Green Flash and 49th State Brewing Co’s Collaborate on their Newest Pale Ale – Spruce Force!

The story begins as so many do, with a beer in hand…

49th State Brewing Co and Green Flash were at the Craft Brewers Conference this May. As brewers are wont to do, when they ran into each other they had a beer and talked about their breweries. Turned out they not only shared a love for beer, they share an interest in sustainable local products.

Green Flash Brewmaster Erik Jensen and Head Brewer Ashley work at a brewery that pioneered the West coast IPA. The 49th State was unknown to them and their interest was peaked when they heard about an Alaskan brewery winning a gold medal at the World Beer Cup. Green Flash was curious about what makes brewing in Alaska unique. The 49th’s brew crew had plenty to say about that, “We have some of the best water in the world. Our Denali brewpub uses water from a glacial aquifer. Not having to alter the water drastically is a great luxury” says Vincent LaRochelle (Denali’s Head Brewer).

Dave Short, 49th’s Brewmaster works in the Anchorage brewpub. Since the system is smaller there, more of the experimental and small batch brews come from there while the flagship beers come from Denali. Dave Short spoke to the specialty Alaskan ingredients they use, “To fit with our sustainable foods efforts in the restaurant, we seek out Alaskan grown products to use in our brews. We get wheat from VanderWeele Farms, birch syrup from Kahiltna Birch Works, and spruce tips from Sitka.” In fact, one of the more popular beers at the 49th State is “Just the Tip” cream ale. The early harvest Sitka spruce tips impart a raspberry flavor without the sweetness. It’s a rewarding beer to brew so they have experimented with it by putting it on Nitro and cask conditioning it with organic cocoa nibs.

Interest peaked, the two breweries set a date for collaboration and the 49th State brought the spruce tips to the party. The result? Spruce Force Pale Ale, was released in Green Flash’s tasting room on July 13th and is due to arrive in Alaska in the coming weeks. This hazy New England pale ale is brewed with spruce tips flown in from Alaska along with Citra and Simcoe hops and rings in at 5.4% ABV. Follow the 49th State on Facebook for updates on when you’ll find Spruce Force on tap in Alaska.

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*check out sdcraftbeeradventure on Instagram They take some pretty great beer shots and their pic of this beer at Green Flash may have lead you here. 🙂




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