Sunday, October 05, 2008

Beer Train! All Aboard!

Yesterday afternoon, the man and I boarded the 2008 Great Alaska Beer Train! Whoo! Too much fun. Sponsored by the Alaska Railroad and the Glacier Brewhouse, "Beer Train" is an annual Oktoberfest celebration for several Alaskans.

Jeff, JeanMarie and Tom in silhouette in front of Turnagain Arm.

We had to board the 6-car train beginning at 2:45pm for a 4:00pm departure. Once aboard, we traversed through passenger, bar, bistro and dining cars to the atrium passenger car in the back. Fellow midwives and L&D nurses saved us seats so we could enjoy the trip together.

Midwife Zelda and husband Dave are experienced Beer Train participants.

Karen and Marlena's husband.

Sassy Nurse Heather who made quite a name for herself on last year's Beer Train!

Each passenger was given a menu describing the beers and accompanying food courses, along with 6 tickets to exchange, 1 per beer. You didn't have to stick with the progression and were truly unlimited in the number of beers and food servings you could obtain.

Solveig and Jeff sample the first beer offering.

Each table was equipped with a Quart size Chinese Take Out bucket of mixed wrapped candies. Railroad waitstaff zoomed back and forth to provide appetizers, water, coffee, and of

The train pulled out of the Anchorage depot promptly at 4:00pm. We traveled along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet all the way to Portage and had lovely views of the inlet, mountains and forest along the way. (As you are probably noticing from the backgrounds!)

The turnaround point was just past Spencer Glacier, of which we had a lovely view from the train.

The beers included the following:
Bavarian Heveweizen (not my fav...too light and fruity for my tastes!): a wheat beer with banana and clove aromas.

Rasberry Wheat (ditto): a red colored unfiltered wheat beer that was VERY fruity.

Blonde Ale: light malt and hop flavors/aromas. enh.

These were served with assorted German Style sausages, meats, cheeses, crackers, bread, gravlax, smoked salmon, delicious large caper berries and marinated veggies. Yum.

Kimmy's partner Shane shows Midwife Stephanie the Beer Train ropes.

The "Bocktoberfest" beer was a delicious Jim Beam barrel aged malty lager with flavors of vanilla, bourbon and chocolate. I loved this! It really had a lot of tooth to it!. It was served with Beer Braised Bratworst sausages over white beans with horseradish and chives, with a caramelized onion brown mustard sauce.

Again. Totally yummy!

The Brewhouse's IPA (India Pale Ale) was hoppy and bitter with a fruity aroma...again..not so happy with the fruityness of the beers. just my preference. This was paired with Smoked Birch Glazed Quail with mushroom cracker stuffing, sea-salt roasted peanut potatoes and Craft Brew Jus. I've never had quail before and frankly trying to slip the meat off those teeny tiny little bones was just all a bit too dainty for me. I had a second helping of the brat instead ;0

JeanMarie and Tom enjoyed the little birds quite well!

The dessert course (Glacier Brewhouse's "World Famous" Bread Pudding with Yukon Jack sauce. Swooon!) was paired with my absolute favorite libation...Oatmeal Stout! The full bodied black ale has a rich roasted caramel and malt flavor. so very yummy. I think I had 3...or maybe 4 of these throughout the trip. Very mellow return ride yes indeed.

Me and The Man doing a little Beer Train.

Kimmy & Heather enjoying Beer Train camaraderie!

As you can see, good times were had by all. I will definately be doing the Beer Train again next year!

Oh, and yes, I did knit on the train, almost finishing the back of the Drop Collar Cable Sweater. Should finish that project this week. Hope you are all enjoying your Octoberfest weekend. Knit On!


smariek said...

Thanks for taking us along on your train ride. It sounds like lots of fun, although that would be way too much beer for me to hold, lol. I think I'd be happy just being on the train and taking in all the views, the food & beer surely must make it even better. You & Russ look great, as always. I can't believe you attempted to risk knitting under the influence!

Minnie~Knits said...

well! What's not to love about a beer train?!?

Scrabblequeen said...

What a beautiful ride. You've sure got lots of window on that train. My Hubby Dearest would have agreed with you about light, fruity beers. Do they allow non-beer drinkers to tag along?

junior_goddess said...

You can beer and knit? I am impressed! I don't think they had the beer train when we lived there, that's a wunnerful idea!!!

Milly said...

that sounds like so much fun, it makes me wish I liked beer.
there is a dinner train over on the easetern shore here, we just found out about it and looking forward to going one evening.

Joan said...

Oh what fun! You do the best things, Lisa. And thankfully for us, you have a digital camera while you do them. ;-}