on February 15, 2013
The 49th State Brewing Company is a restaurant in Healy, Alaska. We learned about the 49th State Brewing Company via a little kiosk on the Denali "village" boardwalk, adjacent to Prospectors Pizza. The kiosk attendant gave us coupons to the 49th State Brewing Company and told us of the $1 shuttle to and from the Denali Park entrance area to the 49th State Brewing Company, just 10 minutes up the road to Healy. We asked some of our fellow tourists, and more than a few recommended we go try the 49th State Brewing Company. The coupons savings in food offset the shuttle costs.The shuttle leaves the Denali Park entrance area in front of Prospectors Pizza and the Denali Park Salmon Bake restaurant in roughly 90 minute intervals. We boarded one of the shuttles and took the quick ride up the George Parks Highway to Healy. The shuttle dropped us off in the parking lot in front of the 49th State Brewing Company.The 49th State Brewing Company’s front area is a very large gravel yard with outside patio dining, a few tents set up selling souvenirs, bench tables, and a few firepit with people hanging about, playing music and enjoying themselves. Off to the side is an old bus, Fairbanks City Transit System Bus 142, used in the 2007 movie "Into The Wild."Going inside, it’s a large restaurant and bar, centered on a fireplace table. I heard the building itself was once a bus maintenance shop, but they’ve done a great job decorating the inside with different historical photos of Alaska, and memorabilia and such. We waited a few minutes and were seated at a table. Both the restaurant and bar were quite full and the crowd was lively. There is live music outside on the weekends. The 49th State Brewing Company does brew a few of its own beers, and my friend asked for a flight of these to try out. The menu has all sorts of appetizers, from Buffalo wings to pot stickers and garlic fries. There are also salads, burgers and sandwiches, and favorites such as ribs, steak, fish and chips. There are also daily specials. My friend ordered the moussaka off the daily specials, and my other friend ordered the double pork chops. I opted for the baked mac and cheese. My friend’s flight of their beer creations arrived on a neat wooden tray in the shape of the state of Alaska. He had little glasses with about 5-6 ounces each of their Baked Blonde, Irish Dry Stout, Irish Export Stout, Solstice IPA, and Double IPA. The flight cost $8, which is a fairly good deal, as it’s around 30 total ounces of microbrewed beer. I’m not a beer connoisseur, but my friend is, and he generally liked the beers that he tried on the flight, some more than others.Our entrees arrived a little later, and my friend got to pair the different beers with his double pork chops. The double pork chops with bone in arrived on a wooden cutting board, and was served with applesauce, roasted vegetables, and a cornbread muffin. He really enjoyed his juicy pork chops. My other friend enjoyed his moussaka, made with plenty of eggplant and seasoned beef. I had the mac and cheese, which came served in the cast iron skillet it was baked in. It’s macaroni noodles with a cheddar cheese sauce, chicken and bacon, and topped with parmesan and bread crumbs. This was one of the best mac and cheese dishes I’ve had.We even saved room for dessert and had the dessert special of the day, fresh apple pie ala mode. The dessert looked totally decadent, a nice, hot mini apple pie with a big scoop of ice cream melting away. It was wonderful, and we didn’t worry about the calories, as we had a 11 hour hike in Denali National Park the next morning. Our total bill came out to around $60 with drinks, including the coupon. This was some of the best food that we’ve had around Denali. It is a little bit of a trip up to Healy, but the coupon helps to keep your mind off the shuttle bus fare. I think that in order to attract people up from the Denali Park entrance area, you must have good food, good service, and a good atmosphere, and they definitely have all that here. I would easily return to 49th State Brewing Company again.
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