TALKEETNA, Alaska — Set back in a lot off E Main Street in Talkeetna, Denali Brewing Co. could be just another in a line of quaint businesses and buildings in a town considered a very popular summer tourist destination and a very cozy winter hideaway. But to the residents of Talkeetna, the brewery has been a part of the heartbeat of the community since it was dreamed up in 2007.
On a chilly December Sunday morning, steam billows out of every little crevice like a cartoon factory, while a couple of the brewers tackle a batch of Mother Ale, the brewery's popular light, golden ale. The fellows, who look like they've emerged from a sweat lodge, work a double batch of Mother Ale on Denali's eight-barrel brew system, which produces nearly a thousand gallons a week, which adds up to around fifteen hundred barrels a year.
Locals filter into the tap room, which is actually the brew room in winter, in singles and pairs with their growlers in hand looking for whatever new creations the brewery has to offer.
And the brewers at Denali are not shy about trying out unique and interesting brews based on both popular styles like Mother Ale and unique international styles like Hibernale, which leans heavily on the influence of Belgian tripels, all the way to Agave Gold, which uses blue agave nectar to create a flowery beer with a dry finish unlike anything else.
And though Talkeetna makes for a great winter getaway, it's great to know that Denali Brewing Co.'s beers are available in Anchorage at places like the Tap Root Cafe and by growler at the main Brown Jug Liquor store on Old Seward Highway near the intersection with Tudor Road.