One of my favorite things to do while traveling the US is to visit breweries and talk to the brewmaster. As I’ve traveled throughout Alaska, I have been interviewing as many breweries as I can get to. Some are only accessible via plane or boat, thank goodness, Kenai Rivers Brewing Co is not one of those breweries!
Kenai Rivers Brewing is located in Soldotna, Alaska which is on the Kenai Peninsula – you know, where all that amazing salmon fishing happens each summer. I love that town!
Throughout the summer I kept hearing about Kenai’s
PBR Peninsula Brewer’s Reserve… any guess why they can’t use that acronym? Everyone told me that I just had to try it. No thanks, not a fan of light beer, I will pass. Then one weekend in early August I went to the Kenai River Brewfest and my beer world changed. I tried it. Don’t tell anyone, but I liked it. It had more flavor and didn’t taste like piss water, which honestly, is what I expected. I wouldn’t mind having this beer out on the boat or in the cooler while out camping. Not bad Kenai Rivers, not bad.
At the Kenai Rivers Brewfest I was able to meet Kenai River’s Brewmaster, Doug Hague, for the first time. He debuted a new beer every hour of the festival. It was impressive. I wasn’t the only one who thought so because they won the People’s Choice Award that day. After talking with him at the fest, he invited me over to come out and see the brewery in the morning before I headed back to Anchorage.
There are those breweries and brewmasters that are constantly trying to shake things up and make beer that is far outside the norm. Brewmaster Doug Hague is one such brewer. He has two beers that have gotten quite a bit of attention lately. I’m hoping that one or both end up in the canning line next year!
A Party Pig of the Honeymoon Hefe or Kolsch to go please. Or the Naptown Nut Brown. Or… ok, one of each please!
I highlighted their Smores Beer in my first installment of #ThirstyThursday Kenai River Brewing Smores Beer. By far, my hands down favorite from them.
The other one that caught my attention was their Gummi Bear Beer. That’s right – Gummi Bears. 45 pounds of Gummi Bears to be exact! This beer isn’t sickly sweet and goes down a bit too smoothly. He has mixed it with other bases like raspberry and it is delicious. Be on the look out my friends, this is one of those that could really get some traction.
Here’s their canner I was telling you about… it can do 26 cases an hour!
The grain room and can storage area… you know I have a fasciation with cans. They need a lot more in there, in my opinion 🙂
All of the tanks from the mash to the bright tanks have names. I love when breweries do that! Let’s you into a bit of their personalities if you ask me. Kenai River’s tanks are Dalpne, Velma, Shaggy, Helga, and Bertha. Can you guess where the names came from? Let me know in the comments and see what you come up with.
I love pics of kegs as much as I like pics of cans. I wouldn’t mind one of these at my next party! 😉
Can’t have a tasting room in Alaska without a salmon on the wall and a can of Spam. What the what?
Every brewery I have been too has a cooler filled with other brewery’s stickers. I think I need to do this with all the ones I have been too!
The three owners of Kenai Rivers Brewing Co rarely are all together at one time, let alone have a pic of the awesome occasion. I was glad to snap this pic of them with their People’s Choice Award – well deserved. John Weetman, Wendell Dutcher, and Doug Hague – you have one helluva brewery on your hands. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next and where you take your kick-ass brewery. I’m glad that I didn’t let any more time go by before I tried your beers and met you all. Thanks for welcoming me into the Alaskan beer community! Cheers!
PS… After a day of watching dog sledding races, I am headed to the 1st Annual Frozen RiverFest for a bonfire and good Alaskan craft beer in February. What could be better than that? Join me!
Disclosure: I received a couple growlers of free beer and any beer I wanted to taste. Of course, I tasted them all. I’m not foolish! I love good Alaskan Craft Beer! I was not under obligation to share my love of their craft beer or to take photos and share this amazing Alaskan brewery with you. Links within this post contain affiliate links that I earn commissions from – seriously, how else am I supposed to afford to travel? 🙂 Example, if you click on any above link and purchase anything from that site I make a small commission, no matter what you purchase. This is how I pay for my travels and this blog. Thank you for supporting me and my craft beer addiction!