The Alaskan Brewing Co. has updated its IPA, which was first released year-round in 2007. As inspiration for the new flavor profile, the Brew Crew looked to the intense experience of Alaskans who travel the state’s coastlines in search of epic surf. One of those Alaskans is photographer Scott Dickerson, who provided the photo now on bottles of newly released Icy Bay IPA.
“The photo on the label is of my brother, Frederick, surfing the waters near Yakutat – one of Alaska’s most amazing surf destinations,” Dickerson said. “That was on a mid-winter trip where we explored and surfed across 800 miles of coastline in the fishing boat Milo.”
Dickerson said he is excited to have an Alaskan beer meant to be enjoyed in the wilds of the state that he loves, and that he understands the spirit that drives Alaskan brewers.
“One thing I love about Alaskan Brewing is just knowing that the inspiration they draw from when crafting their beers is the same rugged and beautiful wilderness areas that entice me to be out here exploring for surf,” Dickerson said.
The Icy Bay refresh on the IPA recipe includes more hop intensity in aroma and flavor, and more hop complexity with Bravo and Calypso in addition to the Cascade, Summit and Apollo hop flavors that have always been in Alaskan IPA. There’s also a higher IBU without losing the balance of a great malt backbone.
The surfers who ride the waves around Yakutat and Icy Bay have to be prepared for all of the extremes that come with Alaska’s maritime climate. That can mean air temperatures well below freezing, and water temperatures not too much higher. It’s sometimes called blue face surfing, and it requires a special breed of adventurer to seek out the rugged shorelines that yield the best breaks.
Alaskan Icy Bay IPA comes from the heritage of a beer brewed to endure the long ocean journey from England to India, with a bold taste, brisk bitter bite, and a citrus hop aroma. For the surfers who venture into the cold waters of Icy Bay, it’s a beer to match the intensity of a remote ride on a wave breaking on a solitary Alaskan beach.