Alaskan Brewing expands to downtown

Company to sell retail items, offer transportation to its microbrewery

Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Alaskan Brewing Co. will position itself to better serve Juneau's visitors when it opens a store in downtown this spring.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Customers will not be quaffing microbrew suds, however. At least not at first.

The company plans to sell its retail items such as T-shirts and key rings, offer virtual tours of its brewery and accommodate transportation for those who want to visit the microbrewery in Lemon Creek.

Tastings and beer sales could come later, after the company secures a liquor license and handles other details, Communications Manager Ashley Johnston said.

The downtown store will be located in the historic Simpson Building, in the two-story space formerly occupied by Galligaskins, which was located there for more than two decades.

In addition to selling its own line of clothing and gear, the store might showcase products made by other Alaska companies.

The quirks and challenges of manufacturing in Alaska could be interesting to tourists, said co-founder Marcy Larson.

"Many people do not realize what it takes to manufacture a product in Alaska," Larson said. "We are in the business of making beer, but you wouldn't believe what it takes to get to the finished product."

The company hopes to create a virtual visit with a video tour of the brewery for those who can't make it in person, Johnston said.

The retail line also will be expanded to potentially include more women's clothing and outdoor gear, she said.

Alaskan Brewing Co. started making beer in 1986 in Juneau.

The new location will help the company share its story, challenges and beer with more people, General Manager Linda Thomas said.

"We are proud to bring a locally owned, locally operated business that will be open year-round to the downtown community," Thomas said.

Tours, tastings and beer sales will continue at the brewery as in the past.

The new store is slated to open in early May.

• Contact reporter Kim Marquis at

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