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Seward Brewing

Seward, Alaska


Crusin’ Rating: B+

Booze Rating: D+


Photo Credit: Seward Brewing Company

Hello Everyone!  We are kicking off a new series, comparing the beers and booze spots of the Last Frontier to what we have here in Wisconsin.  That’s right - Hannah and I recently took a trip to Alaska where we hiked mountaintops and glaciers, observed wildlife, and even kayaked in ocean. 

What we can say is that - Alaska is an absolutely unbelievable place and nothing I can really say here or even show you in photos will ever do the scenery any justice.  Besides that, we here at Crusin’ for Booze have a renewed appreciation for the beautiful nature around us and a renewed fervor to protect our state and National Parks!  So we are dedicating all of these reviews to the wild places that we should all frequent.  While we are firm believers in how great of a state we live in Wisconsin, there are always plenty of reasons - especially with the recent 4th of July, to get out and appreciate all our country has to offer.

With that said, come along with us to Seward, Alaska - a working port-city with a plethora of activities for tourists and naturists to enjoy in the summer months as well as a few beers to sip.

Seward is on the southern side of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula and is situated right on the terminus of Resurrection Bay, a large fjord off the Gulf of Alaska that sees an average of 69 inches of precipitation each year - whereas- Milwaukee averages 34 inches and Madison 37 inches.  Thankfully, we were there perhaps one of the seven days this year wherein they didn't get any rain.

Seward Brewing Company is a spot I knew I wanted to check out because of its second story with a view of the bay - plus I had heard it had solid food when planning out our meals for this trip.  Surprisingly - there are a lot of food spots all over Alaska but the best ones are sometimes hard to find since a lot of food is catered to the summer crowd which often means a somewhat mediocre meal for a very mediocre price!  

We were within walking distance of Seward Brewing Company from our AirBnB so it was a nice, sunshine filled walk (albeit at 8:00 PM) when we did our review.  That extra sunshine that we experienced throughout our trip meant often we had all-day activities and later reviews that were still afforded wonderful views with near-limitless sunlight.  

Hannah and I requested seating upstairs two nights in a row for the view specifically, even being told to come back later (thus the 8:00 PM visit) in order to get a spot, but unfortunately, were not able to do our review upstairs which was a bummer.  We had to settle for a little exploration after-the fact.  A fairly straightforward building from the outside with plenty of glass on the first and second floors and an elongated rectangle-shaped space, Seward Brewing Company pays homage to fishermen throughout with some metalwork art of the Halibut that so many fishermen bring in during the season. There’s a wood accent wall behind the bar and the rest of the space is fairly industrial with metal beams and concrete walls.  A large collection of beer pull handles adorns the beam above the bar.  There’s a full menu, which we were grateful for, however most of the items were out on both of our visits.  Seward Brewing Company is open 5 PM to 10PM most days and if you aren’t there within the first hour or so during the summer season - I wouldn’t count on something specific on the menu - you may just have to make due.  For our purposes I would say the fare is fairly standard brewpub fair a la the Great Dane - nothing super standout but not bad.  

The beer however, was a different story.

Hannah and I snagged a flight of beer for $12 that included four pours.  They also made their own root beer to the tune of $6 per pint, and the beers were around $7 per pint.  The food in Alaska is expensive - and if you’re getting fish in the busy season, expect to pay a premium market price that Hannah and I nicknamed the “Alaska Tax” as catch-all for in demand fish prices and just general expenses around food and beverage while in Alaska (bringing ingredients in I am sure isn’t cheap - but some of it is definitely targeted for tourist dollars).

Marathon Summer Ale (5.3% ABV, 11.1 IBU) - One thing Alaska is not short on in the summer is Marathons- as in 26.2 mile, or more, races.  This bale, brewed with Magnum and Cascade hops and meant to be an easy-drinking summer ale featured medium high clarity and was light golden in color.  A light wheat - slightly sweet aroma and then low lemon flavor did make this a drinkable summer beer but when you tell me this is a summer beer I was expecting a little more lemon flavor - keeping in mind to not expect a shandy or even a blonde, but still - I think the hops were played up a little too strong here and the “summer”-ness didn’t really come through strongly.

White Fang Hefeweizen (5.5% ABV, 17.7 IBU) - This deep yellow beer featured low clarity and an aroma of sour grain - not unlike sourdough.  It actually smelled faintly reminiscent of a Berliner Weisse - although that really shouldn’t be present in this style (it should smell of banana and clove, typically, but neither of us picked up on that).  There was some old-banana flavor when tasting but also minerality and a chalky-dry finish.  Neither Hannah nor I were fans.

Hey! It’s IPA (5.8% ABV, 47.7 IBU) - This IPA features Magnum, Millennium, Chinook, and Mosaic hops and features relatively high clarity with a slightly golden color.  Woody, resinous, and slightly spicy on the nose - Hannah made note of black licorice when smelling.  The flavor moved from grassy to resinous fairly quickly and boldly with bitter oils.  Hannah said it reminded her of how wood epoxy smells if it were a flavor.  I thought it was a fairly straightforward, if unsubtle IPA.

TK-421 Imperial Milk Stout (7.2% ABV, 32 IBU) - This Milk stout, themed after a Stormtrooper - who usually use a series of letters and numbers for a name (Imperial - like the empire) was fun in its theme and smelled of slightly sweet, albeit boozy coffee.  Hannah noted this one tasted boozy and is thin in the body, with low flavors of sweet chocolate.  For an imperial stout I didn’t think we should be searching around for flavor here and were hoping for something slightly less booze-forward in flavor.

I will note that I also had the chance to taste El Perro Lager - a Mexican Inspired lager and I do have to mention that it ended up on my list of beers to really avoid.  It has been quite some time since I found a beer sample that I actually did not want to finish.  It very well could have been a fluke pour but it's going to end up against some of the worst I have tried, along with some beers from Mel’s Micro and City Service in Wisconsin.  I know sometimes we can be picky when it comes to beer and Hannah and I both have styles we gravitate towards; but this was a beer where something was seriously off in the tap, process, or my particular sample. I think there was definitely some Diacetyl (butter) and some oxidization (cardboard) which leads me to my belief.  I would not order that particular beer again.

In all - Seward Brewing Company was not everything we had hoped it would be but we told ourselves that there are still a lot of breweries in Alaska for us to try and we have more coming along in this series!  If you find yourself in Seward - the Brewing Company is a decent-place for a bite to eat but don’t get your hopes too high up on the beer.  We did encounter friendly staff each time we were there, the atmosphere was nice, and that second floor does afford a great view if you can get seating up there!

 Better luck next time, until then: Keep on Crusin’ don’t stop boozin’!

To learn more about Seward Brewing Company, please visit their website at: or on Instagram: @SewardBrewing

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