Alaska is not somewhere I am ever likely to visit so it's nice that I can get beer from Alaskan microbreweries. There's a surprising number of breweries in Alaska, a massive state with only about half the population of Dublin. Anchorage for instance has about 7 breweries alone which is more than Dublin. It begs the question as to why a city with a metropolitan population akin to Cork (city) can support so many breweries? I can imagine that drinking is a popular pastime in such an unforgiving place as Alaska.
Smoked Porter from the Alaskan Brewing Company is the only beer I have had from Alaska so far. At 6.5% it's pretty weighty but not unmanageable. Drinking the 660ml bottle by yourself is perfectly reasonable, sure it's barely more than a pint! The aroma is just smoky bacon, but not real smoked bacon, the kind of artificial stuff they use on the likes of Rancheros or similar snacks. The beer sort of tastes like it was eh.. "dry hopped" with rancheros. The result is rather unpleasant as the fake bacon dominates leaving little room for the little coffee and chocolate that break through. It's not all bad though, I like rancheros and I liked this beer, it had a wonderful mouthfeel and I could certainly drink more of it. From many a tasting session, I get the feeling I pick up more smoke than some people so many purposely smoked beers I can find the a little one sided. By all other accounts, this beer is balanced nicely and is world class. Actually I think this beer would be very pleasant to drink on a cold evening in Alaska. And by cold I mean colder than my little country has ever been in recorded history. That said, summers in Anchorage for instance would appear to be better than Irish summers from what I have read so maybe it's not such a bad place to go for a visit, not with so many breweries to hand.