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Brewing With Gabe Fletcher of Anchorage Brewing Co.

Anchorage Brewing Co. Founder Gabe Fletcher (Photo Courtesy of Anchorage Brewing)
Anchorage Brewing Co. Founder Gabe Fletcher (Photo Courtesy of Anchorage Brewing)

Our writer caught up with Gabe Fletcher, a longtime participant in the Alaskan brewing scene, shortly after the official opening of his beautiful new brewery – a celebration of reclaimed wood where visitors can literally get a hands-on experience in the tasting room. It’s more like a “tasting area” that flows into the fermentation room, which opens into the brewing equipment area, bottling line and very soon into a beer garden.

Fletcher’s own path is similar to many craft brewers who have worked every job and held every title. What set him apart are his skills as a wood, metal and concrete artist; he has also painted some of his own labels. Fletcher’s unique barley creations certainly qualify as works of art.

BC: How did the official opening go this spring?

Fletcher: It was amazing. I had no idea how many people would show up. I was thinking we would have a few people initially, then a few rushes. But there were five or six hundred people that showed up. From the time we opened the door until the time we closed there was a line.

Gabe Fletcher's New Anchorage Brewing Co.
Throngs of people at the official opening of Anchorage Brewing's new brewery and tasting room.

BC: That’s certainly a compliment to your beers. When did you first start brewing?

Fletcher: I started brewing at Midnight Sun when I was 21 years old in 1998, and I didn’t start as a homebrewer. I was interested in the process and I was working two jobs: one at Alaska Airlines and one at this little shop for making your own wine. One of the girls working there got a job at Midnight Sun as a brewer and she told me to give them a call. I went in for an interview, and I was bottling that same day. A year and a half later, I was head brewer.