Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say Juneau? Snow, cruise ships, and maybe Alaskan salmon? After my recent trip to Juneau I can tell you that if you visit in the summer, you’ll definitely see cruise ships, there is some snow on the mountains, and yes, they do have some amazing seafood. (I even tried my first oyster there!) What I wasn’t expecting in Juneau Alaska was such an amazing craft drink scene. I had some of the best coffee, gin, and beer I’ve tried in my life in Juneau.
Spending an evening wandering Juneau’s “main strip” is really an exercise in shaking stereotypes. Once you pass the Red Dog Saloon and tacky tourist shops, there is a very happening cocktail scene waiting for you. If you are planning a trip to Juneau, or making a stop on your next cruise, here are five drinks you have to try.
Coffee at Heritage Roasters Coffee
I stopped at this place every day for a drip coffee. It is smooth, well flavoured, and has zero after taste. It obvious why these folks have been rated Juneau’s best coffee for 25 years running. They have cafes all over town, but the location closest to my hotel (Heritage IGA) is tucked into an IGA store, and they offer a free refill on your coffee. Just save your receipt and go back for your 3pm craving.
Spicy Lady at The Narrows Cocktail Bar
The ambiance at this little cocktail bar is so great, and the drink list is pretty impressive too. I tried a Spicy Lady which is a combination of vodka, lime, passionfruit, and serrano according to the menu, and it was the perfect balance of sweet and heat. That’s a drink I’m going to get the Mr. to work on recreating for sure!
Gin & Tonic at Amalga Distillery
Hands down, the best gin & tonic I have ever had. Also, priced at $5 USD. Do I need to say anymore? Not really, but just one note, the Amalga Distillery closes at 8pm, and their liquor licence only allows them to serve two drinks per person.
Rainforest Saison at Devil’s Club Brewing
Hands down my favourite place in Juneau. Every beer I had at Devil’s Club was delicious (I had a couple of flights so I tried a variety), but my absolute favourite was the Rainforest Saison. It was made with moss and greens collected from the Tongass National Forest, kind of amazing!
Ice Cold Kolsch from the Alaskan Brewing Company
I didn’t actually make it to the Alaskan Brewing Company’s brewery, but they very generously sponsored drinks at the opening reception for the International Food Bloggers Conference and their Kolsch was my pick. If you go to Juneau and can make it to their brewery, definitely do, but their beers are also available all around the United States!
That Gin & Tonic is definitely one of the best I’ve ever had!