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10 Signs You Learned to Drink in Alaska

by Kaitlin Armstrong Jan 29, 2018

If you grew up in the state, undoubtedly you’ve been through many of these rites of passage.

Here are 10 signs you learned to drink in Alaska.

1. You’re a beer snob.

All the time you’ve spent at the brewery has your palate fine-tuned. With options ranging from chai-spiced beer to ales brewed with spruce tips, if you learned to drink up here, you can tell an amber from a red, have an opinion about IPAs, and won’t touch any of the watery stuff.

2. You have a thing for berry wine.

When you turned 21, you learned that the fresh berries you grew up eating are even more delicious when fermented into wine. With varieties like gooseberry and black currant, Alaska’s berry wines will satiate you whether you like your wine dry or on the sweet side.

3. There’s at least one homebrewer in your group of friends.

Alaskans tend towards eclectic hobbies, possess a strong a DIY ethic, and have plenty of time on their hands. This combination is a natural fit for brewing, so you have at least one friend who’s dabbled in making their own booze. Whether they’re a brewmaster or a total novice, you’ll drink whatever they bring because hey, free alcohol!

4. You have drunk in at least 3 of the following places…

At the beach, in front of a bonfire, on a boat, at an outdoor festival, in a lighthouse-turned-bar, while fishing, at a State fair, at a hockey game, at a First Friday event, on a camping trip.

5. Beers and bonfires go hand in hand.

No bonfire is complete without marshmallows and a pack of beer. This truth is so sacred that it holds true whether the affair is hosted in our backyards or on our beaches — open container laws be damned.

6. Fancy cocktails aren’t really your thing.

Most of the bars keep their drinks simple, and so do you. You like your liquor straight or with a simple mixer, and consider cocktails to be an expensive treat. After all, at Alaskan prices, fancy drinks will hardly get you any bang for your buck.

7. “Work hard, play hard” is your mantra.

Long hours of hard labor warrant some celebration. You might work nearly every day in the summer, but that doesn’t stop you from letting off some steam between shifts. If you’ve worked a seasonal job in Alaska, you’ve spent a few nights partying into the wee hours of the morning, only to dust off and head straight into work.

8. You have to watch yourself at the bar.

You like to let loose as much as the next person, but in public, your drunken shenanigans can never go completely unchecked. A night at the bar can be like a reunion where you run into old classmates, teachers, co-workers, and family friends. Let your guard down and you run the risk of humiliating yourself, and then having to re-live it several times over as the story runs through the rumor mill.

9. Your alcohol consumption ticks upward in wintertime.

Winter is a struggle that many people cope with by increasing their time at the local watering hole. As you start to lose daylight and recreational opportunities dwindle, the bar often becomes the hangout spot of choice. You know that alcohol doesn’t really heat you up, but that doesn’t mean you won’t keep trying.

10. You get reverse sticker shock when you leave the state.

When you drink outside of Alaska, you can’t believe the prices. $2 wells — must be a typo, right? You might take a quick second to rethink all your alcohol-related financial decisions or just accept that you’ve landed in boozy paradise, and take advantage while you can.

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