Tour the northern most mint in the United States. Open for self-guided tours daily, watch the minting process in progress along with giant gold nuggets, a 10? gold scale, authentic assay furnace, and running sluice box.
Soon after gold was discovered in 1881, breweries in the new town of Juneau began quenching the thirst of hardy Alaskan miners. By 1903 at least four breweries had begun operation in the twin cities of Juneau and Douglas. Between 1899 and 1907, local residents enjoyed a particularly fine brew created by the Douglas City Brewing Company. Almost 100 years later, Alaskan Amber Beer, based on that same historic recipe, has started a small gold rush of its own.
The popularity of our beers has led to heroic efforts to keep up with the demand. We claim the unofficial record for production on a 10 barrel brewing system, with a whopping 42 batches in a single week. The addition of a new, 100 barrel brewhouse in 1995, and a Sankey-type keg system installed the following year, finally made it possible for us to serve the entire Pacific Northwest.
Brewing beer in Alaska isn't easy. In the coastal community of Juneau, without road connections to the lower 48 states, everything arrives and leaves by water or air, and the weather always has the last word.
We have learned to coordinate shipments for barges that couldn't dock in high winds, ferries that broke down, airplanes that overheaded, and trucks delayed by spring thaws that turned the roads to mush. We learned which suppliers were willing to airlift supplies and spare parts on short notice (at $1 per pound). We mastered wiring, plumbing, waste disposal and air quality control. We discovered that, if you had to, you could pour concrete in January by thawing the ground with heaters. Ah, but it all seems worthwhile if you can go home to a dinner of king crab or fresh halibut.
Visitors to Alaskan Brewing hear about the history of brewing in Alaska and the 100 year old recipe that inspired our flagship Alaskan Amber Beer. You will learn how we make our unique and award winning Alaskan Seasonal Smoked Porter. View our brewing, fermentation and bottling systems. Browse our historical collection and gift shop. And best of all... sample our award-winning beers on tap with a knowledgeable guide.
|Musk Ox Farm
Situated in Palmer, Alaska, the Musk Ox Farm is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the development and domestication of the musk ox, Ovibos moschatus. Every year we host thousands of visitors who come to view the animals, learn about the project and take advantage of this unique opportunity to see and photograph one of the Arctic's oldest living species. For a truly Alaskan experience, come visit the farm and take an informative tour led by a knowledgeable guide. See tame cows, powerful bulls, and newborn calves that will make your heart melt.
The goal of the Musk Ox Project, begun in 1954, is to introduce a gentle, non-intrusive form of agriculture to the Arctic. These animals form the basis of an Alaskan cottage industry for natives living in remote coastal villages. The soft under-wool of the musk ox, qiviut, is harvested once a year and delivered to Oomingmak, an Alaskan native knitter's co-operative. The knitters work at home in Eskimo villages throughout Alaska creating scarves, nachaqs (Eskimo smoke rings) and luxurious caps. Each village has it's own signature pattern derived from traditional designs. For more information about qiviut and the native knitter's cooperative, link to www.qiviut.com.
The Musk Ox Farm, located just outside of Palmer, Alaska (a scenic 50-minute drive from downtown Anchorage) is home to a unique domestication project which began in 1954. The Musk Ox Farm is an ideal place to observe and photograph these animals at close range. On the tour you'll learn about the history of the musk ox, a prehistoric remnant of the last great Ice Age, and how it has been domesticated on the farm. You'll see cows, powerful bulls, and tame yearlings. The Musk Ox Project promotes the use of qiviut (the fine under-wool of the musk ox) as the basis of an Arctic native textile industry, which provides an economic supplement to subsistence communities throughout Alaska.
|The Great Alaskan Bowl Company
Back in the 1800's the demand for large wooden bowls for making bread and for mixing and serving food kept many bowl mills in operation. The Great Alaskan Bowl Company is one of only a very few mills operating that use equipment designed from the machinery developed over a hundred years ago.
By cutting only 2-5 13" or larger trees per acre The Great Alaskan Bowl Company is a responsible steward of the forest. This process promotes a healthier forest by allowing some sunlight to reach the smaller developing trees. The freshly cut green logs (40-60% moisture content) are cut into lengths the width of the tree and split for turning. This process allows us to create up to 8 one-piece solid birch hardwood bowls ranging from 22 inches to 7 inches in diameter - all from a single split length.
After the bowls have been cut, they are sorted and stacked on carts for drying. The kiln drying process takes 4-6 days to complete and is the most critical step in the production process. Our progressive kiln monitors both the heat and moisture content and the bowls are removed when the moisture content reaches 6-10%. Because of our unique drying process we have less than 3% loss.
Each bowl is then individually sanded and branded before the finish is applied.
The bowls are dipped and coated with a unique blend of soybean oil, carotene, vitamin E and lemon that penetrates, conditions and seals the wood. This produces an all-natural finish ready for popcorn, salad, fruit and many other uses.
If you are coming to Fairbanks visit our showroom and see our bowl making process in person. We have demonstrations daily on the making of Birch Bowls. It is done behind glass windows right in the showroom.
|The Ulu Factory
The ULU knife (pronounced ooloo) is the most renowned knife in Alaska. Native people of northern Alaska invented this knife centuries ago. It is used for hunting, fishing, skinning, filleting and every other imaginable domestic cutting need by the Inuit (Eskimo) people.
The traditional ULU was an Eskimo cutting tool made of slate and bone, with a sharp edge for cutting or carving. The Eskimos made them in all sizes, from a small blade for cutting skins to a cleaver for carving meat. But, today's version is manufactured from stainless steel and provided with a hardwood handle for ease of use.
The ULU has a rounded blade topped with a handle and is usually grasped between the middle and ring finger of the hand. The Eskimos still use them, but non-Natives haven't had much access to them. The instrument is, however, now available in contemporary, functional form through Alaska's largest ulu knife manufacturer