Thursday, June 22, 2017

Alaska Goldpanners - The Northernmost Baseball Game on Earth

There is a very good reason that the word "fan" is the base of the word "fanatic" because most baseball fans are fanatic about their sport.  Most baseball fanatics have one team that is "theirs" and they follow that team through thick and thin. A former friend of mine once said that it was his goal when he retired to travel around the country for one season attending all 162 games played by the Boston Red Sox that year. Others, like Chicago Cubs fans, wait patiently for more than a century until their team can finally win a World Series. 

Baseball fanaticism isn't restricted just to the major leagues. Some minor league fans love the game and love their team so much that when the team can't win they write a novel in which the team becomes a winner knowing, as do all true baseball fans, that the umpires are typically to blame.

Although I love the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins my real passion is Minor League baseball.  Its a combination of minor league players not yet being tainted by money and fame, plus the very real fact that you can regularly buy a can of beer at a minor league game for $2.00 rather than $13.00 like at a Tampa Bay Rays game.  Minor League players attack the game with unbridled passion, each of them playing their hearts out for that one chance to make an impression and be promoted to The Show.  My passion for Minor League baseball is so intense that I have seen games in 92 different Minor League stadiums.  Maybe one day I will see them all.

I'm not sure how I found out about the Alaska Goldpanners  from Fairbanks Alaska but several years ago, probably in a conversation with my sadly missed baseball pal Bob Nolte, I learned that the Goldpanners played a game at midnight on the Summer Solstice and they did so without artificial lights.  I knew right then that one day I had to watch the Goldpanners play, preferably during their Midnight Sun game but if not that game then at least some game.

We traveled to Alaska in July 2015 to see my daughter and to pester my then almost two-year-old grandson Garrett.  They live an hour north of Anchorage and the closest team was the Alaska Baseball League's Mat-Su Miners.  We saw the Miners play in Palmer against the near by Chugiak Chinooks and I marveled at the lack of any artificial lights on the playing field.  Still, however, it wasn't the Goldpanners and it wasn't close to the Summer Solstice and I knew that I had to see the real team one day.

That opportunity presented itself in June 2017 when I had returned to Alaska again to see my daughter and to pester my now more than 3 year old grandson.  My plan was to spend time with my family then travel to Kotzebue (that I had not been to since 1989), Barrow (that I had never visited before) and then to Fairbanks so I could be on the same path Chris McCandless traveled in the fascinating book "Into the Wild" and then to watch a Goldpanners game.

When I put "Alaska Goldpanners baseball" into my Google Maps app, it sent me to a public park next to a prison on Wilbur Street far south of where I was supposed to be. Flummoxed I returned to Airport Way and stopped at a Denny's for dinner and to ask for directions to the field because Google Maps let me down.  The server at Denny's had never heard of the Goldpanners (even though, it turns out, their ball field was 2 blocks north of Denny's!).  However a couple who looked like they were part of the cast of the reality show Alaska: The Last Frontier,  graciously explained that I was only a minute or two from the ball park.

The Goldpanners are made up entirely of college students who want to retain their amateur status but still want to play competitive baseball all summer.  Their list of former players is pretty impressive including the likes of Tom Seaver and Barry Bonds not to mention Bill "Spaceman" Lee!  Like all other non-major league teams the Panners play with passion and most importantly they play on the most northerly baseball field in the world.  In my excitement to watch them I arrived at the field 30 minutes early (Cathy, or course, will ask why I was so late - normally I would be an hour early).

The box office was closed when I arrived

On June 15, 2017, the Goldpanners played the Northwest Honkers from Seattle.  Many of the Honkers are students at the University of Washington or Washington State University and just like the Panners they played out of a love for the game.

The view from my seat, June 15, 2017

I wasn't sure about the seating or the restrictions on seating so I grabbed a seat right behind home plate, in prime heckling territory, but because I didn't have a dog in the fight I said very little. However there were several instances where the home plate umpire had to be corrected on an obviously bad call (against the Panners of course) and I obliged.  I looked at myself as a "Consulting Umpire" in those situations.  

I guess because I'm used to the amenities of minor league baseball in the Lower 48 states I found it curious that there is no ground crew for Panners games. Well, actually there is but its not a grounds crew. Its the players and the coaches of the Panners who lime the baselines, and water down the bases and home plate, and who mark the boundaries of the batters box and catcher's box. It's not more elemental than that!  One amenity of the ball park that I liked was that my now-most-favorite Alaska-brewed beer "Panty Peeler" by the Midnight Sun Brewing Company, is available at Panners games.  If only it was available on draught.

The Honkers took a commanding 5 run lead early in the game and the prognosis didn't look promising.  However the immortal words of Yogi Berra "Its not over until its over" came through again, and by the end of the 9th inning the Panners were victorious, having beaten the Honkers into submission with a commanding 9-6 win.  You can watch the entire game at this link.

There were a lot of empty seats at the Panners game on June 14.  Local residents however said its a different story on the night of the Midnight Sun game when there isn't an empty seat in the stadium

Seated behind me at the game was a Season Ticket holder whom I overheard say something about watching a New York Mets vs Boston Red Sox spring training game.  That can only happen in Florida so I turned around to chat. This fellow and his wife are fanatic baseball fans and he told me about his first major league game ever - a spring training game involving the New York Yankees in Fort Lauderdale in 1964 when Mickey Mantle was drunk and was reprimanded by the Yankees manager for talking to fans before the game in his alcohol-induced state.

My local fan had been coming to Panners games for more than 30 years. He knew the history of the team, remembered now-famous players who had been there, and spoke about the Panners with as much pride as I talk about my Bradenton Marauders.  When I asked him (I never asked for his name) what it was about the Panners that he loved so much he said, simply, "Its baseball, its in Alaska, and they play in the middle of the night one game each year."  

He had a very good point and one with which there was no argument.   As he said to me at the end of the game as I stood up to leave "Next time you come to Fairbanks you better come for the Midnight Sun game.  Its the best game under the sun - all night long."

I now own an Alaska Goldpanners t-shirt so the next time I am in Fairbanks that is exactly what I will do.

The Joy of Flying on Alaska Airlines

An Alaska Airlines 737-900 Series jet (Image downloaded from

My first flight in a commercial aircraft was from Minneapolis to St. Louis on October 31, 1977.  The flight was aboard an Ozark Airlines DC-9 and I was in an aisle seat because I was petrified to look out the window.  I remember taking the runway in MSP thinking my time had come.  The engines began to howl, I closed my eyes, and waited for the inevitable to happen but it never did.  One hour 15 minutes later we landed in STL and I have to admit that at a couple of moments during the flight I opened my eyes, leaned across the person next to me, and peered out the window.

What I saw in those brief moments convinced me that if I had to fly and I had to die while flying, at least I should be by a window when it happens.  Flight became a geography lesson after I began sitting by the window and now that I have logged 3,126 individual flight segments on commercial flights on top of countless flights in a Cessna 172 looking for whooping cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska (a flight segment is one take off and one landing - MSP-STL was one segment) I can't imagine myself sitting anywhere other than by the window.

The first time I ever flew on Alaska Airlines it was a 129 mile jaunt from Portland to Seattle in 1986. I was in Portland for a meeting, had never been to Seattle, and had never flown on Alaska Airlines. The airfare was too cheap to pass up so I did a day trip to SEA and in the process became hooked on Alaska Airlines.  Even in the few minutes it took to fly from PDX-SEA I could tell there was something different about Alaska Airlines and this was in the days when other airlines like United, American, Delta, Northwest and Continental actually cared about customer service.

When I lived in Washington DC I regularly flew on Alaska to either Los Angeles or to Seattle (and on to Alaska) and never once had an experience on the airline that was anything less than wonderful. Just last week I completed my 17th trip to Alaska and now 14 of those 17 trips have been in part or entirely on Alaska Airlines.  There simply is no better way to fly north than with Yukon Jack on the tail of your plane.

Among the 3,126 flight segments I have taken only 149 of them have been on Alaska Airlines and to me that's a shame. In the current cutthroat climate of air travel, where customers luggage is destroyed and no responsibility is taken (United), where customers are beaten and dragged from planes (United), airport employees assault elderly customers (United), flight attendants berate and threaten passengers for asking questions onboard (American), where an airline seems to have zero concept of what on-time is supposed to mean (Delta), and where the amount of space between rows of seats is so minute you pray for the flight to crash just to put yourself out of your self-imposed misery (Spirit), there is a certain joy that comes from flying on Alaska.   Only it and JetBlue know, understand, appreciate, and practice the concept of customer service on every flight.

On Alaska Airlines if there is even a minor delay passengers are told "it will take X minutes before we can go" - you're never told "It will be only a few seconds" that later becomes an hour.  On Alaska Airlines you are offered healthy food (even though like every other airline you have to pay for it unless you're in First Class).  Only Alaska Airlines guarantees that you will be reconnected with your luggage in 20 minutes or less after landing, or you are reimbursed for your wait. And, most importantly, only on Alaska Airlines do the flight attendants (and occasionally even the pilot) personally thank each passenger for flying their airline as you deplane at your destination!  THAT is customer service!

On June 6 2017, I traveled from Seattle to Anchorage aboard Alaska Airlines flight 87.  We left on time, arrived in Anchorage early and the view out the starboard window was spectacular (hint - when flying north from SEA you ALWAYS want a window on the F side of the plane. Always)

Route of AS 87, SEA-ANC on June 6 2017

Several days later I flew from ANC to Kotzebue on Alaska flight 153.  And even though I was flying on a Mileage Plane award ticket, Alaska let me upgrade to First Class for only $53.00.  No other airline I can think of would allow that.

Route of AS 153, ANC-OTZ on June 12 2017

The window seat view of the tundra from AS 153 on approach to the OTZ airport was spectacular.  That is Kobuk National Park on the northern horizon

After a too-short visit to Kotzebue I returned to Anchorage on Alaska 154 where I connected to AS 55 bound for Barrow

Route of AS 154, OTZ-ANC on June 13 2017

Route of AS 55, ANC to BRW on June 13  2017

The flight north aboard AS 55 took us by the summit of Mount Denali.  I remember once flying from ANC-FAI on an Alaska flight in May 1989.  The entire mountain was completely clear and the pilot received permission to divert from his planned route and we did a complete 360 degree circumnavigation of The Mountain.  Of course that would never happen today but it did back then and I think only Alaska Airlines would offer its passengers such a spectacular experience.

13,000 feet above the summit of Mount Denali from a port window aboard AS 55, June 13, 2017

Final approach into BRW afforded those of us in a window seat spectacular views of the ice still smothering the Arctic Ocean just offshore from the town

Alaska Airlines plunked down at Wiley Post/Will Rogers Memorial Airport in Barrow a few minutes early on June 13.  As I exited the plane into the 36 degree F temperature, the flight attendant pointed out that I was wearing shorts.  I said "I live in Florida; I don't own long pants." She chuckled and said "That explains everything."

After another too short visit, this time in Barrow, I traveled from Barrow to Fairbanks aboard AS 55 on June 14, 2017. When we left Barrow the air temperature was 33 degrees. One hour 10 minutes later we landed in Fairbanks and the air temperature was 72.  The change made me feel like I had stepped off a plane back home in the heat and humidity of Florida!

The flight from Barrow to Fairbanks in brilliant sunlight afforded great views of the seemingly endless wetlands that dot the North Slope of Alaska

Route of AS 55 from BRW-FAI on June 14 2017

I spent a little more than 1 1/2 days in Fairbanks visiting the Stampede Road/Trail made famous in Jon Krakauer's book "Into The Wild", saw a moose and a gray wolf crossing the Parks Highway, drank some beer at the three most northerly brew pubs in the world, watched the Alaska Goldpanners play the Northwest Honkers on a baseball field with no artificial lighting.  Then, reluctantly, once again had to leave Alaska headed south.

For my departure I was on Alaska Airlines flight 128 from Fairbanks to Seattle.  We departed FAI at 1:30 a.m. in low sunlight and 3 hours 9 minutes later deplaned (early) in Seattle

Route of AS 128 from FAI-SEA very early in the morning on June 16 2017. Because of the constant sunlight the entire route we were asked to keep our window shades down which precluded any views of The Mountain and any alpinglow it may have been producing in the low light of early morning.

With a little more than an hour between planes in SEA it was easy and smooth making my connection to AS 658 bound for Dallas.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning and Mount Rainier stuck out like a sentinel as we raced by it headed southeast.  We arrived in DFW 30 minutes early and there I connected with another airline for my final two segments back home to Sarasota.

Route of AS 658 from SEA-DFW, June 16 2017

As with every other "final" flight on an Alaska Airlines trip I was sad when I had to deplane in Dallas.  On each segment I was treated like I was important to the airline, not just a number or not just another passenger, by everyone I encountered on this great airline.  Thirty years ago all airlines made you feel special; that is no longer the case but for some reason Alaska Airlines has remembered how to do it.

I love living in Florida and can't imagine living anywhere else. The biggest downside of living in Florida (other than being overrun by tourists all winter long) is that my opportunities to fly on Alaska Airlines are limited to one flight a day from Tampa to Seattle.  Its unfortunate with Alaska's current expansion plans that they don't challenge Delta for supremacy in the Atlanta airport like Delta is trying with them in Seattle.  If only that could happen maybe there would be more opportunities to fly with Yukon Jack on the tail of my plane.  I'd certainly be an even more frequent flier if they did.   Until that happens, however, I'll just have to keep planning trips to Alaska and when I do there is only one airline I want to take me there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Quest to Drink a Beer in Every Alaskan Brewery

There is a saying in Wisconsin that "any baby born in Wisconsin goes directly from mother's milk to beer."  The saying goes on to mention that babies born there experience cheese curds or bratwurst (or both) as our first solid food, and that our first words aren't "mama" or "daddy" but instead they are "Go Pack Go."

There is considerable debate about the veracity of that old wives tale but one thing is certain about people from Wisconsin - we like to drink beer.  When I was a child it seemed that almost every town and certainly every county had at least one brewery; Milwaukee had many.  Barron County was home to Breunig's  Lager Beer best known and remembered not only for its taste but the beer farts it produced the following morning,  In fact, a picture exists somewhere of me downing my first bottle of beer when I was five years old.  That beer was given to me by my Uncle Buck and it was a bottle of Breunig's.

I used to stop at the Breunigs Brewery with mu grandfather after we would visit a feed store in Rice Lake and my grandfather would test the sweet nectars produced here.  On occasion I would sneak in a taste as well.

What I wouldn't give to have one more can of Breunig's, ice cold out of the cooler, while sitting on Desair Lake catching sunfish with my father.

Despite there being a plethora of breweries in Wisconsin when I was a child, consolidation of the industry resulted in many of them being bought out and shut down.  Thankfully concoctions like Walter's Beer ("beer" in parentheses was most appropriate) brewed in Eau Claire, died a slow and deserved death only to rise up from the ashes and be brewed again.  Others like Point Beer, brewed in Stevens Point, and possessing the same qualities as Walters some how survived.  Leinenkugel's brewed in Chippewa Falls used to advertise itself as being "from the Big Eddy Springs" to which as kids we would add "And Big Eddy is a horse." However for some unexplained reason Leinenkugel's got its act together and today is a very good beer, even winning international taste competitions (I guess they must have sent Big Eddy out to a retirement pasture).

Where once there were hundreds of beers brewed in Wisconsin, soon there was only five or six.  However with the passage of time that number has grown with the popularity of craft brews and today there are at least 101 breweries in operation in the Cheesehead State.

The same story can be re-told in almost every other state in the nation including Alaska.  For the longest time the Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau produced several beers, the best of which has to be Alaskan Amber.  That sweet beer cannot be found in Florida but every time I board an Alaska Airlines flight the first thing I request is a can of Amber.

When we visited there in 2015 we discovered Ice Axe Ale brewed for the West Rib Grill and Pub in Talkeetna by the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage.  It was a sweet nectar that made me not want to leave Talkeetna.  The 9.5 percent alcohol content may have had something to do with that decision. Later on that trip, while make a cruise ship stop in Hoonah we discovered the Icy Strait Brewing Company and tested their Icy Strait Pale Ale.  It changed my outlook on craft beer forever.

On a recent trip to Alaska to visit my family, we stopped by the Arkose Brewery in Palmer to test their beer before venturing to a Alaska Baseball League game.  As we sipped a pint of Trapper Tripel, I read a newspaper produced by the beer industry in Alaska that listed each craft brewery in the state along with the city in which it was located.  The list included 38 different breweries spread across the massive state and after reading the list my son in law and I decided to make it a goal of drinking at least one beer in every brewery on the road system in Alaska.  That would preclude breweries in Juneau, Sitka, and Kodiak, but perhaps they could be added later.

During the remainder of my time in Alaska we set out to drink a beer in as many breweries as we could near Palmer and Anchorage.  Later when I visited Fairbanks on my own I stopped by 3 breweries in the area. On my 2015 trip to Alaska I visited not only the Icy Strait Brewery but also the Seward Brewing Company while I was in Seward fishing.

Thus as of now I have had a beer in 12 of the 38 extant breweries in Alaska.  With 26 more breweries to visit I will no doubt have to make several more trips to Alaska but I'll accomplish the goal one day. Below is a summary of the 12 breweries I have visited along with a description of the beer or beers I tried in each of them.  I detest really hoppy beers so my preference is the tamer ales and lagers.  I'll leave the hops to my son-in-law.


Glacier Brewhouse - We stopped by the Glacier Brewhouse but it wasn't going to open for another few minutes.  I counted the brewery just the same because I was inside it and I had consumed their Ice Axe Ale while in Talkeetna.  Outside of Talkeetna its sold as "Imperial Blonde" and with a 9.5 percent alcohol content you can't go wrong with a pint of this honey-filled beer.  My next time in Anchorage we'll make a formal visit and probably have lunch.

Ice Axe Ale brewed by the Glacier Brewhouse is available only as Ice Axe Ale in Talkeetna.  Its worth the drive to get there
When Ice Axe Ale isn't Ice Axe Ale  its Imperial Blonde and available at the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage.  There is a very good reason breweries limit consumption to only 2 pints of this fine beer.

Midnight Sun Brewing - This brewery in an out of the way area near the Anchorage International Airport produces several beers but my two favorites are Panty Peeler and Oosik Amber.  I like the former because of the potential from its name.  I like the latter because "oosik" is the Inupiat word for the penis of a walrus.

The beer list at Midnight Sun is quite extensive

A pint of Panty Peeler


Hoo Doo Brewing - I visited the Hoo Doo Brewing company on a hot (for Fairbanks) afternoon and found the place packed with beer drinkers despite being in a most out of the way location.  My most favorite beer here was Malibock  It was nothing to write home about and doesn't hold a candle to Panty Peeler or Ice Axe Ale but still it was a refreshing brew.

What remains of a pint of Malibock

A crowd of thirsty drinkers on a "hot" Fairbanks afternoon enjoying the various beer produced by Hoo Doo Brewing Company


Silver Gulch Brewing - Located a few miles north of Fairbanks on the Steese Highway, Silver Gulch is the northernmost commercial brewery in the world. When I arrived there at 3:45 p.m. I was met by four other cars already waiting in the parking lot for the 4:00 p.m. opening.  One of them was from Wales and another from South Carolina.  That says a bit about the quality of the brew produced by Silver Gulch.  The brewery is full-service with food available and even offers wine on top of more than 100 beers.  Thirteen of the beers are its own brew - the others are imports.  The brewery has a very fresh and homey feeling - the kind of place you want to sit down and have a bunch of beers which I would have done lacking other objectives that afternoon.

The exterior reminded me of the entrance to a mine - nothing could be farther from the trtuh

The extensive beer list includes local brews and a variety of imports

The interior of the Silver Gulch provides a comfortable, homey ambiance

A pint of Fairbanks Lager


49th State Brewing - Located just minutes from the entrance to Denali National Park, the 49th State Brewing Company presents a conundrum for brewery counters.  There is also a 49th State Brewing Company brew pub in Anchorage that produces the same products as the one in Healy.  This makes it difficult to know if there are one or two breweries that should be visited.  I think I'll go to the Anchorage one just to be safe.

Right off the Parks Highway, 49th State Brewing offers a selection of foods and beers for visitors.  I had a pint of the Prospector's Gold with a chicken flatbread for lunch.  Both were quite tasty and when asked if I wanted another pint I had to decline because of an upcoming two hour drive to Fairbanks.  Maybe next time I'll stay closer to the brewery so I can savor more of its offerings.

The road sign for 49th State Brewing is impossible to miss from the Parks Highway

Thirteen locally-brewed nectars are available at 49th State.  I chose the Prospector's Gold and wasn't disappointed


Icy Strait Brewing Company - Accessed only by cruise ship or a small plane from Juneau, Icy Strait Brewing Company is probably the most isolated brewery in Alaska.  If you can make it there, however, the Icy Strait Pale Ale is worth the effort.  We visited the brewery quite by accident while on shore during a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise of Alaska in August 2015.

Its worth the effort to get to Hoonah to have a pint of Icy Strait Pale Ale


Roughwoods Inn and Cafe -   This small and inconspicuous microbrew on the main street in Nenana is easy to overlook.  I learned about it only from a conversation with a man in the 49th State Brewery who told me about the "Brewery Finder App" that I now have downloaded on my phone.  Roughwoods offers only three beers and I went for the Pilsner Lager. It was a good choice for a place whose ambiance reminded me of the old television show Northern Exposure.  If you are traveling north on the Parks Highway toward Fairbanks you'll not see any signs announcing this microbrewery.  Just turn off the highway before the bridge over the Nenana River and look for it sitting very inconspicuously on the left.  It will be worth an hour or so to stop here if for no other reason that to listen to the owner talk on and on about her addiction to the television show "Blue Bloods."  

Inconspicuous is the best word to use to describe this out-of-the-way little microbrewery

The beer selection is limited but the Pilsner Lager is worth the effort to taste

A pint of Pilsner Lager.  Had I not been the only person in the microbrewery, and had the owner not been watching me like a hawk, I would have stolen this pint glass.


Arkose Brewing - Tucked away in a corner of Palmer that might possibly be called an industrial park the inconspicuous Arkose Brewing Company produces several excellent beers.  It was here that my son in law Ryan Parker and I hatched the idea of drinking a beer in every brewery in Alaska, and that was after only one pint of their highly recommended Trapper Tripel.  There is seating for maybe 10 people in the tap room and food consists of a Thai Food truck parked outside so don't plan on coming here with a large group of people and don't expect anything fancy for a meal.  However if you enjoy the taste of microbrewery beer you can't go wrong at the Arkose Brewing Company.

 The brewery is small and the exterior inconspicuous and it helps to have a GPS to find the place.

A pint of Trapper Tripel. I wish I had also stolen this glass


Seward Brewing Company - I visited this excellent brewery and restaurant in July 2015 with my daughter Jennifer and grandson Garrett.  Its on the Main Street in Seward and impossible to miss. The brewery offers a large selection of locally brewed beers and the menu has an extensive array of options including salmon cooked every way possible.  While there I had a pint of Rockfish Red Ale and look forward to returning one day for another.


Denali Brewing Company - Located along the Talkeetna Spur not far from the Parks Highway, the Denali Brewing Company is worth the effort to visit especially for its selection of fine beers.  Before visiting there I had tried their Single Engine Red and while at the brewery had a pint of Habernale.  Both were excellent beers; the Habernale slightly better because it was on draught not in a can like the Single Engine Red.  The brewery also offers a nice selection of food to help you absorb some of the alcohol before hitting the road and heading home.


Contrary to popular Fox News commentator belief you cannot see Russia from Wasilla.  However you can find and enjoy a couple of excellent breweries while searching the western horizon for Russia to appear.

Bearpaw River Brewing - Located off the main Palmer-Wasilla Highway in Wasilla, the Bearpaw River Brewing company takes a little effort to find but its worth the effort once you arrive.  The tap room does not offer food but does offer a nice selection of adult beverages.  I chose the Little Su Saison Farmhouse Ale and was not disappointed.  Partly I chose it because its a light beer and partly I chose it because it gave me a chance to speak a little French while ordering it.  Give it a try.

The inconspicuous exterior of the brewery

I enjoyed having to speak French if even for a few words to place my order

A pint of Little Su Saison Farmhouse Ale. I should have stolen this glass also.

Last Frontier Brewing Company - Located just north of the Parks Highway in Wasilla, and not far from the Crazy Moose Sub Shop, you can't go wrong with a quick visit to this excellent brewery.  The interior is huge offering many places to sit although they could do something about the volume of the local music being belted out by the band. It makes it a tad difficult to talk when you have to yell to be heard!  An extensive food list is available on top of an abundance of beers.  We started with a flight of 8 adult beverages and each settled on our favorites from the flight.  I chose the Prospectors Pale Ale and would have it again in an instant.

Its nearly impossible to miss this conspicuous sign even in the Midnight Sun

The beer list at the Last Frontier is extensive and varied

Beginning with a flight of beers is a wise investment to help find the one you enjoy the most

Eventually I settled on the Prospector's Pale Ale, for its name if nothing else. I was not disappointed


With 12 Alaska breweries to my credit and 26 to go I have a lot of traveling in Alaska ahead of me. I'm just thankful that I have a healthy supply of Alaska Airlines frequent flier miles in my account

City Brewery Name
Anchorage 49 State Brewing
Anchorage Anchorage Brewing
Anchorage Broken Tooth Brewery
Anchorage Celestial Meads
Anchorage Cynosure Brewing
Anchorage Double Shovel Cider Company
Anchorage King Street Brewery
Anchorage Moose's Tooth
Anchorage Resolution Brewing
Anchorage  Beartooth Theaterpub

Eagle River
Old Man Rush Brewing


Gakona Brewing
Girdwood Brewing


Haines Brewing
Grace Ridge Brewing
Homer Homer Brewing
Alaskan Brewing
Juneau Barnaby Brewing
Kassik's Brewery
Kodiak Island Brewery
Bleeding Heart Brewing
Baranof Island Brewing
Gold Rush Brewing Company
Skagway  Skagway Brewing
Kenai River Brewing
Soldotna St. Elias Brewing
The list of missing breweries is a long one but Ryan and I are just the pair to tackle this monumental task.