Alaskan Brewing wins at 'Olympics' of beer competitions

1998 Alaskan Smoked Porter wins gold in aged beer category, Alaskan Barley Wine wins bronze

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alaskan Brewing Co. products continue to win accolades for their quality, right along with the workplace where they're crafted.

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David J. Sheakley / Juneau Empire File
David J. Sheakley / Juneau Empire File

The company won two medals at an international brewing competition this month, and was named a great place to work by a national magazine.

At the 2010 World Beer Cup, a biannual global beer competition that evaluates beers from around the world, the 1998 Alaskan Smoked Porter was awarded a gold medal in the aged beer category. Alaskan Barley Wine won bronze.

The two beers stood out among 3,330 beers from 642 breweries in 44 countries. The competition, considered "the Olympics" of beer, was held earlier this month.

The brewery has been aging or "cellaring" their vintages of Alaskan Smoked Porter - and has consistently won awards for it - for nearly 20 years.

Also this month, Alaskan Brewing Co. was named for the second time to Outside magazine's annual "Best Places to Work" list.

Alaskan Brewing Co. ranked No. 17 out of 50 selected companies and is the only one from Alaska to make the list. The story will be published in the May issue, due on stands April 23.

With the competition, the magazine aims to recognize businesses that strive to enhance their employees' enjoyment of active endeavors, and environmental and social involvement. They want to recognize employers that support a proper work-life balance, according to one magazine executive.

At Alaskan Brewing, for example, crew can schedule their work hours around prime ski times and fishing seasons. Last year, a couple dozen employees traveled to Skagway to compete in a road relay while another group climbed a local peak to prepare for a summit of Mt. Rainier.

Employees also are invited to travel and represent the brewery at events across the country.

"We whole-heartedly follow the old 'work hard, play hard' mentality," Alaskan Brewing co-founder Marcy Larson said. "We all are passionate about putting out an outstanding and quality product, but we also work hard to ensure that we are enjoying all that Alaska has to offer."

• Contact reporter Kim Marquis at

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