21 November 2016
JUNEAU, AK (Nov. 21, 2016) – The Brussels Beer Challenge announced award winners today, and Alaskan Brewing Company’s Kicker Session IPA came home with the gold in the Pale and Amber Ale/ Session IPA category. It’s the first international award for Kicker, a beer just introduced as a year-round product in March of 2016.
With a goal of making a refreshing session beer that still packs the full flavor of an IPA, the brewers at Alaskan Brewing Company used five hop varieties to create Kicker Session IPA.
“It isn’t easy to get good body and flavor into a lower-gravity beer, but we achieved a light to medium body by using Munich and Dark Crystal malts to bring a lot of backbone to the malt build without increasing the gravity,” said Brewing Manager Rob Day. “Then we just went a little overboard with the hops.”
Dry hopping with five varieties brings a high level of complexity to Kicker – both in aroma and flavor. Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hop flavors and bitterness come through boldly, with fruity flavors of strawberry and tangerine notes coming from the Citra and Amarillo, and a grapefruit and pine taste from the Simcoe and Mosaic.
“It’s a pretty big thrill to get recognized for this beer on an international level,” said Day. “When you look at all the terrific breweries in this competition, it feels really good to be acknowledged as one of the leaders in a fairly new beer style.”
Over 1100 beers were entered into the Brussels Beer Challenge this year, taking three days to judge. Also recognized in the category for Session IPAs was a fairly new Italian brewery called Birrificio della Granda, and Firestone Walker with their Easy Jack.
“It’s great company for us to be in, and shows the development of the craft beer movement in America and overseas,” said Day. “We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, and Firestone Walker is currently celebrating their 20th, with the Italian brewery getting its start just 5 years ago. It demonstrates the longevity of the movement and the influence American craft beer has had worldwide.”
Alaskan Kicker Session IPA is available in all 18 states where Alaskan Brewing distributes its beer.