Midnight Sun TREAT: No Better Way to Spend 24 Hours of Daylight

One of the coolest things about living in Alaska was all the daylight in the summer…until it wasn’t.  See when you first get there and it is bright light out at 2:00 am in the morning it energizes you.  Its a rush like you might get from an energy drink.  I think it must be all those melanin molecules doing all sorts of wonderful things that give you great amounts of energy and an almost euphoric high.  Its cool at first, you have all kinds of energy, you are ultra productive and you feel just great!

But…alas, all good things must end, and in this land of extremes it comes crashing in on you like a moose through a plate glass window.  What goes up must come down and you do come down…hard.  I never really understood what it was like for babies to get their days and nights mixed up until I moved to Alaska.  Pretty soon your body acclimates and you purchase blackout blinds for the windows.

There is, however, this industrious attitude that permeates throughout the summer months that typically manifests itself in people going fishing.  But there are a couple of brewers that have taken advantage of the “opportunity” the lights gives to make great beer, and we are all the better for it.  I had a beer from Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage, Alaska, and it took me back to the bugs and the light…

Believe it or not this is a pumpkin beer.  It is Midnight Sun’s T.R.E.A.T. beer.  TREAT stands for “The Royal Eccentric Ale Treatment.”  Eccentric? Maybe.  Delicious? Definitely.  In regular beer terminology this is a Chocolate Pumpkin Porter.  And man does it deliver.

First, the pour is inky black, more stout like than porter.  This is undoubtedly from all the chocolate nibs that go into the making of this brew that gives this beer it’s opaque quality.  It pours with a thin tan head and the nose is really interesting.  It is porter all the way, with a slight hop presence, but you get the chocolate, and the rich maltiness, and…well a little pumpkin pie thrown in for good measure.

My first sip took me back to of all places Missoula, Montana.  It was about 5 years ago I was working on a project there and staying at a hotel that had just an amazing restaurant attached to it.  Well one night in January they had a desert on the menu that caught my eye.  It was a chocolate pumpkin torte that tasted a lot like a piece of chocolate pumpkin pie.  This is what this beer reminded me of at first.

The really nice thing here is that this brew is also subtle.  It doesn’t get all up in your grill about the fact that it is a pumpkin brew or that it might be a desert beer either.  The sweetness is moderated to just the malty body of the porter, and the pumpkin and spices give it a good mouthfeel, while the cocoa nibs tie all the flavors together very nicely to deliver a very quality sipping beer.

This brew is 7.8% ABV so it isn’t over the top, but surprisingly the booziness does make a cameo appearance towards the back side of the flavor profile and gives it a little kick along with a tinge of hoppiness.

Overall this was an excellent beer and one I would highly recommend.  It took me back to my long days in Alaska, and made me happy that at least some people up there are doing more with their time than just fishing.



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Categories: Beer, review

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10 Comments on “Midnight Sun TREAT: No Better Way to Spend 24 Hours of Daylight”

  1. November 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Sounds good.

    Actually, just wanted to leave a comment because folks seem speechless here.

    • Don
      November 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

      Thanks Jim, I knew you would come through with a comment. It was good, and I guess I said everything that needs to be said about it…ever.

      • November 23, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

        Nice comment there, Don.

  2. November 24, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    Now Don has an nice Alaskan brewed pumpkin porter and you there with your Avery Imperial and the other day I bought a 4 pack of Sam Adams Imperial Stout and I must say while it is a stout there is nothing Imperial about it. Now I have a strong desire for a better beer and to go fishing. Hmmm.

    • November 24, 2010 at 10:47 am #

      I thought the Sam Adams Imperial Stout was pretty nice. Not mind blowing, but a serviceable imperial. Not sure I’d buy it again, but I thought most of their imperial line was pretty decent.

    • Don
      November 24, 2010 at 10:51 am #

      Jim and I did a review on one of our podcasts of the Sam Adams Imperial Stout, and Jim thought similar to you that he had a lot of other choices for stouts and that he probably wouldn’t go there again, but I disagreed, I thought for the price (about $2.25 a bottle) that you really couldn’t find a better stout for the cost, and while it wasn’t a real “toe curler” as my brother would say it was a good servicable stout. Good flavor, decent mouthfeel, and a great overall value. I think you should always bring great beer fishing. That way if the fish aren’t biting, well at least the day isn’t a total loss.

      • November 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

        Serviceable is the right word. If Imperial is in the title it better impress! Now Friday I am going to attempt (barring family interference) to go to Goose Island/Binnys (the bar and liquor store are neighbors) and get a bottle of the Bourbon County Stout Rare. Having been a fan of both the beer and of the barrel they are aging it in (Pappy Van Winkle 23 though I prefer the 20) I feel obligated to buy one. Even at 45 dollars. Maybe this will be Imperial tasting!

        • Don
          November 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

          Nice John. A little less rare, but amazingly good is their Bourbon County Coffee Stout! We highly recommend it, and probably won’t set you back more than about $10-$13

        • November 29, 2010 at 10:09 am #

          I got one of the coffee, one of the vanilla and 5 of the rare. Before you think me rich I purchased for a couple of fellow beer lovers. 2 for my man in Colorado and one for a friend here. That leaves me with two. I figure I’ll chase it with some George Stagg for I had a sample there and it was truly imperial tasting. 45 dollars worth I don’t know but it is an excellent beer.

  3. November 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    TREAT was a treat indeed. Great porter. Might be the best I’ve had. I’ve got a bottle of their Arctic Devil Barleywine, too. Haven’t tried it yet. But looking forward to it. Their Cohoho this year (recipe changes every year) was and imperial IPA brewed with brown sugar and juniper berries. Really interesting. Classic maltiness up front, hop in the middle and a subtle gin and tonic finish. I’ll be trying more of their beers in the future for sure.

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