This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
Doug Hogue, the owner of Kenai River Brewing Company, said he has always hated pumpkin beers. Two local home brewers recently changed his mind with a recipe for an Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Stout Beer.
“They came in and we brewed it together,” Hogue said. “I love this pumpkin beer.”
Residents can taste this beer, and other seasonal beers like their Spruce Tip Double IPA and their Winter Warlock malt-based, English-style beer at the Kenai River Brewing Company taproom.
Winter brings several locally brewed seasonal beers and ales for residents to enjoy during this special time of year.
Just down the street from Kenai River Brewing Company is St. Elias Brewing Company, where brewer and part-owner Zach Henry has created three specialty beers for the winter season.
The Whipsaw Double IPA has twice the hops and showcases Columbus, Mosaic and El Dorado hops, Henry said. The Ladybug Lambic has been aged for two years in oak barrels. Henry said it was made with red and black currants.
“It’s a nice refreshing fruit beer,” Henry said.
The Chocolate Raspberry Porter is an English-style porter made with cocoa beans and has notes of chocolate and raspberry.
Henry said all these seasonal beers can be found at the taproom and can be taken home in a growler, or a crowler, which is a 32-ounce can, equal to about two pints of beer.
Up the north road to Kassik’s Brewery, residents can find several seasonal beers.
The Spice Cream Ale is a cream ale made with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. Owner Debbie Kassik said the brewery’s barleywine should be ready in the next week or two. She said during the holiday season, the brewery will bring out specialty aged beers. During Thanksgiving, the brewery brought out their Statney beer, and Kassik said they may do that again this season. Residents can also look forward to a Russian Imperial aged in rye whiskey barrels. All these beers can be found in the taproom in Nikiski, with the exception of the Spice Cream Ale, which can be found in 22-ounce bombers at local liquor stores.
All can be found at the Taproom, and area ale can be found in 22-ounce bombers in local liquor stores.
At the end of the peninsula in Homer, Patrick Miller, assistant brewer at Homer Brewing, said the brewery four seasonal beers to choose from.
The Extra Special Bitter beer is a happier beer with an amber color. The Holiday Spiced Belgian also called the Celestiale, is made with chai. The Imperial Stout is the biggest beer the brewery produces, Miller said. The Oatmeal Stout is described by Miller as creamy and smooth. All of these beers can be found at the Homer Brewing Company tap room.
At Grace Ridge Brewing Company, owner Don Stead said their Scottish beer is out now, and has low-bitterness, and is an easy drinking amber-looking ale. The Winter Cranberry beer is made with rosemary and cranberries. The Honey Baltic Porter is a clean, smooth porter, and leaves a honey flavor on the tongue, Stead said. The Pale Ale is made with hops grown in the Homer area.
“The hops are very fresh, so it has an interesting aroma,” Stead said.
These beers can be found at the Grace Ridge Brewing Company taproom or the Grog Shop.