The Alaskan Brewing Company has bought three of the five business units in a building owned by Anchor Electric Company to possibly relocate their tasting room. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Alaskan Brewing Company has bought three of the five business units in a building owned by Anchor Electric Company to possibly relocate their tasting room. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaskan Brewing Co. looks to expand, possibly with a new tasting room

Brewery still examining options for new property, could open tasting room by next spring

At the height of tourism season, space can get tight in Alaskan Brewing Company’s tasting room.

“When a bus unloads, it’s very crowded,” Andy Kline, communications manager for Alaskan Brewing, said.

Next summer, there might be a little bit more room.

Earlier this summer, Alaskan Brewing purchased part of a building owned by Anchor Electric Company on Commercial Drive. The building is next to Alaskan’s current property, and at a meeting this week, the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Board agreed that Alaskan Brewing can treat that new property as part of its brewery site.

That decision means, Kline explained, Alaskan Brewing can continue its operations in that space and that there are options. They can use the new space for brewing, storage or retail, he said, and they are still nailing down the specifics. Kline said the decision from the board is very new, so they are still working with the board to specify all the permits and little details.

“This allows us to treat that building as we would treat the rest of the facility,” Kline said.

The idea at the moment, which could still change, is that there will be an additional tasting room at the new building. The current one is not going to close anytime soon, Kline said. The hope is to have this new location developed by the time next tourist season rolls around, he said.

There was a little resistance to the idea among board members, Kline said, because this expansion was to a building that isn’t physically connected to the current facility. Kline said that it’s common for large breweries in the Lower 48 to have multiple buildings on site that are all considered one facility, but it’s not at all common in Alaska for alcohol producers to have such large areas.

“We’re sort of on that forefront of figuring out how regulations get applied,” Kline said.

If the board hadn’t made its decision this week, Kline said, it wouldn’t have ruined the brewery’s plans. The board members were never looking to thwart Alaskan Brewing’s expansion, according to a memo to the board from Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office Director Erika McConnell. McConnell wrote that the brewery needs to expand and “a way forward for them must be found.” She just wanted to work out all the details of how this expansion to a new building would work.

Alaskan Brewing representatives and board members will continue to communicate with each other throughout the process, Kline said.

Alaskan Brewing has been expanding in its Shaune Drive location recently, having purchased a next-door City and Borough of Juneau property as well. The brewery and the city signed an agreement in July, Kline said, and brewing employees are moving into the office space in the coming months. They hope to be fully moved into that property by 2020, Kline said.

Kline said that the idea of expanding to adjacent properties and keeping everything in one spot is very attractive to the brewery. Another byproduct of this expansion, Kline acknowledged, was that Alaskan Brewing will now have a presence on Commercial Drive, which leads to a popular shopping area that includes Costco and Home Depot.

“Commercial Drive is appealing for that reason,” Kline said. “There’s a little bit more visibility, especially for non-tourist season.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


The Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

More in News

Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska in autumn 2020.

Trump public lands boss removed for serving unlawfully

He served unlawfully for 424 days without being confirmed by the Senate, judge determined.

Juneau City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Property taxes are due soon

City reminds there are several ways to pay.

City reports new cases, state announces 46th death

City and Borough of Juneau reported three new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.… Continue reading

Police calls for Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Associated Press
                                In this March 2017 photo, volunteer handlers guide teams out of the dog yard and down the chute to the starting line of the 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021, and officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts.
Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021.

City, state announce new COVID-19 cases

Results in from Glory Hall testing, too.

Police calls for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read