In May 2021 my son and I enjoyed a couple of meals at Denali Brew Pub. It seems to be the best spot for pub-style food and a cold brew on the main drag in Talkeetna, AK. Talkeetna is a village of less than 1,000 residents located just off the George Parks Highway about halfway between Anchorage and the entrance to Denali National Park. Talkeetna was our next stop after a short at the ends of the earth in Utqiaġvik, AK.
Other posts from our Alaska trip in May 2021.
Mid May is fairly quiet in Talkeetna. It is still a few weeks before the influx of summer tourists arrives. Even so the first time we ate at Denali Brew Pub there was a 20-minute wait for a table.
Denali Brewing Co. operates a restaurant on Main Street in Talkeetna and a brewery 12 miles away on Mile 2 of the Talkeetna Spur Road near the junction with the George Parks Highway. The Brew Pub occupies a prime Main Street location in the center of town. It is open from 10:00 to 22:00 daily.
There is abundant seating outdoors and an indoor dining area as well. While we were in Talkeetna, the weather was warm enough that eating outside was pleasant even without heaters. We ate outdoors both times.
While waiting for a table we grabbed a beer at the bar indoors and sat on the porch and perused the menu. Denali Brewing supplies the Brew Pub with a wide range of beers, ales, cider, and specialty cocktails.
The Brew Pub serves a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrées as well as homemade desserts. Many ingredients are locally sourced.
These are the food menus:
I ordered the ribeye pretzel dip with swiss cheese and house potato chips.
The ribeye was prepared medium and was so juicy and tender I hardly touched the au jus. The homemade potato chips were crispy and were pleasingly flavored with a dry, spicy seasoning.
Alex had the half-pound Twister Creek hamburger with cheddar cheese, fresh onion, lettuce and tomato. He substituted a cup of the soup of the day for the choice of sides.
The burger was huge and was consumed with gusto. The soup of the day was a hearty stew.
On the return visit the we sat near the outdoor fireplace, which was the focal point for a group of climbers likely headed to Denali in the next few days.
I had fish and chips — Alaskan cod deep fried in beer batter and curly fries.
Alex had Cajun rice and lentils topped with a cod filet.
We tried several types of beer on our visits. Unfortunately I didn’t record the varieties we sampled. Just pick your favorite or one that sounds good and you can’t go wrong. Alex, a Guinness fan, thinks he tried the Matt Porter, which is a threaded porter comprised of Single Engine Red, Twister Creek IPA and a float of Chull Stout blended at the taps.
Most of the beer served is brewed at the Denali Brewing Brewery located on the Talkeetna Spur Road just off Route 3, the Parks Highway. We stopped by on our drive back to Anchorage.
The brewery is open from 11:00 to 20:00 daily. The tasting room offers samples of the beers, ciders, meads and spirits made on the premises.
The brewery has an large, attractive tap room and gift shop as well as outdoor seating.
It was a sunny afternoon so we sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air. Two others who were on our Denali sightseeing flight happened to be there. We joined them and had a great conversation about our respective Alaskan adventures and plans.
Tours aren’t operating currently. Normally, they cost $10 for a 45-minute tour through the brewhouse, packaging lines, cider works and distillery. The tour includes four samples of craft beer, cider and specialty ales.
We stayed well under the consumption limit for breweries because Alaska has very strict penalties for driving while intoxicated.
If you are very in Talkeetna, AK, we very much recommend the food and beverages at Denali Brewing Co.’s Brew Pub and a stop at the brewery. The price is reasonable (even in comparison to the lower 48) and the food and beverages are delicious and filing. The Brew Pub was the most popular restaurant in town when we were there. If we return, we’d definitely try it again. Next time, I’d like to try the reindeer meatloaf.