Alaskan Brewing Co. was awarded a silver medal in the Specialty Beer category at the world’s largest commercial beer competition, the 31st annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo.
The winning pour was the Brewery’s Birch Bock Doppelbock-Style Ale took, taking Silver in the Specialty Beer Category. Birch Bock was released in March 2012 as part of Alaskan Brewing’s Limited Edition Pilot Series. The Specialty Beer category focuses on beers brewed using, as the GABF’s style description indicates, “unusual fermentable sugars,” “the distinctive characters of these special ingredients should be evident either in the aroma, flavor or overall balance of the beer.”
Birch Bock, a Doppelbock-style ale, does just this, showcasing the rich and spicy notes of 100% Alaska birch syrup harvested in the state’s interior forests by the Alaska Birch Syrup Company and Kahiltna Birchworks. The tawny, copper-colored ale is marked by a lightly malty delicate earthy and floral sweetness.
“Birch Syrup from Alaska is a truly rare and surprising gourmet ingredient so we thought ‘why not create a brew that specifically showcased that great flavor?’” said Alaskan Brewing co-founder Marcy Larson. “It’s rewarding to see our hard work and commitment to sharing the flavors of Alaska recognized at the world’s largest beer competition. The great thing about this beer is that it is really representative of Alaskan history and flavors.”
The 2012 Great American Beer Festival Competition evaluated 4,338 beers from 84 distinct categories in this year’s competition. More than 660 breweries, representing 11 countries, entered products to be judged by 185 judges.
This is Alaskan’s 25th time attending the GABF. The brewery has been honored to bring home medals from 23 of the last 25 festivals. The GABF continues to increase in popularity. This year, tickets to the event sold out in less than an hour and almost 50,000 attendees sampled more than 2,700 brews in the festival hall — the biggest selection of American beers ever served.