Head to the highest point in the United States, the untamed tundra of Anchorage, Alaska, and you will find Midnight Sun Brewing Company. Since their kettles fired up in 1995, this brewery and brew pub has been warming the good folks who braved that last frontier with their multitude of year round, seasonal, and specialty brews. Midnight Sun is Alaskan proud. Everything from their beer names to the beer labels portrays the pride they have in their heritage. Even the name of the brewery reminds us of the north - where else but Alaska do you ever see a midnight sun? For this tasting, we've taken seven offerings from their vast, eclectic collection.
As one of their most popular beers, Kodiak Brown Ale balances caramel and roasted malts with Perle and Willamette hops to make a light, malty brew. It's deep reddish-brown color is reminiscent of flavored cola, with a noseful of tartness, candy, and caramel. Light on the tastebuds, the creamy malts, coffee, and roasted flavors are just right.
Brewed with a bevy of Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe hops, the strength of Sockeye Red IPA shows through splendidly. The slightly hazy, copper coloring makes way to a pithy, sweet, and citrus scent. This one left our tongues sticky with bitter grapefruit.
Freshly roasted coffee beans and dark malt make up Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter. A large pillowy tan head tops a black, red tinged body, giving way to a solid milk chocolate aroma. This beer finishes with a welcome and familiar roasted flavor.
One of their specialty brews, Trickster Pumpkin Ale is brewed with Belgian yeast and enough spice to make you remember it for days. Pouring light amber, our senses were smacked with cinnamon, cloves, and the reminiscing flavors of Thanksgiving dessert.
Seasonal Meltdown Double IPA is Midnight Sun's answer to all those long days of early spring. Big bubbles pour as this cloudy apricot brew fills the nose with piney, earthy hops and tangy citrus. A full bodied taste takes it up a notch, making this one earthier, maltier, and slightly more bitter than the Sockeye Red.
Once called Extreme Polar White Bier, Midnight Sun changed the name after this Belgium style triple earned itself a reputation. Light amber with a solid nose of sweet coriander, clove and citrus, Panty Peeler finishes with a mouthful of light bodied, bitter orange and banana.
Described as "a little heaven on Earth," Monk's Mistress Special Dark Ale is one of a kind. Subtle hints of stone fruit fill the nose as we dipped deep into the burgundy black beer. Our tastebuds were treated to a bit of brandy and tart cherries making for a delicious dessert to the end of this tasting.
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