49th State Brewing Company has two locations in Alaska. This blog post covers the spot on W 3rd Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska.
On my first trip to Alaska, the panda finds it fitting that the first stop be at a brewery that proudly notes its spot in American history as the country's 49th state.
It's worth noting that downtown Anchorage is very laid back, especially when compared to places like Portland, Honolulu, or Seattle. It may even be more laid back than downtown Salt Lake City. Downtown Anchorage has some traffic and some one-way roads, but there should be plenty of parking for everyone, whether at a parking structure or on the street. For my visit to 49th State Brewing, I parked in a lot maybe three blocks away, although I could have parked a lot closer.
Lots of TVs there to watch your favorite sporting event. It's also a spacious environment.
Many beers to choose from here, but I went with 49th State's Solstice IPA, which clocks in at 7% ABV and 72 IBU. Columbus, Citra, and Cascade hops. It's a lovely West Coast-style IPA that has a combination of berry, piney, and citrus. Refreshing and more light-bodied than most 7% IPAs that I've had. The panda definitely approves.
I went with the 8 oz half-pour ($4.25) here to pace myself. More beer thirty spots were on the horizon.
A lot of awesome menu options here. Trust me, the Brisket Poutine was very tempting, as was the King Crabby Grilled Cheese.
I decided to get the Mt. St. Elias Yak Burger ($24.99), a half-pound burger featuring locally raised Alaskan yak. Yak is a much leaner meat than beef and not gamy. It comes with caramelized onions, smoked gouda, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard (I 86'd the mayo as usual). Ciabatta for the bun. Comes with a side of fries.
I asked for medium-rare on the yak, and they seemed to deliver on that; some pink in the center. I also loved the caramelized onions and the gouda here. Bacon is always a winner. The ciabatta is sturdy to keep the burger intact, but has some softness so your jaw won't give out on you.
It's the first time I've had yak, and I enjoyed it. When initially making notes on this visit, I figured the only other time I would have had yak was at the Buckhorn Exchange in Denver many years ago, but no yak on that visit.
Extra kudos on the fries. Seasoned nicely, slightly crispy outside, and very soft on the inside.
Admittedly, the yak burger is pricey. But it was totally for the experience, and with no sales tax in Anchorage, feel free to splurge a little more.
For awesome food and beer, 49th State Brewing should be on your list of spots to try! 8.5/10