Along the Iditarod Trail and Resurrection Bay is Seward Brewing.
50 Campfires caught up with owner/brewer Erik Slater and owner/general manager Hillary Bean to chat about how they applied their restaurant expertise to Seward Brewing, and what makes their brews great.
50 CAMPFIRES: Tell us a little about your brewery, the types of beers that you brew, and what you feel makes your brewery unique.
SEWARD BREWING: Seward Brewing Company is the only brewery in Seward AK. With a 9 bbl seasonal brewhouse and pub serving 6-8 different styles of beer made directly onsite. We also serve brews from a few of our friends at other breweries in Alaska.
The menu features pub favorites but chef driven using local ingredients. Local seafood, reindeer hotdogs and Snake River Farms Beef bring the menu to another level not expected in a typical seasonal brewpub. If it’s not from Alaska or the pacific NW, it’s not being served.
Examples of the style of beer we brew are :
El Jefeweizen- brewed like a traditional Hefeweizen but using more caramel malts, agave and roasted Anaheim peppers.
The Mile 0 peppercorn ESB – chamomile, coriander and peppercorns like a white but with the bitterness of an ESB.
The Duke Coconut Porter – uses house toasted coconut flakes that are then soaked in the beer before carbonation for 3 days giving it a crazy toasty coconut flavor without the oily suntan lotion mouth feel.
Rockfish Red – gets a dose of toasted barley and local fireweed honey.
TK-421 Imperial Stout – chocolate cocoa nibs are added with fresh brewed local coffee…
We are open from May-September. This gives us an opportunity to condition and age different brews throughout the winter months.
Our brewery is located in downtown Seward right next to the start of the original Iditarod trail and Resurrection Bay which includes an amazing camping area for RV’s campers AND tents, located right on the water and within walking distance to the brewery.
The view from the brewery itself is stunning. Huge snow capped mountains shoot out from the glacier fed ocean. Both the beer and the food are influenced from this one of a kind location.
50 CAMPFIRES:What is your most popular/flagship beer? What makes it great?
SEWARD BREWING: Our Flagship Beer is the Pinbone IPA . What makes our IPA great is we use a wicked amount of hops during the brewing process and then dry hop it with a stupid amount of big fruity Mosaic hops. It’s a well-balanced bitter to citrus west coast style IPA. The description on the menu reads: a Chuck Norris roundhouse to the face, a true pacific NW style gut punches. Bruce Lee once cried after taking a drink.
50 CAMPFIRES: We love hearing stories about how breweries got their start. What’s the history behind yours?
SEWARD BREWING: Erik Slater and Hillary Bean have been working in various roles in the food & beverage industry for over 40 years, combined. They are stoked to bring their restaurant expertise to the Seward Brewing Company.
Erik has been a chef in Alaska since 1996, and has worked his way all over the state until 2000, when he found a home in Seward. In 2004, Erik began work as Executive Chef at the Resurrection Roadhouse and Fox Island Wilderness Lodge, transforming these sites into popular dining destinations for tourists and locals alike. Erik continually collaborates with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to create innovative dishes with local seafood and serves on the Chefs Congress alongside other notable chefs from around the country. Now as the head brewer, Erik oversees the brewing process using his background as a chef to drive the beer.
Hillary moved to Seward in 1996, where she worked and then managed the bar at Ray’s Waterfront, one of Seward’s busiest harbor spots. Her quick wit and dedication to customer service has made her a favorite bartender among locals and visitors from around the world. Hillary is the area’s TAP (Training for Alcohol Professionals) Instructor, drawing on her years of experience to provide guidance to other Sewardites working in the industry.
In 2014, Erik and Hillary bought the Seward Brewing Company with the goal to provide Seward with inventive local craft beer, inspiring meals. and impeccable service. Erik and Hillary, with their daughter Rowan, are firmly rooted in the community of Seward and the state of Alaska
50 CAMPFIRES: We love meeting people who share our passion for the outdoors. Tell us a bit about the folks involved with Seward Brewery, and what they enjoy doing outdoors.
SEWARD BREWING: We have some of the best staff in Seward who continually come back from year to year. They work hard and play hard and take advantage of what Alaska has to offer for outdoor activities. We have staff who run the 4th of July Mt Marathon Race and will be at work that night. It’s a grueling race that charges up the mountain and back down.
Our Bartender Gina and her boyfriend Chris are hardcore outdoor folks who also live in a sweet motorhome and have an awesome blog about travelling and camping in the US. Their youtube channel Is https://www.youtube.com/user/tylerdurdeno9 And FB page https://www.facebook.com/chrisgtravels/
Another bartender Sunny who has been a local Kayak guide and avid camper
Erik Slater/owner is an avid snowboarder and vintage snowboard collector
Hillary Bean/owner loves cross country skiing and taking her vintage trailer to the local area campgrounds.
50 CAMPFIRES: Is your beer available in cans?
SEWARD BREWING: We do not distribute however we were the first in AK to acquire a Crowler machine from the awesome folks at Oskar Blues Brewing after a conversation at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver We are able to can to order using a 32oz can and a special sealer machine right there at the bar. Its amazing and the best thing to take camping, hiking, fishing or packing back home. We’ve opened cans that are 6 months old and they are still awesome.
50 CAMPFIRES: Where can we find your beer?
SEWARD BREWING: Our beer can only be found at our brewpub in Seward AK. To keep our beer wicked fresh and artisan as possible, we do not fight for shelf space or go through the nasty politics of distributors. We sell it in house and make it in small batches. In the future our hope is to get some kegs out to our friends who own restaurants and bars here in Seward. But that’s as far as we’d like to go.
50 CAMPFIRES: If people want more info about Seward Brewery, where can they go?
To find out more go to our website : www.sewardbrewery.com
SEWARD BREWING: For up to the minute updates check out our FB page : https://www.facebook.com/SewardBrewingCompany/
Twitter : @sewardbrewery