Highway hasn’t been around that long. This summer will mark the locations fourth year in business, but it seems like it always should have been there. Bartender Samantha Lavin agrees, “It was filling a void that needed to be filled.” she said. Between the fresh…

Any foodie worth his/her/or their weight in gold, or, in this case in shawarma, knows that the Falafel King on Gambell Street, just past 9th Ave., has always had the best falafel and shawarma in town. The iconic Anchorage mom-and-pop eatery has undergone a change in ownership due to unavoida…

I wandered up here in 1979. Beer wasn't a big deal in Alaska back then. I got here a week before Anchorage's only brewery - Prinz Brau - closed up. I missed a chance to visit by mere days. I was bummed. At the same time - not that I was looking for it - I was amazed to find out that Budweise…

The Great Alaskan Bush Company is one of the most legendary drinking establishments in Anchorage, in Alaska, the country, oh hell, let’s just say it — The Bush Company is world famous, and with good reason. It is more than just another strip club, always striving to provide the best in enter…

Flying shrimp tails, food puns and spinning eggs! These are some of the visuals that come to mind when you think of Benihana. Being seated at communal tables surrounding a hibachi grill, guests enjoy Teppanyaki from their personal chef and each experience is unique depending on who you are s…

People drink beer in the cold. I know; I've seen me do it. It's normal for many months out of the year up here, and most of the time, we do it out of necessity. But we do enjoy it. Who can discount the experience of being bundled up outside somewhere around a nice fire with a good beer as pa…

On February 16, Spenard Roadhouse will be having a party to celebrate its 10th Anniversary as the premier location on the West side of Anchorage for bacon, tater tots, and most importantly, whiskey. For those who don’t partake in the fun and creative cocktails at the Roadhouse, they may have…

IPA’s are the fastest evolving style of beer on earth. For the uninformed, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. I’m amazed that when I ask around, some of the younger or newer hopheads out there don’t know this.

Imagine a restaurant where a diabetic, a gluten-free diner, a ketogenic eater and a vegan can sit at the same table enjoying their meal as a group without any of the diners having to make culinary compromises.

When Van’s Dive Bar arrived on the local nightlife scene in January of 2016, people thought they knew what to expect from its self-effacing name. In the three years that it has been open, the thriving music and comedy venue on 5th and Juneau have continued to surprise. Casual and eclectic, t…

I survived Alaska Beer Week, better known as AK Beer Week. Despite all of the fun, it was a grind, but I made it through. Still, I'd do it all over again next week if it happened.

Touring a commercial brewery is a real treat. I've toured many: big and small. Small breweries are fun and typically more laid back, but the big breweries have a real show with state-of-the-art mass production and just the sheer volume of ingredients, packaging and the beer. The best ones ar…

If you want to know where to get a good drink, figure out where the bartenders go when they are not serving them. For many years The Avenue Bar at 338 W. 4th Ave has been a spot for the service industry to hang out and connect with one other. With a friendly staff and an open space, even if …

As we launch into the sudsy 9th Annual AK Beer Week, let’s fast forward to the anchor event, the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival (GABBF). The 10-day AK Beer Week kicks off tomorrow night – Friday, January 11 with the first gig at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse with a toast by your…

The 9th Annual Alaska Beer Week — AK Beer Week as it’s known in beer circles — kicks off next Friday and runs between January 11th and Sunday, January 20th this year. This starts one of the toughest endurance tests I undergo every year, and if there’s one time I can honestly say “I’m beered …

I try to keep up with all of the beer stuff going on around the state, but with the day job chewing up most of my waking hours, it’s hard to get out and chase it. I find myself living beer vicariously from my garage refrigerator, mostly, other people’s social media posts, and my occasional –…

I try to keep up with all of the beer stuff going on around the state, but with the day job chewing up most of my waking hours, it’s hard to get out and chase it. I find myself living beer vicariously from my garage refrigerator, mostly, other people’s social media posts, and my occasional –…

I just got one of the best Christmas gifts ever. On December 15, Elizabeth Brewing Company opened in its namesake community about 45 minutes northeast of Colorado Springs. Big deal, right? Breweries continue to pop up all over the United States reflecting America’s ongoing love affair with beer.

The first thing I did after the earthquake and when I was able to get home was to check the beer supply and the condition of my dedicated beer refrigerator. Populist post-natural disaster doctrine says I probably should have filled my bathtub with drinking water. That's just flat disgusting …

I've been lucky enough to travel as part of my day job. Yeah, I don't just write about beer; I'd be a starving artist. If I could just retire and do the beer thing, I would. I'm not there yet. So, I'm appreciative when I get to travel around Alaska on my day job.

In an era of deep cuts, when programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage are on their toes trying to prove their worth to the budget gods, one program has paid its own way and has been for the better part of its 46 years.

I've had a love affair with SubZero Microlounge when it first opened back in July of 2002. The original concept was super cool – frozen cool in fact.

If you’ve been around town for any length of time you’ve probably noticed BAFCO metal artwork, even if you don’t know what it is, where it comes from and the story behind it. Beer drinkers – in particular – have probably been exposed to more of this spectacular stuff than others, and there’s…

 

I remember the first time I had an Alaskan Smoked Porter. It was in 1988, the year it came out. I was already a huge Alaskan fan. I also remember the first time I had another Alaskan stalwart, Alaskan Amber. At the time I swore it was the best beer I'd ever had in my life.

There's a small, unpretentious brewery in the curve on Potter Drivethat's two years old and driven by purpose and tenacity and culminates the vision of a man and wife team that strive to deliver something purposefully different.

I didn't do too much for Oktoberfest this year. My other callings got in the way which means work’s been kicking my ass this fall. There's my other life in Hope and that's a weekend gig, so I'm torn away from the locus of good beer when the events happen. Having an "extended summer" through …

I've been writing about beer for long enough that people often come up with cutesy crap to ask me about my habit. I get all manner of the "have you tried this beer," or "what do you think about that brewery," and such, but there are three questions that I consistently get asked.

Seward Brewing Company is one of Alaska’s craft breweries that hibernates during the winter. This isn’t uncommon for breweries in outlying, remote communities that rely heavily on the tourist trade to keep the taps open and don’t have a big enough local population to sustain them in the wint…

Any Anchoragite worth their salt knows the legend of Moose’s Tooth Pizza. A couple of bright-eyed college friends—Rod Hancock and Matt Jones—decided to end their corporate careers in computer science and law to master the art of pizza. Somewhere along the line, Rod’s brother, Warren Hancock,…

From the western-style inspired “Gunslinger” burger topped off with bacon, barbecue sauce, grilled cheddar cheese and grilled mushrooms to the “Aloha” burger finished off with grilled onions, pineapple rings and teriyaki sauce, customers at Tommy’s Burger Stop could easily feel they’ve taken…

Six years ago, Erica Stimaker left her job as a stewardess to carve out a new path—one with covered in macaroni cheese, grill marks and tin foil.

Spudniks are coming to Anchorage. This is the kind of news that makes my socks go up and down. I can’t wait to sit on the floor and eat a spudnik while drinking a fresh craft beer and playing with a Mr. Potato Head. This will happen at a new venue in a place that’s probably familiar to you b…

The guy at the counter at the Carr’s Oaken Keg liquor store was just doing his job. He didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know him. We didn’t care about each other, but that’s reality in our retail world. I knew one thing; he wasn’t anything about beer. I can spend 30 seconds with anyone and…