Alaskan Wins World Beer Cup Gold for Spruce IPA
Seasonal brew made with local Sitka spruce tips to return in Spring
Alaskan Brewing Co.'s Spruce IPA.
Credit: Alaskan Brewing Company
JUNEAU, AK—Alaskan Brewing received a gold award at this year’s World Beer Cup presented by the Brewer’s Association (BA) for the seasonally-brewed Spruce IPA. The competition is held every two years and was conducted this year in Nashville, Tennessee. Spruce IPA was introduced this year as a seasonal offering available January through April.
“We’ve believed in this beer since we began developing it a couple years ago, and we knew we were onto something special with the response we got from fans since its seasonal release this year,” said Curtis Holmes, Alaskan Brewing Plant Manager, who along with HR Manager Joy Will was on hand to accept the award from BA Founder Charlie Papazian. “It was a real thrill to get that fist-bump from Charlie, and it feels like a great confirmation that we have been on the right track with this beer.”
Holmes credited the success of the beer to Alaskan’s brewers’ ability to highlight the unique flavor profile that Sitka spruce tips provide when paired with the right hops.
“People are always surprised by how citrusy and berry-like our Sitka spruce tips taste, and we played that quality up by using Citra, Chinook and Denali hops in this beer,” Holmes said. “It allows the fresh and tart flavors and aromas to shine through, and I’m really proud of our whole team on being able to bring out the best in this ingredient that comes right from our backyard.”
The spruce tips used in Alaskan Spruce IPA all come from the tiny town of Gustavus, Alaska, at the mouth of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. They are picked in early Spring, to provide the fresh and tart berry flavor unique to this beer. Alaskan has been brewing with spruce tips in a variety of beers since the early 90s. Alaskan Spruce IPA will return to the seasonal lineup in early 2019.
Spruce IPA won gold in the Herb and Spice Beer category. This year’s World Beer Cup had the most entries in the history of the competition, with 8,234 beers judged from 2,515 breweries from across the globe.
For more information and updates, check out Alaskan Brewing Co. online at www.alaskanbeer.com.