Alaska Airlines pulls off ultimate beer run in multiple states


How we made recent hops fly – and helped a seasonal beer take off past the Northwest 

SEATTLE, Oct. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — This fall, Alaska Air Cargo delivered the trade’s first and largest recent hops run to breweries in Maui and Anchorage inside 24 hours of harvest – this was an enormous logistical hop-eration that introduced a favourite seasonal beer past the Pacific Northwest.

Made from fresh-plucked, undried hops which might be usually rushed straight from the fields to the breweries, Alaska went additional than any U.S. business airline has earlier than by delivering greater than 1,200 kilos of recent hops to Maui Brewing Co. in Hawaii and forty ninth State Brewing in Alaska.

“This is a potential game-changer for the craft beer industry and farm-to-glass collaboration at its finest,” says Adam Drouhard, cargo managing director for Alaska Airlines, noting that Washington state grows virtually three-quarters of the U.S. hop crop. “This puts a Northwest agricultural product in places that don’t normally get it. With the size and scope we have in Seattle, we are really positioned to own this.”

It all began with a deep appreciation of recent hops beer and connecting the dots that Alaska Airlines might be the important thing to sharing it with the world.

Jake Spotts, postal affairs supervisor on Alaska’s cargo staff, has tried beers everywhere in the world throughout his 20-year Air Force profession – however says there’s nothing higher than the style of recent hops throughout harvest. Packed with distinctive floral taste, recent hop beers are often made in the course of the late-summer harvest by breweries positioned close to farms in Washington, Oregon and different locations in the Northwest.

Spotts thought that due to our many years of experience transport perishable merchandise like fresh Alaska salmon, we may discover a strategy to ship recent hops to breweries exterior the Northwest.  Something that hadn’t been achieved by a U.S. airline on a business scale – till now.

How we made recent hops fly.

Craft brewers thrive on collaboration, and when the chance got here to ship a big quantity of recent hops out of state, Yakima-based Bale Breaker Brewing Company helped us get the thought off the vine.

The brewers at Bale Breaker, Maui Brewing Co. and forty ninth State labored collectively on beer recipes to focus on the hops’ recent taste and coordinated logistics with the Alaska Air Cargo staff and Yakima Chief Hops, a grower-owned group that distributes hops for greater than 50 farms throughout the Northwest.

“Scalability of shipping fresh hops has really been the challenge to overcome because you only have about 24 hours from harvest before the hops start to degrade,” mentioned Bryan Pierce, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Yakima Chief Hops.

To preserve the hops recent all through their journey, the harvest was timed completely in order that the just-picked hops might be bagged onsite at Loftus Ranches, one among Yakima’s longest working family-owned hop farms and the positioning of Bale Breaker Brewing.  

From there, they had been loaded into refrigerated vehicles and pushed to the Alaska Air Cargo places of work at Sea-Tac International Airport simply in time to load onto the plane. More than 1,200 kilos of hops had been shipped nonstop to the brewers.

On Maui and in Anchorage, the brewers had been prepared so as to add the recent hops to the “boil” – the primary stage in beer – as quickly as they arrived.

“When we added the fresh hops, it smelled amazing!” mentioned Kim Brisson-Lutz, Maui Brewing Co.’s Vice President of Operations. “Making beer is a culinary art, and we’re all about making these ingredients really shine.”

“Using Alaska Air Cargo, we can guarantee the supply chain all the way from field to the kettle,” mentioned David McCarthy, co-founder of forty ninth State Brewing. “Aficionados of beer are really looking for this flavor, and we’re excited we can now make the freshest beer in Anchorage and the whole Alaska market.”

Raise a glass of liquid gold.

This month, Alaska Lounge members and friends could have the possibility to sip and savor recent hop beers from the three breweries in this collaboration at our Lounges in Seattle, Portland and Anchorage airports.

Try them whilst you can: these distinctive brews will solely be obtainable in our lounges till they run out. All three breweries are positioned the place we fly.

Bale Breaker Brewing Company Yakima, WA
The beers: Homegrown Fresh Hop IPA and Citra Slicker Wet Hop IPA
Where to strive them:

  • On draft at Alaska Lounges in Sea-Tac International Airport in North Satellite and Concourse C. And at our Lounge in Portland International Airport.
  • On draft and in 16-ounce can 4-packs at Bale Breaker Brewery in Yakima on Loftus Ranches, the Smith family-owned hop farm can be celebrating its ninetieth anniversary this yr – similar to us!
  • On draft and in 16-ounce can 4-packs in Seattle’s Ballard Brewing District, in addition to all through Bale Breaker’s distribution footprint in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Use the beer finder on their web site to find their recent hops close to you.

49th State Brewing Anchorage, AK
The beer: Freshial Delivery Hazy Fresh Hop IPA
Where to strive it:

  • On draft on the Alaska Lounge in Anchorage International Airport.
  • On draft and in 16-ounce can 4-packs at 49th State Brewing downtown in Anchorage and at choose liquor shops and eating places throughout the state of Alaska.

Hops flown: 454 kilos
Kegs brewed: Equivalent of 60 kegs (cut up between totally different sizes of kegs and cans)

Maui Brewing Co. Kihei, Maui
The beer: Hop Cargo Fresh Hop IPA
Where to strive it:

  • Coming quickly on draft to Alaska’s North Satellite Lounge in Sea-Tac International Airport.
  • Coming quickly on draft to Maui Brewing Co. in Kihei, Maui.

Hops flown: 833 kilos
Kegs brewed: Equivalent of 140 kegs

Editor’s observe: You can discover B-Roll video here and still photography of the recent hops journey on Alaska Air Cargo. Everything shot by Ingrid Barrentine (workers photographer at Alaska Airlines).

About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and our regional companions serve greater than 120 locations throughout the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. We emphasize low fares and award-winning customer support. Alaska is a member of the oneworld international alliance. With the alliance and our extra airline companions, our friends can journey to greater than 900 locations on greater than 20 airways whereas incomes and redeeming miles on flights to areas world wide. Learn extra about Alaska at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.

Alaska Air Cargo: Alaska Air Cargo serves greater than 100 locations in North America with greater than 1,200 every day flights, and offers quite a lot of dependable transport companies. Alaska Air Cargo has a protracted historical past of cold-chain improvements, using a fleet of 737 freighters serving 20 communities in the state of Alaska – and providing stomach cargo service on a fleet of over 300 passenger planes serving the Continental U.S., Canada, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. 

Bale Breaker Brewing Company: Crafting fresh-off-the-farm brews from the center of a hop discipline, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery positioned in Washington state’s Yakima Valley. Backed by 4 generations of hop farming expertise, Bale Breaker began in 2013, and has grown to turn out to be the third largest unbiased craft brewery in Washington. 

Loftus Ranches: Loftus Ranches is the Smith household’s farms that embrace hops, apples, and cherries. The household’s first hops had been planted in 1932, and Loftus Ranches is now run by the fourth era. 

Yakima Chief Hops: Yakima Chief Hops is a 100% grower-owned international hop provider with a mission to attach brewers with household hop farms. Yakima Chief additionally produces the brand new YCH Trial 301 product – a product derived from flash-frozen recent hops which might be pelleted and concentrated by way of their proprietary Cryo Hops® course of to supply a steady recent hop product that can be utilized yr spherical. 

Maui Brewing Co.: Maui Brewing Co. is Hawaii’s largest craft brewery, with 4 eating places throughout Maui and Oahu. 

49th State Brewing: 49th State Brewing began out in a bus barn subsequent to Denali National Park in 2010, and now has brewpubs in Anchorage and Denali. 

SOURCE Alaska Airlines

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