Join Us in the Lands of Better Beer
A Review of Alaskan White Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/13/2015 by Chops
                   
Great
Ah, the white ale, a wheaty and spicy adventure. At least, it should be. Sadly, the witbier style (Belgian wheat ale) has been hijacked by Big Beer companies and turned into a shoddy mess. To most Americans, the concept of a wheat ale has been reduced to a cloudy lager hybrid with little to no character. We can all cite examples of these ''wheat gone wrong'' bastardizations. But then we have craft breweries like the Alaskan Brewing Company, poised to intervene on behalf of palates everywhere. Their Alaskan White Ale is a great American interpretation of this time honored style.

In the glass, this beer had a warm and hazy golden coloration. It came with a frothy white head that had nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a lemony citrus, orange peel, a dusting of mild spices, and a hint of banana. One important note about wheat ales: if you need to add a slice of orange, it's not a good wheat ale. These beers should invoke a pleasant citrus character all by themselves, as this beer does. Garnishes are the mark of terrible wheat ales.

Flavor wise, this beer had a base of savory bread with notes of lemongrass, coriander, and orange rind swirling around on top. All notes were appropriately balanced and did not compete for attention. The hops profile was mild, unassuming, and gave the beer a grassy compliment. The beer had a light-to-medium body and felt very smooth on the palate. The finish was clean and exited with a sweet bready aftertaste.

Overall, I found the Alaskan White Ale to be a solid Americanized witbier. I got the impression that the brewers chose to focus on the primary aspects of the style in lieu of stamping a signature, which shows an admirable restraint. The result was a very satisfying wheat ale with no unnecessary surprises. In short, a very tasty session brew. Wheat ales are often regarded as the gatekeepers to craft beer. They offer something new and exciting with high levels of accessibility. The Alaskan White Ale is no different, so grab yourself a six pack and join us in the lands of better beer.

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Alaskan White Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co.
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