The event hit four bars in the downtown area, where the Alaskan brew crew handed out samples and prizes, and led the crowd in some questionable singing.
With Hopothermia, Alaskan joins a growing trend in the craft brewing industry of beers that are heavy on hops, the ingredient responsible for giving beer its bitter taste.
“We’re putting it out as a four pack,” said company Spokesman Andy Kline. “It’s a pretty strong beer, so we felt like a four pack was a really good package for this beer. And that’s what Hopothermia is: A double IPA, that is stuffed full of hops and has a really good malt backbone.”
Indeed, at 8.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) Hopothermia is one of Alaskan’s stronger beers.
Asked about its origins, Kline initially stuck to the company’s marketing line of the beer created by the Lone Brewer.
“Just because he’s potentially a fictional character doesn’t mean he didn’t make a great beer,” Kline said, before adding “he had many woodland friends, including moose, wolverines, there’s tales of one beaver. Apparently he really did not like the mink, who were very rude to him.”
In all seriousness, Kline says Hopothermia was developed through Alaskan’s normal process, which includes regional and seasonal releases before a beer becomes a full year round release.
“So Hopothermia was part of Alaskan’s Rough Draft program,” he said. “We went through the Rough Draft Limited, which is released just in Alaska. Then we went to the Rough Draft Export – that went to the rest of the United States where we are distributed. It got great response everywhere, people really loved it. And everyone at Alaskan is a real fan of this beer.”
Hopothermia is available in all 15 states where Alaskan beer is distributed.
Last year the company stopped making its Alaskan Pale after the supply of hops used to make the beer dried up. However, 2013 saw the debut of the Freeride APA, a year round beer offered under the Alaskan label.
Full disclosure: Andy Kline is a former KTOO employee/board member and Alaskan Brewing Company sponsors many events that benefit public broadcasting in Juneau.