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Barleywine 2017-01-14T04:54:05+00:00

Barleywine

If the old master Rubens were to paint a beer, barleywine would be his subject. Certainly such a match would be no accident; both portray a full body, appreciate with age, and critics never regard them lightly. Indeed, the classic canvas of barleywine presents the most sophisticated of beers.

First appearing centuries ago in small house-breweries, a brewer’s motivation for producing these strong ales was probably a combination of preservation and bragging rights. They counted on these statuesque beers to increase their standing with the brewery’s patrons and were cellared over a considerable period of time.

Use of the modern name – Barleywine, can be attributed to the high alcohol, which rivals that of wine, along with the practice of maturing in wood. Fermentation produces both products, but no other connection exists.

Tasting these beers can evoke descriptive words such as big, bold, huge, massive, full, and assertive.

Older versions will often be described in appropriately subtle terms. These include malty, sherry-like, estery and complex. At times they will exhibit a richness of deep fruit-like flavors from cherries to plums, raisins, and prunes. Finer examples, aged in the customary wooden cask, will also present wine-like notes of a viney, woody, slightly tannic nature. A few breweries produce light colored versions of deep golden hues. However, most Barleywines range in color from amber to deep reddish browns.

Served in a tulip shaped glass or snifter, barleywines are unchallenged by any other beer in the role of a relaxing nightcap. Consume them like a fine scotch, cognac or sherry, and slowly savor the strong malt and alcohol with underpinnings of subtle complexity. They make a picture perfect companion on a deep winter’s night.

  • Best of Show, Gold Medal, and Best Alaska Brewed Beer – 1998 Great Alaska Beer Festival.
  • Silver Medal – 1999 Great Alaska Beer Festival.
  • Silver Medal – 2001 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Silver Medal and Best Alaska Brewed Barleywine – 2002 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Best of Show, Gold Medal, and Best Alaska Brewed Barleywine – 2004 Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival.
  • Gold Medal – 2004 Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO.
  • Bronze Medal – 2006 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Honorable Mention – 2008 West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival at The Bistro, Hayward CA.
  • Readers’ Choice Award 2nd Place – 2008 Northwest Brewing News.
  • Bronze Medal – 2009 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Top 5 Barleywines – 2009 Hard Liver Festival, Seattle WA.
  • Bronze Medal – 2009 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer, Chicago, Il.
  • Bronze Medal – 2009 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer, Chicago, Il.
  • Grand Champion – 2009 Toronado Barleywine Festival, San Francisco, CA.
  • Grand Champion – 2010 Toronado Barleywine Festival, San Francisco, CA.
  • Grand Champion – 2010 Hard Liver Festival, Seattle, WA.
  • Honorable Mention – 2010 West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival at The Bistro, Hayward, CA.
  • Bronze Medal – 2011 Hard Liver Festival, Seattle, WA.
  • Peoples’ Choice Award – 2011 West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival at The Bistro, Hayward, CA.CA.
  • Best Winter Brew – 2010 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Best Winter Brew – 2011 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Best Winter Brew – 2013 Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine Festival.
  • Bronze Medal – 2014 Barrel Aged Beer Festival, Chicago, Il.
  • Bronze Medal – 2004 Barrel Aged Beer Festival, Chicago, Il.
  • Gold Medal & People’s Choice Award – 2006 West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival, Hayward, CA.

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737 W. 5th Avenue
Suite 110
Anchorage, Alaska
907 274 2739
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737 W. 5th Avenue
Suite 110
Anchorage, Alaska
907 222 3232