I’m a born and raised Alaskan who spent the golden years of my early 20s drinking as much beer in Anchorage and Alaska as humanly possible. My friends and I used to hike a local mountain, Flat Top, on Summer Solstice and drink beer as we watched the midnight sun dip just below the horizon to rise again shortly after. Then I moved to Munich, Germany – home of Oktoberfest and you know what I miss most about home? Without skipping a heartbeat, I can tell you I miss the beer from Alaska. Ok, maybe that’s not the first thing, I mean my family is pretty high up there too… But, people in Germany always look at me like I am crazy when I say I miss Alaskan craft beer and the microbreweries of my home in Anchorage and they honestly don’t believe me. The craft beer scene in Alaska is one of the best in the country. We rank 6th for the most breweries per capita (with several breweries opening since that ranking) and with an experimental and crafty population, Alaskans know how to brew some proper good beer. I was a tour guide in Alaska for a short while and one of the most common questions I got asked, was where to find the best craft beers in cities like Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Seward, and Palmer. So, here is a local’s guide to the best breweries, beers, and ciders in Anchorage and Alaska and what to order while there. Also when I say a guide to the best breweries, I really mean almost every brewery in the state, because they’re all the best.
Broken Tooth is my favorite Brewer in the Anchorage area. We purchased several pony kegs to serve at your wedding and it was a hit. Not only do they brew amazing beers, but the tooth family includes, Moose’s Tooth, which is currently the highest-grossing single-unit independent pizzeria in the United States generating up to $6 million in gross revenue annually. It’s insane! Pizza aside, I go to Moose’s tooth just to sit at the bar and drink their beer, mostly because even as a local I can’t get a damn seat in the restaurant. I’m a suck for a good Amber love their Northern Lights Amber, but order a sample platter and add the Chugach Session or try one of their revolving creations like Scared Kiltless Scotch Ale. With an area just for beer pickups, this is a great spot to buy beer for Growlers and even get your party pony keg.
Broken Tooth is a staple in the Alaska beer drinking. Their Brewery is not open for tours but stop by Moose’s or Bear’s Tooth to enjoy these refreshing beers and grab some pizza, if you can get a table. (During the week, right when they open is your best bet).
Odd Man Rush Brewing
I grew up in Eagle River, home of Odd Man Rush. The little town that no one has heard of, so I resort to telling people it is right smack in the middle of Anchorage and Sarah Palin’s former home of Wasilla. Odd Man Rush is putting us on the map though! Started by three local hockey and beer lovers – which is basically every single person in my home town- who wanted to experiment with beer and invest in their local community it is a hit with the locals. Hockey is the core essence of the design aesthetic, so if you’re looking for a relaxed place to watch hockey, talk about hockey, or just drink good beer, this is the place for you!
Various hours 7 days a week
10930 Mausel Street, Eagle River
Anchorage Brewing Co.
The inside of Anchorage brewing is a piece of art, as is each and every single one of their beer labels. Seriously, their cans and bottles are true pieces of unique and local art, but the beer inside is just as pleasing. One of the bigger Breweries in Alaska they export nationally and internationally. You can stop by and see their beautiful brewery or grab their beers at Speciality Imports on Ingra in Anchorage. Try their Love Buzz Saison or grab a sampler to try them all.
Tue-Sun: 2 pm – 8 pm 148 W 91st Ave, Anchorage
Relatively new in the brewing scene, Cynosure focuses on Belgian Ales and Lagers. Whenever I am missing my German and European style beers this is the place to go to when I come home. Their Pils is the talk of the town and just won a pretentious judges award at a local festival.
Various hours, closed Monday 144 E Potter Dr, Unit E
Midnight Sun Brewing
This true all-Alaskan brewery is the oldest in the state and specializes in barrel aged stouts and barely wines crafted for our long, cold, and dark winters. For the long endless summer days, they brew IPAs and Belgian ales. The glacial-fed water used in the brewing process is the special ingredient in all their brews. Stop by the Loft of their brewery for 16 beers and 2 home-made sodas on tap and hearty food to pair with the beer. Don’t miss the Sock-Eye Red IPA and Panty Peeler. They offer free Brewery tours every Thursday at 6 pm, just show up at the Loft on site. They refill your growlers and sell beer to go.
Mon-Fri 11 am – 8 pm Sat-Sun 10 am – 8 pm 8111 Dimond Hook Drive
King Street Brewing
King Street Brewing just upgraded to a nice fancy multi-floor tasting room. Along with seasonal rotating beers, they focus on classics like Hefeweizen, Pilsner, and IPA. It’s a great social spot to grab a solid beer, sample their tasting menu, or grab a keg to go.
Mon-Thur: 2 – 8 PM Fri-Sun: 12 – 8 PM 9050 King Street
This is a hidden gem, popular with locals. They have a relaxed vibe, a dog-friendly tasting room, and bring your own food policy – with lots of tasty restaurants nearby that serve to-go food. The owner, Cole, is knowledgable, friendly and hails from Colorado. Don’t miss their Arctic Abbey Belgian Dubbel or their Smokey the Beer – smoked beer similar to what they make in Bamberg, Germany. It is located in a diverse up and coming part of Anchorage, Mountain View, giving you a great excuse to get away from all the tourists and enjoy a local scene.
Located in one of my favorite towns in Alaska, Girdwood has long needed a brewery of its own, and finally, it is here! Girdwood is known as being the hippy ski town with a focus on sustainable living, so it is no surprise Girdwood Brewing does their job to reduce waste, hire locals, and use local ingredients. Their brewery and tasting room have a modern design with vintage ski decor. The outdoor firepits will keep you warm year-round. It’s a friendly place to hang with the locals and drink good beer. Don’t miss their Down the Chute Kölsch and other unique brews. They offer private brewery tours and tastings for $20 when booked in advance.
Mon-Sun 12-8 pm 2700 Alyeska Hwy
Ted and Mary Rosenzweig have a long background in science and the medical field and they turned their passion for science into a love for scientific brewing. After accepting a job as a surgeon in Alaska, they found a way to brew their way into the hearts of Anchorage locals since they opened in 2018. They drank their way through Belgium and their brewery focuses on Belgian style ale and sours. They offer brewery tours on Sunday at 2 pm and pour 11 beers on tap.
Varied hours. Closed Mon-Tue
7920 King Street
If you’re a cider fan, then this is the place for you! Double Shovel cider is the first and best micro-cidery in Alaska. They ciders are created with Alaskan (or Washington) apples, berries, and other local ingredients for fresh fun flavors. Don’t miss their classic Forget-Me-Hopped, Appalanche, and Pineapple or a rotating cider like currant.
Various hours, closed Tuesday.
502 W 58th Ave, Unit C
Probably the most tourist famous microbrewery in Alaska is the Glacier Brewhouse and it is on many a tourist’s bucket list. The Glacier Brewhouse has been around since 1995 and is a staple in the Anchorage microbrewery scene. However, if you ask me, the GB has some tough competition as of late and wouldn’t be my first go to recommendation for a craft beer in Anchorage or Alaska. Regardless, how I feel they have 13 award-winning beers, including their Blonde. The restaurant is damn near impossible to get a seat, but if you sit at their bar- which opens an hour before the dining room- and order a flight you’ll be drinking in no time.
This brewery in a region called the Valley is run by four local brothers who combine their talents in brew mastery, business, and logistics quickly winning their way into the mouths of locals and tourists alike. As a local Alaskan, I love that their names feature some of my favorite places in Alaska, such as Hatcher’s Pass Pale Ale. They’re an approachable brewery, so stop by to sample some beer, check out their brewery, and chat with the team.
The campus of Matanuska Brewing has a long history in Alaska agriculture history. When Mat-Maid, our local dairy producer, went out of business many locals were sad to see such a huge part of our economy die. So, when Matanuska Brewing finally opened their doors in the old bones of the dairy factory we were happy to see a revival in the economy and of course drink the great beer they produce. They have a small tasting room, with hopes to expand, but stop by and try their Snow Bike White. Their sister company is Glacier Brewhouse.
Mon-Sun: 3 pm – 8 pm 513 S Valley Way, Palmer
If you are looking for German beer inspired by the flavors and wilderness of Alaska, then this is the place for you. Co-founders June and Stephen have lived in both Germany and Alaska and each and every one of their beers combines science and art with unique and traditional flavors. June’s bottle and can label art has won awards and it is worth buying one of each to take home a piece of art. Stop by on Thirsty Thursdays for $3 pour, $5 howler fills, and $7 growler fills on select beers. Thursday is small batch Thursday, where they serve up a small batch of craft beer and when it’s gone it’s gone.
Since I speak German I love that they have German names like Kürbis Saison translated to pumpkin season for their hearty seasonal pumpkin ale. Their staples like Amber Earth EBA and High Ridge Double Red are fantastic. If you ask me they are one of the more unique breweries in Alaska.
Another one of my favorite breweries in Alaska, I stop at Denali Brewing every trip to or from Denali and it is worth visiting the quirky town of Talkeetna just to drink their tasty beer. If you’re hungry stop by Denali Brewpub in the heart of Talkeetna to sample beers and get some bomb grub. If you’re a tap room kinda person, then stop by their Brewery on Talkeetna Spur Road. They offer fantastic brewery tours, probably the best in the state. You can reserve a few spots online, but they also welcome walk-ins on a first come first serve basis. In the winter, you need to book ahead and in the summer they have four tours, daily at 12, 1:30, 3, and 5 pm. Alongside the brewery, they also have a meadery, a cidery, and a distillery. My favorite will always be the Single Engine Red, but just about everything they make is gold.
Alaska’s smallest brewery, they are located on a small colonial homestead in the charming town of Palmer. These guys love beer and hope to bring together the veteran beer drinking with the new age craft beer together over a glass of cutting edge flavorful beer. Make sure you try their signature Bleeding Heart Beat IPA.
Various hours, closed Mon-Wed 16013 Outer Springer Loop, Palmer
Best Craft Beers & Breweries in Juneau & Pan Handle
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska’s most notorious and popular microbrewery, the Alaskan Brewing company is seen in stores throughout Alaska, the U.S. and beyond. Created by locals Marcy and Geoff who combined years of chemical engineering and love for the wilderness into a creative brewing process. While they were researching brewing Mary came across historic techniques of brewing in Alaska before prohibition and they created a recipe with roots in the Goldrush and that is not my favorite Alaskan Amber. They also take inspiration from local ingredients like spruce tips and Alder smoke. Hop on the shuttle from downtown Juneau, grab a sample or tour their brewery.
Mon-Fri: 11 am – 6 pm 5364 Commercial Blvd, Juneau
Owned and operated by a local Sitka couple Baranof Brewing is so popular with the locals they were literally running out of beer when they first opened. The brew with glacial fed water adding a unique Alaskan twist on glacier German and European style ales and lagers. Wednesday night is community night, where a portion of the proceeds goes to a local charity or cause. Stop by the tasting room to sample their beer, or order any of their beers at a local bar. The names of their beers are inspired by local history and locations like the Peril Straight Ale.
Mon-Fri: 11 am – 8 pm 1209 Sawmill Creek Rd, Sitka
While Alaska’s craft beer scene really started to explode in 2016, Skagway has been brewing since 1897 to quench the thirst of Klondike Gold Rush prospectors. Into the modern era of brewing, they hold their own with unfiltered ales created using hydroelectricity and pure untreated Alaskan water. They have five core ales the Prospector Pale. However, the best beer on tap might be the Spruce Tip Blonde Ale, brewed with hand-picked Sitka spruce buds – a true Alaskan treat. People around Alaska and the world have asked for exports of the beer, but they keep things local, so be sure to buy a few beers to take home. There’s a dining room with great pub fare, a bar with local live music, a game room, and an outdoor patio.
Mon-Fri: 10 am – 10 pm Sat-Sun: 11 am – 10 pm 250 4th Ave, Skagway
Barnaby is recovering from a fire and will be opening at their new location on Shattuck Way soon. Stay tuned for their new opening hours. Barnaby focuses on American style ales and lagers and occasionally dabble in experimental beers. Their taproom is just for tasting and you can have food delivered or bring your own. They are family friendly, but ask you keep your kids on a leash 😉
*New hours announced soon 165 Shattuck Way, Juneau
Devil’s Club Brewing Company
Three Juneau boys came together with a background in chemistry, business, and brewing to create the unique flavors of Devil’s Club. Devil’s Club is a local plant used for generations for medicinal purposes. They pride themselves on contemporary American styles and modern takes on Belgian beers. Try their signature IPA or Banana Breakfast Cereal
Mon-Sun: 2 pm – 8 pm 100 N Franklin St, Juneau
Icy Strait Brewing
The little town of Hoonah near the Icy Strait is a charming seaside village. Enjoy classic five beers on tap ranging from IPA to Oatmeal stout in a cozy tasting tap room. Pair your beer with an all Alaskan smoked salmon fish board or a selection of gourmet grilled cheese. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Mon-Sun: 11 am – 8 pm 286 Front Street, Hoonah
Bawden Street Brewing
The only microbrewery in historic Ketchikan Bawden Street specializes in ales, Saisons, and sours. They have a classic nautical theme and are a new brewery and one to be reckoned with.
Various hours 325 Bawden St, Ketchikan
Best Craft Beers & Breweries in Fairbanks & Interior
49th State Brewing
What started as a humble brewery in Healy, Alaska – just north of Denali National Park – 49th State has expanded to Anchorage for double the goodness. Their location in Anchorage has a fantastic rooftop with views of the Cook Inlet. But if you have the time and means I suggest you visit the OG location in Healy. This rustic and charming brewery has a great outdoor area where you can play lawn games, dance to local artists on stage, and board the “Into the Wild Bus,” (from the movie). They offer a shuttle from Denali National Park, so you can drink and relax. Also bring your dog, because they are pet-friendly. Their menu features many locally sourced meats and veggies, organic food, and a great vegetarian menu to pair with your beer. Order the sampler, or the Cabin Fever Brown Ale and pair with it with a local yak burger, or vegan deep fried avocado sticks.
248 Parks Hwy 5 mile, Healy 717 W 3rd Ave, Anchorage
Black Spruce Brewing Co.
This new brewery opened in 2018 to provide Fairbanks, Alaska with world-class craft beers. Brewery tours are on Saturday at 2 pm, first come first serve and closed toed shoes are required. In the summer drink the Short Days Golden Ale and in the Winter order the Long Nights Imperial Stout and enjoy their wood-fired pizza food truck in the parking lot.
HooDoo is the long-standing staple brewery in Fairbanks operating since the early 2000s. Inspired by traditional German beer, these guys are innovating with their own twist. Total brewery geeks they have state of the art brewing equipment that was custom made just for them. They pride themselves on keeping it simple while avoiding complicated names and crazy experiments and are best known for the Kölsch. Free tours are offered Saturday at 4 pm, sign up by calling 907-459-2337 (BEER).
Tue-Fri: 3 pm – 9 pm Sat-Sun: 11 am – 8 pm Mon: Closed 1951 Fox Ave, Fairbanks
The Northernmost brewery in North America is just outside of Fairbanks and a total treat to visit. With origins dating back to 1997, they have a newly renovated brewery and showroom. Their beers are brewed to please the five senses and not to follow beer traditions. You must try the Fairbanks Lager or a seasonal Raspberry Ale.
Open 7 days, various hours 2195 Old Steese Hwy N, Fairbanks
If you are heading to or from Canada this adorable little brewery, in Gakana, should be on your list. This place embodies the Frontier Alaskan spirit. The brewery was born in 2012, but established in 2015, once they figured out all the legal aspects. What started at an at home experiment turned commercial when the owner, Eddie could barely even try his own beer it was being consumed so fast by the locals. Gakana is an Athabaskan word, meaning Rabbit River. Don’t miss the Dark Side of the Hare Stour, because it’s a bunny dressed like Darth Vader for the bottle logo, and of course, you can’t go wrong with the Killer Rabbie IPA.
Mon-Thur: 3 – 11 pm Fri-Sun: 11 am – 11 pm 5, Mile 0, Tok Cutoff, Gakona
Best Craft Beers & Breweries on the Kenai Penisula
Seward Brewing Company
The location of Seward Brewing Co. dates back to 1904, when it was the Seattle Bar, before closing due to prohibition. Over the years the building has changed until it became Seward Brewing, located in the heart of the charming fishing town. The Rockfish Red is my personal favorite. They close over the winter and in May open their brewery and pub for tourist season.
Mon-Sun: 11:30 am – 10 pm 139 4th Ave, Seward
Homer Brewing Company
The halibut capital of the world is also home to Homer Brewing Co. pouring fresh traditional country ales. While they don’t offer tours you can order the sampler in the tap room and you are among their brewery so you feel as if you are on tour. If you like bitter beer, you should try the Broken Birch Bitter or their seasonal Oktoberfest. If you’re not a beer drinking you’ll be able to get their home-brewed Chai tea.
Mon-Sun: 12 – 7 pm 1411 Lake Shore Dr, Homer
Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop
Frank and Debara Kassik own this Kenai brewery together and have been so successful they have tripled in size since starting their brewery in 2004. You can find these beers all over the state and even in Washington. Stop by the tap room for a pint or take a growler to go. Their Whalers Wheat is probably the most popular and liked even by non-beer drinkers.
Tue-Sun: 12 – 6 pm 47160 Spruce Haven St, Kenai
Kenai River Brewing
Kenai River Brewing has 20 beers on tap and offers the perfect compliment to your outdoor Alaskan adventure from fishing to snow machining. They have a brand new location for tasting. Enjoy their Peninsula Brewer’s Reserve or for those who love hopes the Arctic XPA.
A charming family-owned brewery and brewpub, you can pair your beers with homemade wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, and salads. Their beers can only be purchased on site. During the summer you can find their classic Puddle Jumper Pale Ale and pilsner. In the winter you’ll be able to try some unique microbrews, like whiskey bourbon barrel aged selection.
If your goal is to work your way through Anchorage’s extensive 11+ breweries then you can plan a self-guided tour using the reliable Uber service, Taxis, or a sober driver. Alaska is not a place you can get away with drinking and driving, so don’t do it. That’s why we have Uber. You can tour just by drinking samples in the tap rooms or taking some of the breweries, like Denali Brewery up on their public or private guided tours.
You can also book a guided tour through Big Swig Tours. They offer several tours, including some that pick you up from the cruise ship terminal, some that involve a scenic train ride or just brewery hopping. They offer tastings, behind the scenes entry, and a sober safe ride. Alaska Tours also offers a brewery tour through the Anchorage area.
Food Vendors at Alaskan Breweries
Besides all the amazing craft beer, microbreweries, and cider we have in Alaska, we also have a fantastic food truck scene. When there is beer there is a food truck. Almost all of the breweries in Alaska have a rotating food truck selection in the parking lot. You’ll often have the option between crepes, poke bowls, wood-fired pizza, BBQ, and much more. In addition, most tap rooms allow you to bring your own food or order for delivery right to the tap room.
Alaska Tap Room Laws & Drinking Regulations
Alaska has strict laws regarding breweries tasting rooms. In accordance with Alaska state law, you are only allowed to consume 36 ounces of beer or cider per person while you are at a brewery or tap room. You may take up to 5 gallons for home consumption. Most tap rooms must close by 8 pm and have limited serving hours. Please do not drink and drive! Alaska has Uber, Taxis and some breweries have shuttles that will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel! Plan ahead and be safe.
Share The Love for Alaskan Beer!
Drinking Alaskan craft beer in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Make sure you save this for your next trip up to Alaska. If you’re doing a cruise with a pre or post trip you can hit up a dozen or so of these microbreweries in Alaska. You’ll be happy you did because Alaska beer is so great, I literally bring it around the world with me, even at the bottom of the Grand Canyon!