Alaska’s Seaborne Brewery (Part II)

In my Part I, I was unclear whether Pilsener Brewing Co. had both shipboard and land-based breweries.

Did the ship brewery supplement a bricks-and-mortar brewery in Ketchikan, or was it the only brewery of the firm?

A short piece in a 1937 American Brewers Review offers a clue. It states the Alumna, after a refit, would sail to Ketchikan to be “permanently anchored”.

It seems then the ship was not to service settlements up and down Alaska’s coast. Some press stories I found noted “feeder” boats would be used to take beer to more isolated places.

The pieces seem to come together. Likely smaller craft delivered beer along the coast not consumed in Ketchikan, and the boat stayed in harbour, brewing.



The Alaskan brewing history I mentioned refers to premises on “Cliff Avenue”, I think today White Cliff Avenue. It may have been just offices and a warehouse. Maybe bottling was done there but no brewing, with that role reserved for the ship.

It might mean, too, Alumna did not travel south and back regularly with malt and hops. Other vessels may have brought them, or they were trucked in, or by rail if that existed.

Interestingly, the print ad I showed states no civic address, just that the brewery is “at Ketchikan”.

Note re image: the image above is of Ketchikan c. 1918, sourced from the Wikipedia entry on the town, here. Used for educational and historical purposes. All feedback welcomed.

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