Midnight Sun Brewing
by Matt Morgan
(Beer Delegate, IL, USA)
Midnight Sun Brewing in Alaska: Beer Delegate for Illinois, Matt Morgan, meets brewmaster Gabe Fletcher
Midnight Sun Brewing: an Alaskan encounter
In my last installment, a review of Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop, I said how Janelle and I were persuaded by the brewmaster to visit the Amsterdam Café on our way to catch the flight home. We didn't need too much arm-twisting and were happy we made the detour.
Café Amsterdam had an incredible beer menu, including many Belgian and German imports. They also carried many local craft beers, including Kassik's Gold Nugget Hefeweizen.
As Janelle and I chipped away at the rock-solid beer menu, I saw a guy sit down next to me and order a beer from Midnight Sun. The bartender made a flippant remark about the guy ordering his own beer.
Somewhat confused, I turned to the other patron and asked if he was a brewmaster and sure enough he was. Gabe Fletcher, brewmaster for Midnight Sun Brewing Company was a great sport as we exchanged fanatical statements about our favorite subject.
He was clearly the superior beersman and he watched me scribble notes on my napkin to keep up with his outpouring of knowledge. I thought it was cool that he ordered his own beer when he's out at a bar (quality control) and he ordered one for me.
I was already working on a beer from the Netherlands; Ij Natte beer (pronounced "e nottay"). I was now ready to enjoy the Midnight Sun Old Whiskers Hefeweizen sitting before me, courtesy of the brewmaster. As I drank and studied the flavors, Gabe walked me through the brew philosophy at Midnight Sun Brewing.
We started talking about Duvel and he mentioned the strong Belgian influence in all of his brews. They have a brew similar to Duvel called Fallen Angel which then led to Midnight Sun Brewing's Seven Deadly Sins specialty brews.
Seeing how enthralled I was by all of this and my peasant notebook filling up, Gabe invited Janelle and I to the brewery for a tour.
We had two hours to check in for our flight and we get an impromptu brewery tour. Cruel fate, but of course we took him up on the offer. It wasn't far from Café Amsterdam or the airport, so we were in good shape.
We sampled just about everything under the Midnight Sun. I keep looking at the pictures and near the end there are EIGHT different 22oz bottles open and I know we had a few more from the keg room and also Midnight Sun's Obliteration straight from the tank.
I absolutely recommend ANY of the beers brewed by Midnight Sun Brewing Company.
They actually have a brew called Panty Peeler, apparently due to its seductive flavor and high alcohol content, but the label is in French, so it sounds sophisticated.
Here’s a list of what we sampled:
12 Year Witbier
Berserker Imperial Stout
Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Arctic Devil Barley Wine
Old Whiskers Hefeweizen
Obliteration Double IPA
Envy Imperial Pilsner
Gluttony Triple IPA
Due to our Gluttony, we subsequently missed our plane by five minutes. Despite the agonizing minutia of getting on another flight, it was worth it. Our tour of Midnight Sun Brewing was the epitome of that kid-in-a-candy-store feeling.
Thanks again to Frank and Deb at Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop and also thanks to Gabe Fletcher at Midnight Sun Brewing Company for his unparalleled generosity. Man, I love Alaska.
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