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Anchorage Brewing | Sister, Mother, Daughter Barleywine

Anchorage Sister,Mother,Daughter Feature imagery
Eric Griffin

For many, craft beer and brewing provides a creative outlet—a unique method of expression. Every day, a different brewery releases a new and exciting beer to share with their consumers, hoping that the quality of their ingredients, brewing expertise and distinct marketing can lead to a successful, conversation-worthy beer. But sometimes, a beer represents so much more. The story and blend of Sister, Mother, Daughter and its inspiration needs to be shared.

Anchorage’s Own

Gabe Fletcher’s Anchorage Brewing Company, with its legendary portfolio of beers appropriately brewed in the heart of the Air Crossroads of the World, has cemented its mark in craft beer history as some of the best the industry has seen. Specializing in oak-aged mixed fermentation and high-gravity beers, the brewery is also known for its extensive rotation of IPAs and occasional lagers.

The brewery was established in 2010, with Fletcher releasing his first Anchorage beer just a year later. The rest, some would say, is history. For the last 14 years, Anchorage’s unwavering commitment to making the world more interesting has involved extreme steps to produce some unique beers. This year is particularly exciting for the team in Alaska, with July 13 marking The Culmination, the highly-anticipated return of one of the more well-known beer festivals in the country. It will welcome attendees from around the world to Anchorage for the first time since 2017. Discover the details for this year’s festivities.

Sister, Mother, Daughter

Label Imagery for Anchorage's Sister, Mother, Daughter barleywine
Label provided by of Massive Face/artwork by Massive Face

Anchorage Brewing Company is most well-known for its barleywines. Countless iterations and collaborative variants of A Deal With the Devil, as well as Wendigo, Suffer, Chaos—the list goes on.

On August 26, 2023, a new blend joined its portfolio, a heartfelt and dedicated barleywine to honor a loved one struggling with health complications. Gabe Fletcher’s sister Alysia loved Anchorage barleywines, and the release of Sister, Mother, Daughter blended threads from some of the brewery’s best casks. The final recipe combined triple-oaked A Deal With The Devil—aged for 29 months in a mix of bourbon barrels—with triple-oaked Wendigo, aged for 23 months in a separate mix of bourbon barrels. In addition to the taproom release, the beer was also available on Tavour, allowing a much farther reach for a larger audience to experience the special barleywine.

Devastatingly, less than a month after the release of the beer brewed in his sister’s honor, Fletcher posted an update on social media. He shared that Alysia lost her fight on Sept. 17. She is remembered as being an amazing sister, mother, daughter, grandmother and friend. Her friends and family loved her very much and miss her dearly every day. Yesterday marked nine months since her passing. This article is dedicated to Alysia, her family, and her loved ones.

The Review

Review, Anchorage Barleywine dedicated to Alysia
Photo by Eric Griffin

The deep orange-flecked coloration appears pitch black as Sister, Mother, Daughter cascades into the glass. While initially agitating small amounts of carbonation, the head buildup is low and quick to dissipate.

The nose has a familiarity to it, exemplifying some of the best qualities of Anchorage barleywine. A complexity of raisin, vanilla, milk chocolate, Luxardo cherries, and Werther’s caramels create a rich, layered aromatic experience. A beautiful exhibition of robust base beers combined with complementary emphasis from the time spent in oak.

The palate is a fantastic progression in the sensory experience. Boozy bread pudding drizzled in dark caramel. Subtle touches of vanilla and char. Stewed raisins accompanied by rich, syrupy cocktail cherries.

The beer is a journey through what Gabe Fletcher does best; a well thought out blend driven by the fondest memories of a loved one gone too soon.

The mouthfeel is full yet not overly viscous—a great marriage between A Deal With the Devil and Wendigo. While it coats the palate, the well-carbonated beer prevents too “full” of a feeling. Trailing long into the next sip is a distinctly warm finish that brings with it whispers of contrasting bitterness.

Raise a Toast

Celebrating the Life of Gabe Fletcher's sister Alysia
In loving memory of Alysia

“Even if you didn’t get this beer, crack anything open tonight and toast her, cause she deserves it, she will feel the love.”

— Gabe Fletcher

The whole team at PorchDrinking raises a toast to a beautiful soul laid to rest far too soon.

Rest in peace, Alysia.

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