Brewfest starts with beer banquet Friday
The 19th annual Great Alaska Craft Beer and Homebrew Festival will be held Friday and Saturday at the Southeast state fairgrounds.
The main event, a beer-tasting from 1-5 p.m. Saturday in Dalton City, will feature 13 breweries from Alaska, Canada and the Pacific Northwest and dozens of different styles of beer. Some 90 varieties were offered at last year’s brewfest.
Participating breweries typically bring their most popular brews, plus a special creation, organizers said this week.
The Haines event is now the culmination of "Southeast Beer Week," six days of festivities that started in Juneau Monday, including a beer film festival, "pint night" at a Juneau bar and a beer dinner at a restaurant there.
"It’s been the talk of our town recently," said Rachael Juzeler, a quality assurance analyst for Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau.
Juzeler organizes the homebrew competition in Haines and said this year it has attracted entries from the Lower 48. "People like to have an award from Alaska. The quality of the homebrewers is looking really good right now."
Tickets to Saturday’s tasting in Haines are $28 and the price includes a complimentary tasting glass. Due to the possibility of tickets selling out at the gate, festival-goers are strongly encouraged to buy tickets online at seakfair.org.
Skagway’s Windy Valley Boys and the Honky Tonk Habit of Haines will provide live entertainment. Food available for purchase at the event will be provided by Fireweed Restaurant, Mosey’s, The Klondike and Yuko’s Sushi. The fair also will be selling barbecued bratwurst.
An information booth featuring a "Beer Doctor" will be set up during Saturday’s tasting to answer people’s questions about beer and to add an educational component, Juzeler said.
The festival begins before noon Friday with judging of homebrew entries under Payson’s Pavilion. It continues at 6 p.m. the same evening at Harriett Hall with a banquet meal offering beer that complements each course. Tickets for the beer banquet were nearly sold out at press time early this week.
New this year is addition of the "Slammin’ Salmon Run," a fun run and walk starting 9 a.m. Saturday at Dalton City. The walk is a 5K loop around town. A 5K run will follow the same course, and a 10K run will diverge to Small Tracts and Mud Bay roads. A $10 charge includes a run T-shirt.
Organizers ask participants to leave children and dogs at home. For more information, contact the fair at 766-2476. Beer festival proceeds benefit the Southeast Alaska State Fair.