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Juneau’s Barnaby Brewing Co. places fourth in U.S. Open Beer Championship

The Berry Fresh 2020 overlooking Juneau. One of the beers from Barnaby Brewing Co. that won a...
The Berry Fresh 2020 overlooking Juneau. One of the beers from Barnaby Brewing Co. that won a gold medal in the US Open Beer Championships.(Matthew Barnaby)
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 7:38 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Barnaby Brewing Co. is a small brewery that’s seen some big success recently. At this year’s U.S. Open Beer Championship, the nano-brewery had four beers win medals and won fourth place in the overall competition. Owner Matthew Barnaby said they were informed that they were the first Alaska brewery to ever place in the competition.

“I still work a day job, my wife still works a day job. So a lot of hours go into this after,” he said. “And there’s definitely moments where it’s, ‘is it worth it? is this where we walk away?’ So it’s great to get the recognition that we do with these competitions because it just reinforces that what we’re doing is good and it’s worthwhile for us to do it.”

He said they’ve had plenty of moments like that since opening. Most recently, of course, the pandemic that’s been a plague on establishments like theirs. However, the odds have been stacked against them for a while.

In April 2016, their first location burned to the ground. Barnaby said it was just one week before their first anniversary.

“I don’t think we’ve had a full 12 months, or a full calendar year, where we haven’t had something that interrupted our business,” Barnaby said.

It all paid off this year after sending their brews in. The ones that won them the fourth place spot are:

  • The Third Anniversary Tequila Barrel Aged Pineapple Jalapeño American Sour: gold medal
  • Berry Fresh 2020, a Blackberry and Raspberry Sairson-Belgian Style Fruit Beer: gold medal
  • Whatever Forever, a German Hefeweizen: silver medal
  • Hey Victor, a Smoked/Rauch beer: bronze medal

For beer lovers, right now the best bet to try any of Barnaby Brewing Co.’s beers is taking a trip to Juneau, although Barnaby says, “if you’re sick we don’t want you to come.”

However, they do sell their beers to brewhouses. Barnaby mentioned that Tent City Taphouse in Anchorage still has some of the Whatever Forever on tap. Although, during the third hunker down order, bars are only permitted to do curbside pick-up orders.

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