Beer Week is coming. That means, if you haven't already, you might want to snag your tickets for the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival. The biggest beer bonanza in the state takes place Jan. 18 and 19 at Egan Center.
And while Beer Week's 10-day schedule of events might have already challenged the popular notion of how many days constitute a week (who can keep count with all these microbrews floating around?), an 11th day has sneaked into the festivities with Thursday's Beer Dinner at Snow Goose. Pair five beers with five courses for $55. Seating is limited to 30, so 277-7727 for reservations.
The rest of the "week" is made up of events all around Anchorage, plus a few in Soldotna, Fairbanks and Talkeetna. Highlights here include the 3000 Firkin, 5 p.m. Friday at Midnight Sun Brewing Company, where the brewery will unveil its new Belgian-style barley wine, the 3,000th brew Midnight Sun has served up since '95.
There's also a mead and chocolate pairing at Celestial Meads (4-8 p.m. Saturday, $7 a la carte), a beer tasting at the O'Malley Firetap (5-8 p.m. Sunday, $30) and the Midnight Sun Brewing beer dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse (6:30 p.m. Sunday, call 258-2882 for info).
A list of events is posted on akbeerweek.com.
Of course, the big shebang is the Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival, this year featuring more than 70 breweries from across the globe. Tickets are $40 for the general sessions, 6-10 p.m. Jan. 18 and 19, and $50 for the connoisseur session at 2-5 p.m. Saturday, with a few specialty selections available only at this session. Attendance for each includes 30 drink samples and a 6-ounce commemorative glass. Naturally, all these events are for the 21-and-older crowd.
Tickets for the festival are available at Ticketmaster.