My Midnight Sun Brewing Beer Fest

Midnight Sun Brewing Co 2009 Crew Brew

Midnight Sun Brewing Co 2009 Crew Brew Tasting

The 2009 Midnight Sun Brewing Co’s Crew Brew’s Plus some extras

Since my wife will be in Boston this weekend for the “Night of the Barrels” & the “Extreme” Beer Festival I can up with a plan.   To keep me from being home alone and sulking with jealously of her tasting all those great beer I will have my own mini “Extreme Beer Festival” at my house.

Tomorrow I plan on having a few of my closest friends over to share some beers from the Midnight Sun Brewing Co from Anchorage Alaska (which is 4000 miles from my house as the crow flies).   Now these are not just any one of their beers, like I said I wanted a mini Extreme Beer Fest, so I will be featuring all of their brews from their 2009 Crew Brew Series PLUS a few extras.

Here is the low down on these beers from the Midnight Sun Brewing website. 


Espresso Black Bier

9.7 % Alcohol By Volume

17 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

CREATOR = Jeremiah

Beer Description:
Combining jet black color with incredibly smooth texture and decadent coffee flavor, BREWTALITY breaks the expectations of both rich espresso and dark beer to create a whole ‘nuther beast. While brutal in alcoholic strength, this biggie beautifully showcases its roasted malt and coffee flavors without bringing on bitterness and bite. This is the first of two lagers in the series.

“Antidote for Hibernation”

Creator of This Beer:
Assistant Brewer Jeremiah works primarily at Midnight Sun Brewing Company with regular hours at the AK Rock Gym and the occasional shift or two Kaladi Brothers Coffee. To keep up with his weekly work schedule, he enjoys locally roasted coffee in the morning–OK, sometimes in the afternoon as well–and locally brewed beer in the evening– OK, sometimes in the morning as well. This beer brings two of his worlds together as an incredible antidote for hibernation.

“And I don’t need your kiss and hug
I just Chug-a-Lug-O my coffee mug.”
lyrics from Coffee Mug by Descendents
on the Everything Sucks LP, released 1996

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (orig release 02/20/2009; next release 11/27/09)


Imperial Abbey Ale
brewed with raisins + grains of paradise

8.3 % Alcohol By Volume

25 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
This deep amber Imperial Abbey Ale melds malt and earth, spice and fruit to create a wonderful vehicle to wind down the day. Belgian yeast contributes flavor notes that accent the raisins and grains of paradise used in the brewing process. With strength and stamina, DESCENT is deliberately impetuous in its mission.

“The Way Down”

Creator of This Beer:
Kourtney, aka K-Dogg…aka K-Tron, is our hotdog boarder|cyclist|brewer. K-Dogg works and plays harder than most…and he’s got the scars to prove it. His beer was inspired by the Belgian beers he enjoys after an incredible day on one of his boards or bikes or in the brewhouse. Created as a tribute to the monk-ethic that produces beautiful beer through spiritual dedication to centuries-old standards, DESCENT celebrates “the way down”.

“We’re all pushing up the tin can mountain top
The smokestack clouds with glory attached.”
lyrics from Motorcade by Beck
on the The Information LP, released 2006

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 03/20/2009)


Witbier with Brettanomyces

6.25 % Alcohol By Volume

20 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
This Belgian witbier begins with equal parts malted wheat and pale barley to create its traditional cloudy white appearance. The addition of Brettanomyces gives ANCHOR its trademark “green apple” or “horse blanket” aroma and lends tartness to the flavor and finish. At over 6% ABV, this ANCHOR’s got a bit of more kick than most wits.

“Raise your Anchor”

Creator of This Beer:
Since joining MSBC in 1998, Gabe has worked and mastered the complete gamut of jobs in our brewery. As Head Brewer, he uses his accumulation of brewing knowledge and experience to continually conceptualize and create amazing beers. With oak-barrel aging, a multitude of yeast strains and a plethora of processes in back pocket, Gabe is now experimenting with Brettanomyces and other “bugs”. This beer combines his long-standing favorite beer style, witbier, with his new BFF, Brettanomyces. Raise your Anchor!

“Through churning waters and midnight skies
You were my anchor.”
lyrics from Anchor by Misery Signals
on the Mirrors LP, released 2006

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 04/17/2009)


Fairway Pilsner

5.2 % Alcohol By Volume

28 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
This gorgeous golden pilsner is aromatic and flavorful with glorious hops and malt. FAHRWASSER represents the best that summer has to offer.

“Fairway to Heaven”

Creator of This Beer:
Reid is our onsite go-to beer guy who handles the bulk of our to-go beer sales. Reid is a full-time UAA student who manages to sell beer at MSBC, run a side welding business, keep the golf discs flying all year-round & create music with his band, Bushwood. He wrote and performed his song “No 9 to 5”, which resonates his idea of a fairway to heaven.

FAHRWASSER means “fair water” or “fairway”. This inspired pilsner breaks par with every sip.

“My putt is looking good Just like a flying saucer
Bangs like I knew it would I’ll have ein mehr Fahrwasser.”
lyrics from No 9 to 5 by Reid Fenton/Bushwood
on, published 2009

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 05/15/2009)

Big Slick

American Barley Wine

11.9 % Alcohol By Volume

100 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
This kick ass American Barley Wine is all about hops —Nugget, Chinook, Simcoe and Centennial. And, yeah, LoTs of ‘em. OK…there’s a substantial malt base on which these juicy Pacific NW hops lie down and do their dirty work. Maybe that’s too much info…

“This Ace-King WiLL Make U Flop. Period.”

Creator of This Beer:
Grant is the guy who presents and represents MSBC beers out in the field. He is solid+steadfast+diligent. But outside of slinging MSBC beer, Grant is a beast on the baseball field. He aaRggGHs it out with the Fairview Pirates of the Alaska Baseball league–holds several records in any given week. And then, there’s poker. Grant knows his way around The River. But even he can’t avoid the temptation of a Big Slick.

BIG SLICK is the best non-paired hand in Texas Hold ’em but veterans advise against betting this combo.

“My wallet’s gettin’ thin and I just lost my watch last night. Well I gotta problem. Just one answer. Gotta throw it all down and kiss it goodbye. YeaH!”
lyrics from Crazy Game of Poker by O.A.R
on The Wanderer LP, released 2001

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 07/03/2009)


Double Rum Bock

10.0 % Alcohol By Volume

30 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
This double bock provides smooth sailin’ in rough seas. The fact that this luscious lager was aged in rum barrels creates the illusion that the open sea is a safe place. And while riding out these waves of grain, you may fall victim to the dangers of pirates, rum, bock. OK…maybe the beach is a bit over-rated.

“Wanna RuMBaH?”

Creator of This Beer:
Marko is founder/president/managing member of MSBC. He is a complete psycho about beer although he steers toward the classics: adores IPAs, loves lagers, hates funk. Mark has lead us all on this crazy journey—risking life and lifestyle—to create a company of diligent and dedicated folks who are here for one purpose: The Beer. But Mark is The One with the Cajones. Mark makes The Big Picture happen. Buffett is his hero — beaches, boats, bars — so it’s apropos that he chose “A Pirate Looks at 40” for his beer inspiration song. RUMBAH is smooth and sexy on the surface but it will rough it out of you.

“Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothin’ to plunder
I’m an over-forty victim of fate”
lyrics from A Pirate Looks at 40 by Jimmy Buffett
on A1A LP, published 1974

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 09/25/2009)


Black Witbier

6.2 % Alcohol By Volume

17 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
Close your eyes. The delicate aroma, flavor, texture of this beer whisper “witbier”. Now open your eyes. The color is deceiving. You take another sip. Yes, witbier … but black as night. It is something quite peculiar—BuT it is brilliant—something shimmering and [not so] white.

“Completely Cosmic?”

Creator of This Beer:
Gary is our General Manager. A Mid-West upbringing and strong backgrounds in civil engineering and homebrewing create a basis that is consistent, fair, and knowledgeable in his role at the brewery. Gary is our sounding board. He gives the weekly tour – now on Thursdays at 6 PM – with poise and grace. Gary is a golf fiend, playing justly regardless of the competition or the stakes. That says a lot about him. A longtime fan of The Church, Gary chose this song for its yin and yang: white stars against a black sky. COSMIC is a cool representation of this concept.

And its something quite peculiar,
Something that’s shimmering and white.
Leads you here despite your destination,
Under the milky way tonight”
Lyrics from
Under the Milky Way by The Church
on Starfish LP, published 1988

Check out Lincoln’s commercial for its new SUV, which features Sia singing these same words that Gary’s chose for his song inspiration. It’s 30 seconds.

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 10/16/2009)


Gruit Ale
brewed with juniper berries and other botanicals

8.0 % Alcohol By Volume

00 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Beer Description:
This gruit ale was inspired by the Phish song of the same name. A traditional gruit in style, Bathtub Gin was brewed without hops. Instead Ben spiced his beer with botanicals typically used to flavor gin: juniper berries, orris root, angelica root, grains of paradise, lemon peel, orange peel and coriander. The result is intensely fragrant, flavorful and fabulous.

Creator of This Beer:
As Lead Brewer, Ben organizes and orchestrates beer production on a daily basis. His attention to detail results in continuous success. His culinary background lends depth to his expansive knowledge of complementary and contrasting flavors in foods and beers. Ben brings a no BS yet upbeat, positive attitude to the company. He is well-respected as a brewer, beer geek and chef.

“Here comes the joker with his silly grin. He carries a Martini made of bathtub gin”
lyrics from Bathtub Gin by Phish
on Lawn Boy LP, released 1991

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 12/31/2009)

Belgian-style Double Dubel

13.2 % Alcohol By Volume

45 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

CREATOR = La Femme

Beer Description:
“Double Dubel” is a playful way to say Quadrupel. This strong dark ale was brewed and aged with ancho chilies, which are the dried version of poblanos. Anchos impart earthy, raisin-y, peppery characteristics but not a lot of heat. The result is a complex elixir that pairs well with rich, spiced foods but can also be savored on its own. Because was aged in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with ancho chilies for several months before conditioning.

“Because I said so…”

Creator of This Beer:
As VP of Midnight Sun and self-proclaimed “La Femme de Beer”, Barb directs beer style and label design of new/series beers; creates events to bolster business that also provide entertainment value and foster community spirit; writes wacky and not-so-weekly ale-mails that can confuse as much as amuse and educate the reader; and promotes all that is MSBC—its beer, food and folks. Barb generates most MSBC propaganda and authors the web site. She is inspired, fueled and awed by the world of beer.

“I’m tired of whys, choking on whys.
I just need a little because, because.”
lyrics from Fast as You Can by Fiona Apple
on When the Pawn… LP, released 1999

AK – draft and 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 06/13/2010)

ADDITIONAL BONUS Beers from Midnight Sun

Specialty Imports’

30th Anniversary Ale

30th Anniversary Specialty Beer: OAK AGED Black Double IPA

8.5 % Alcohol By Volume

87 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Specialty Imports’ specialty wine and beer import business, Midnight Sun Brewing Company brewed a very special beer–a black double IPA–to honor this Alaska company’s long-term success.

This Specialty Beer Black Double IPA celebrates Specialty Imports’ success in importing and distributing the world’s best wines and beers to the appreciative folks in Alaska. This “Specialty Beer” brings together smooth, dark malts with intense aromatic hops to create a wonderfully balanced yet committed-to-flavor ale. Then this ale was aged in oak barrels for several months.

Availability:    AK – 22-oz bottles (limited release begins 10/23/2009)

** A non-oak-aged version was released in JAN 2009.

2008 Artic Devil

Arctic Devil Barley Wine 2008

13.2 % Alcohol By Volume

20 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

Arctic Devil Barley Wine, aptly named after the ferocious wolverine of the north, is an English-style (meaning malt-inclined) barley wine. Though the recipe and process for Arctic Devil have evolved over the years, it is brewed once a year then aged in oak barrels for several months before the entire batch is blended, bottled and released. Beginning in 2010, ADBW will be released in late SEP.

In its youth, Arctic Devil gnarls and snarls its way across the palate. Containing this beast of a beer for long periods in oak barrels–some having previously aged port, wine or whiskey–tames the unleashed malt and fierce hop flavors, melding and mellowing this powerful liquid into an incredible elixir worthy of a brewer’s table.

Each annual batch of Arctic Devil Barley Wine represents the brewers’ resolve to create an intriguing and sought-after barley wine by precisely brewing to well-designed specifications, carefully selecting the type and combination of barrels to use for aging, and meticulously checking the beer as it ages. Distinct nuance and complexity are contributed by the wood’s previous tenants, resulting in unique flavor profiles in each batch that continue to change over time. We invite you to savor Arctic Devil Barley Wine upon its release then cellar some for future enjoyment.

Midnight Sun’s elusive Arctic Devil Barley Wine is Alaska’s most awarded barley wine.

2009 Artctic Rhino Coffee Porter

Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter

5.0 % Alcohol By Volume

20 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

Inspired by local artist & roaster Michael Allen’s eccentricly-named blend of coffee beans, Midnight Sun’s brewers designed a beer recipe and flavor infusion process that perfectly captures the alluring aroma, satisfying flavor and curious legend of Allen’s Arctic Rhino Coffee Blend.

Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter combines two quintessential Pacific Northwest favorites: coffee and ale. The result is wonderfully romantic and robust–a duel-fueled porter that melds charismatic dark malt with freshly roasted coffee beans.

The (un)rest is up to you.

“Being the sort who likes to balance his stimulants and depressants, I’m fond of a good coffee beer now and then, especially when it’s crafted so the coffee, or the hops, or the alcohol, doesn’t overwhelm the other elements. Like in this ebony beauty. Rich coffee on the nose, but also notes of sweet mocha and dates, and an equal balance of dark chocolaty malt, dark raisin and black plum and, naturally, espresso-ish coffee on the palate. Sure, the java is obvious on the first sniff and sip, but by the time you finish your glass, you may have even forgotten this is a coffee beer, so well integrated are all the flavors.”
by Steve Beaumont in All About Beer magazine, JAN 2010 issue


666 Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel
Belgian-style Golden Ale

8.5 % Alcohol By Volume

35 International Bittering Units (IBUs)


Fallen Angel Golden Ale, first brewed on 6-6-6 [JUN 6, 2006], is named in the tradition of Belgian golden strong ales–after the devil himself. We call this beer our “original sin” because it spawned our 2007 Deadly Sin beer series.

Midnight Sun’s Fallen Angel Golden Ale is a traditional Belgian-style golden strong ale–deep gold in color with tiny, conniving bubbles forming a very thick, meticulous head. Effervescent and crisp, this delicious ale tempts the palate with apple, pear and a little earthy mustiness. Its beauty and brightness is angel-like in appearance but the devil in is its strength.

With its introduction in 2006 and its immediate cult following, Fallen Angel is now brewed and released on a more frequent basis.