Fall is here in the Emerald City and that means Stouts. Everywhere you look, it seems breweries are preparing their annual Stout releases and, as much as I do love a good Stout, their abundance can sometimes overshadow the deliciousness of a good Porter.
The differences between Stouts and Porters can be subtle and the debate over what the exact differences are continues. Basically though, Porters are a bit lighter in body and mouthfeel and sometimes, though definitely not always, can be slightly lower in alcohol. Essentially, all Porters are Stouts, but not all Stouts are Porters.
Now that I’ve made things clear as mud for you, I’d like to tell you that one of the best known and best loved Porters in the Northwest, Alaskan Brewing Company’s Smoked Porter, is turning 30. Alaskan Brewing is preparing to celebrate with the opening of their expanded taproom this Saturday.
Here is the full press release from Alaskan Brewing Company:
JUNEAU, Alaska (October 30, 2018) – Alaskan Brewing will be opening an expanded tasting room this Saturday, Nov. 3 at noon, in a grand opening celebration that will also mark the 30th anniversary of one of its most renowned beers, Smoked Porter. The newly renovated space is part of the brewery’s expansion in a newly-acquired building on Commercial Boulevard in Juneau, part of its Lemon Creek brewing and tasting room facility.
“We’ve been working on the expanded facility since we purchased the building earlier this year, and we have put a lot of thought into how to give our visitors the best possible experience when they are here at the brewery,” said Andy Kline, Communications Manager for Alaskan Brewing. “We are now able to serve our beer samples in a roomier and more comfortable space, with the ability to expand the varieties of the beers we are pouring.”
Kline said an example of those expanded options will be on display during the grand opening celebration, as staff will be serving up a vertical tasting flight of the legendary Alaskan Smoked Porter to mark its 30th release.
“This beer has been a huge part of our history and has been recognized with 21 awards from the Great American Beer Festival alone, more than any other beer. So, we are going to break out some vintage Smoked Porter to compare with the new 2018 release, as it has a unique ability to age beautifully and bring out subtle new tastes through the years,” Kline remarked. “The expanded space is a perfect opportunity to celebrate 30 years of Smoked Porter and show off the varieties of beer that our expanded taps will allow us to serve to our visitors.”
Kline said while the expanded space will give plenty of room for more Alaskan Brewing Co. gear, the big focus with this space is beer, including growler and crowler (32 oz. canned growler) fills and giving a chance for people to taste a wide variety of beers, with more experimental offerings like barrel-aged and small-batch brews.
“We absolutely love the opportunity to talk to fans about our unique brewing process, and our focus on innovation in how we brew and what we brew,” said Kline. “When people come in for a flight of beers in this beautiful new space, we will have the opportunity to educate them about why we feel our beers are so special, and they will have the opportunity to try more varieties than ever.”
With 20 taps and plenty of room to try samples with friends, the expanded facility should provide for a great space year-round, even during the busy tourist season. In recent years, with more visitation to the Juneau area, at times the available space at the brewery’s existing tasting room could get overwhelmed.
“The space we have always used was expanded as much as possible through the years in response to demand, but we had to face the fact that we had simply outgrown the space during the busy summer months,” Kline said. “Over 30 years ago, the tasting room started under a flight of stairs, and the footprint has increased to accommodate a lot of growth. But now we have a showcase tasting facility that will allow for our staff and visitors to have a great experience together throughout the year.”
The celebration kicks off with a toast at noon, and continues throughout the day until 6pm on Saturday, November 3. The expanded tasting room is located at 5362 Commercial Blvd., right on the way to Costco and Home Depot.
For more information and updates, check out Alaskan Brewing Co. online at www.alaskanbeer.com.
I won’t be able to make it up to Juneau this weekend for the opening of the new taproom, and I’m betting most of you reading this won’t either. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get our hands on some Smoked Porter and celebrate from afar. Be sure to take a Stout break sometime this Fall and take the time to enjoy some Porters, perhaps an Alaskan Smoked Porter.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.