As a frequent traveler to Alaska during the 1990s, I grew to love one particular Alaska product even more that its spectacular scenery. Alaskan Amber beer was first thrust upon me in a small bar in Juneau and I've loved it ever since. when I can get it.
The problem with living in Indiana is that even the best source for beer (Rich 0's) cannot get me this fine brew, so I've managed to find several other beers that I like almost as much as Alaskan Amber.
Usually my substitute was Newcastle Brown Ale, an excellent beer in its own right. But recently, and for some reason that I cannot fathom even though they tried to explain it to me, Rich O's pulled Newcastle draft from its rotation.
It was about then that I recalled the little tag at the bottom of Alaskan Amber's bottles - "Alt Style Beer" - and something clicked. "Alt" is a class of beer, not just a marketing gimmick. I quickly remember that Louisville's own Bluegrass Brewing Co. has its own beer called BBC Alt.
Well Rich O's didn't have this on tap but they do carry it bottled so I ordered one. Wow. This stuff is so close to the Alaskan Amber that I've been missing that I've been kicking myself for not discovering it sooner. Since then I've made it a point to go to the BBC BrewPub once a month or so to enjoy some real Alt beer on tap.
(draft) That nice copper color was a welcome sight to an old altbier drinker. This beer has a pretty good balance - maybe a little on the bitter side. I also think it's changed a little for the worse since the brewery split apart several months ago.
Last weekend I heard two things about the BBC. They've got a second location in downtown Louisville - much closer to both my home and to my favorite pool hall - and they're experiencing some kind of split within their company. Last night I went to the closer location and enjoyed some BBC Alt on tap. It was as good as ever. The bartender wasn't clear (or wouldn't tell me) which BBC faction would end up with the Alt after the split. It's probably their biggest seller and I'm sure both sides want it.