Short hops, Alaskan Brewing drops Alaskan Pale

Alaskan Brewing announced that it will no longer offer its Alaskan Pale as a year-round release. The brewery decided to cut production because it cannot get the hops that make the golden ale unique.

“The U.S. Tettnanger hops availability, consistency and quality had started to become an ongoing issue for the past several years,” David Wilson, Quality Assurance Manager at Alaskan Brewing, said in a company press release. “With most hop varieties we are able to order based on the characteristics we are looking for in the taste and aroma, but because so few farmers are growing this hop, we have had a hard time coming up with the consistency we need to brew Alaskan Pale year-round.”

Hop geneticists have determined U.S. Tettnanger is an offspring of the English Fuggle hop, and it produces distinctly different odors than hops of American origin — such as Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo — that are currently very popular and more widely available.

Alaskan Pale is what’s generally known as a golden ale, but in 1987 was called Pale to offer a contrast to the only other year-round brew Alaskan was producing at the time, Alaskan Amber. The Alaskan Pale a loyal following, particularly in Alaska.

“We are always experimenting with different recipes, and we would love to find a similar flavor profile to the Alaskan Pale as many of us will miss this beer tremendously,” said co-founder Marcy Larson. “But we wanted to be honest in that without those specific hops, it will not be the same beer.”

Alaskan’s latest year-round release, the Freeride APA is quite different beer from Pale, with a citrusy hop-forward flavor profile.