Brewery Review of Resolution Brewing Co. in Anchorage, AK.
Part #2 of the Alaska: The Last Beer Frontier Series
When you pull up to a brewery you’ve never been to before and find that it’s located in a small strip mall next to a dentist and a Subway, it’s hard not to have concerns. After all, this doesn’t fit with our preconceived notions of what a good brewery should be. However, I’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover before (The Wing Cafe in Marietta, GA), and I tried to keep an open mind as I entered Resolution Brewing Co.
As soon as you walk in you know you’re in a brewery tasting room and it takes about 4 seconds to forget what’s outside. There is a small bar just feet from the door where you can order one of the 4 selections they currently have or get a flight of all four. You also immediately realize you are in the brewery, meaning that you are cohabitating with the vats and other brewing equipment while you enjoy your beer. It’s a great use of a small space, doubles as decor, and makes you feel connected to what they are doing. Seeing first hand the size of the operation and understanding the struggles of small brewers everywhere, I was already rooting for them before I had my first taste.
I ordered the flight, expressing my desire to the bartender to try everything they had, and got a really pleasant surprise. Maybe he sensed that I was truly interested in their products or saw the ora of beer love that surrounds me, or maybe he was just trying to up-sell me, but he told me they had a coffee stout that was not ready to go on the board yet that he could let me try. Yes, Please! I would guess from my further conversations with this gentlemen that he had some part in the brewing process as he was extremely knowledgeable about all their beers and had a lot of pride in them as well. After trying these beers I’d say that pride is well founded, because they were excellent. They may be a small brewery but they were able to offer me a dry-hopped saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, an Experimental Pale Ale with biscuit malt and French triskel hops, a sour ale aged with cherries and the aforementioned coffee stout. The last time I was this satisfied by only 4 selections was 1987, before I had cable and I only watched the 4 major TV networks.
When you go to Resolution Brewing, (and you should go), you need to understand what they are to get the most out of your experience. This is a brewery that makes quality, crafted, local small batch beers and this is the tasting room for you to try them. Heck, don’t just try them, savor them, enjoy them, drink pint after pint, but understand that is all you’re going here for. There aren’t beers from outside vendors, there isn’t food (except a few bar snacks), there isn’t a ton of seating, there isn’t loud music or sports on the TVs, etc. Aside from some great beer the only other thing you’re likely to find is some like-minded beer lovers who came for the same reason, and it’s very easy to get along with such people. When I visit a “fledgling” brewery like Resolution I can usually tell pretty quickly whether they are gonna make it or not. Do they have the ingredients for success: expert brewing skills, passion, attitude, vision, etc.? I think they do, yes. I can’t wait to see what happens once they’ve grown beyond what they are able to offer now. It will be like when UPN and The WB hit the airwaves!