Gabe Fletcher, the head honcho at Anchorage Brewing, started his career at Midnight Sun, another Alaskan brewing company. After 13 years of helping cultivate an image of creating adventurous beers, Fletcher decided to part ways with Midnight Sun and strike out on his own. In 2011, Fletcher released his first Anchorage beer. Turns out Fletcher’s meticulous attention to detail and brewing expertise combined to make some amazing beer. The brewery took off, eventually moving to its own brick and mortar in 2014. Today, Peaks & Pints has received Anchorage’s A Deal with The Devil barleywine — one of the highest rated beers in the world — and its name references a deal with the devil and the connection to blues guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robert Leroy Johnson. Although the details of Johnson’s death are disputed, it is widely held that he was poisoned at the age of 27. He is prominently mentioned as a member of the famed “27 club” — named for musicians that died tragically at the age of 27 including Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Wilson, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse. According to legend, Johnson brought his guitar to the crossroads at midnight and sold his soul to the Devil. In exchange for his soul, Johnson would create blues that would make him famous. Stop by Peaks & Pints and grab A Deal with The Devil and Anchorage’s other barleywine-ish release, Bleed Out, in a mini, to-go beer flight, Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Anchorage Barleywine Flight. You might get the Robert Johnson blues once you see the price tag for both beers.
Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Anchorage Barleywine Flight
The Anchorage crew started with a barleywine aged in Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon barrels before transferring it to Willett and then Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for a total aging time of 18 months. Then, they blended it with an imperial stout aged 21 months in a mix of Heaven Hill and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon barrels. It hits the nose with whiskey barrel, toffee, caramel, faint raisin, and chocolate, followed by strong malty flavors, chocolate, and barrel boozy flavor notes.
This version of Anchorage’s A Deal with The Devil is a double oaked barleywine aged 10 months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, then transferred to Willett Rye bourbon barrels for an additional 6 Months. Peaks & Pints doesn’t have aroma and flavor notes yet as we haven’t dealt with the Devil yet.