I was sitting at the bar on Westerdam and ordered an Alaska Ale, a beer from the Alaskan Brewing Company, when my bartender suggested that I sign up for the Alaskan Beer tasting that was being held on the first sea day. It was $12, so when in Alaska….
This was my first tasting on a cruise ship, or on land, so I didn’t really know what to expect. The beer tasting was held on deck nine, and was very popular … a sold-out kind of popular!
Turns out the Alaskan Brewing Company is very rich in history. We learned how the Juneau-based brewery was founded, what ingredients went into each beer and the inspiration behind each brew. For someone who isn’t knowledgeable about beer, I learned a lot.
In-between the tastings we did a a round of trivia. The prize … the winning table got four pitchers of beer. So if listen closely to the company background and how the beer is made you can score some extra beer.
The beers we tasted:
Alaskan White, available year-round
Alaskan Amber, available year-round
Alaskan Summer Ale, seasonal
Alaskan Freeride APA, available year-round
So here are my reasons to take an Alaskan Beer Tasting:
Something to do. The tasting happens on the second sea day, so it’s the perfect time to take advantage of some downtime. I’m always looking for something new to do on a sea day so it was a perfect fit for me.
Learning. I don’t like to call it a beer tasting, but liquid enrichment. Not only does the Alaskan Brewing Company have deep roots in Alaska, they also are a very green company. Drinking beer while saving the planet – win/win.
Meet new people. We were sat at a table for eight, so right off the bat we got to meet our fellow cruiser. It was a good break-the-ice setting because the cruise was just starting out and we got to chat with fellow passengers whom we may not have originally met.
Limited availability. The Alaskan Brewing Company beer is only available in 14 states – Florida isn’t one of them – so unless you’re in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, it’s a special treat.
It’s Beer! Do you really need an excuse to drink beer!?
If you ever have a chance to experience a beer tasting on Holland America, I’d suggest doing it – not just because it’s a beer tasting – but because it’s a unique experience. Not a lot of people can say they did an Alaskan Beer tasting while plying the waters of Alaska.
Which of the four beers would you look most forward to trying? Tell us below!