Article Overview: Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
Wether you’re just passing through or you’re staying awhile, chances are if you’re coming to Alaska, then you’re coming to Anchorage. And if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna need a stiff drink or two to shake off the jet lag and prepare for, or decompress from your great alaskan adventure. So we compiled a list of our favorite bars in Anchorage, Alaska to help you find a decent watering hole.
There are more than a few breweries and beer houses offering a wide array of craft beers, brewed locally and from all across the state. Anchorage also has a few cocktails bars, lounges, and even a decent wine bar. But let’s not forget my favorite, a place where everyone is welcome, the beloved dive bar. That homey hole in the wall that adds a touch of grit and character into your nightlife. And the dive bars in Anchorage, Alaska, they just have their own flavor. So keep scrolling and check out our list of the best bars in Anchorage, Alaska.
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If I’m in Anchorage I’m about to start or finish a job that takes me out of the comforts of the normal society and into the wilds of the last frontier, so either way I’m getting hammered. Anchorage is a natural home base for an Alaska adventure, and its the same for some of the production companies we work with. If we’re filming a story in ANWAR or over in Wrangell St. Elias, we’d first gear up and have our production meetings in town.
Sometimes it’s only for a night and other times it’s a couple days. Either way, making tv in Alaska makes you want to drink, and we’ve made A LOT of tv in Alaska. With over two decades of working in the state it’s safe to say we’ve been to most bars in Anchorage, Alaska. These are our favorite.
Table of contents: Best Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
Table of contents
- Why Trust Us
- Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse
Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse is good way to start this list for a couple reasons. It’s a famous spot for locals and tourists alike, and for good reason. It Boasts a a lineup of over 60 beers on tap, making it an absolute gem for beer enthusiasts.
Another reason Humpy’s is one of my favorite bars in Anchorage, Alaska; is there Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar. If your timing is right and you’re in town on the weekend, come here and make yourself a couple bloodies. They have a lot of toppings and it’s fairly priced. I make mine with pepperoncinis, olives, and some reindeer sausage. Com’on
They have live music almost every night of the week, an outdoor area, and just generally good service and good vibes.
MY ORDER: King Street Hazy IPA & halibut fish & chips
When you’re at the multi leveled establishment, Williwaw, it doesn’t really feel like you’re at a bar in Anchorage, Alaska. The modern industrial decor immediately separates itself from more traditional Alaskan staples, such as wooden beams chock full of mounted moose heads and dead fish.
With multiple floors and rooms this Anchorage, Alaska bar is a good spot for groups, if you’re like your crew; and it’s also big enough to get lost in a crowd, if you don’t. The rooftop is particularly nice on a sunny summer afternoon while the first level is for the live music and events. Which are held regularly.
On the second floor there’s an arcade room complete with pinball, skee ball, AND a “speakeasy”. At least there used to be, before covid in the way back. Previously, you would have to find the password from a telephone booth in the lobby, now you just head up and enter.
MY ORDER: Black Walnut Sour
Best Brewery Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
You might be surprised to hear that Anchorage, Alaska has quit a few breweries, but then again what town doesn’t these days? Check out our favorite Brewery bars in Anchorage, Alaska.
49th state Brewery
If I book a summer gig in Alaska, this is absolutely one of my go to spots. It’s another huge multi level operation, which normally would bother me, but every level manages to run smoothly and fill out. The rooftop deck is an obvious choice for its killer views of the Cook Inlet, and Denali (on clear day).
For the other nine months out of the year, the interior of this Anchorage, Alaska bar ain’t too pretty bad either. It’s got kind of an industrial cabin in the woods vibe going on. Moose antler chandeliers hang from high ceilings with exposed ventilation. The space is big but also cozy.
Oh, and the beer is good! Maybe I should have lead with that? They have a really creative and ambitious tap list with over twenty different beers to choose from. Stuff like their “Thundershuck Alaska Oyster Stout” or their “Polar Pina Colada”, an imperial sour blonde ale brewed with pineapple and toasted coconut. This is a must visit bar in Anchorage, Alaska.
MY ORDER: Nitro McCarthy Stout and Crab Stuffed Jalapeños
Anchorage Brewing Company
I’m a sour beer nerd, and it’s not always easy to find a good one. Anchorage Brewing Company has a couple! Their “Anadromous Black Sour” is aged in pinot noir and whiskey barrels for a year and finished with marionberries, I mean com’on! And at 9.5% ABV, it’ll knock you on your ass too.
This Anchorage, Alaska bar is located on the south end of town a bit away from downtown, which has its pros and cons. One pro being the spacious layout. They have with a ton of outdoor seating with fire pits, and a bitch’n rooftop with picnic tables and great mountain views. Dog friendly.
Alaska has some really strange tasting room or taproom laws that force them to stop serving at 8Pm. So just start drinking earlier, there ya go, now you have an excuse.
MY ORDER: Anadromous Black Sour
Midnight Sun Brewing Company
Midnight Sun Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in town, and they have staying power because of their excellent beer. They specialize in barrel-aged stouts and barley wines. Which they say are “appropriate for our less-than-temperate climate and long dark winter nights“. I do love me a good stout.
They don’t only do stouts and barely wines though, they have a solid line up of year rounders and a fun seasonal selection. The “Sockeye Red” and “Panty Peeler” a Belgian Tripel, are a couple crowd favorites. They also do canned cocktials.
The Loft upstairs has a refreshing menu thats serves a decidedly more lighter/healthier fare. Which for me, is much welcomed! I can only eat some many plates of nachos. They have stuff like ahi poke bowls, green chili hummus plates, caprese, and a bunch of really nice salads. Or, for 11 bucks you can order a pint of bacon, “Six thick pecan-smoked bacon strips with your choice of maple syrup or beer cheese sauce for dipping“.
MY ORDER: Nitro Sun Thief, Porter 5.5% ABV 25 IBU
For a current tap list click here.
Best Dive Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
Let’s be honest, sometimes you just need a shot of whiskey and a bar stool. Grab a longneck and some greasy pub food at any of these perfectly dungy dive bars in Anchorage, Alaska.
Pioneer Bar, “home of the almost perfect bartenders” as they claim proudly. And if you’re ordering anything here that would require a perfect bartender, you done be in the wrong spot cowboy! Order something wet and saddle up at the diveiest of dive bars in Anchorage, Alaska.
This may be my favorite bar in Anchorage, Alaska; it’s certainly the bar I’ve spent the most time in. It’s always the place we go to after a long day of production meetings and “serious tv talk”. This is where the crew goes once the executives left after having said their sayings. Where everyone goes to forget about the impending next couple of weeks we have to all live in a tent in subzero temperatures.
It’s just your perfect little dive. You never have to wait long to get a drink, but it does get busy enough to get you in trouble. There’s shuffleboard, a couple pool tables, and usually something cooking in a crockpot at the end of the bar. My kinda place.
MY ORDER: Double Jameson rocks and a Budweiser longneck.
Flight Deck Bar & Lounge
This little gem of a dive bar has saved my ass more than once. It’s located just three minutes from the Ted Stevens International airport, making this Anchorage, Alaska bar the perfect spot to refuel on liquid libations before or after a long flight.
Nothing fancy here, but the drinks are wet are the bartenders are great. There’s free popcorn, a dart board, a couple pool tables, and a claw machine. Oh, and did I mention a bar where you can sit and drink? Cause that’s what you come here to do.
MY ORDER: Double Tito’s and soda with lime in a short glass
Darwin’s Theory bar in Anchorage, Alaska is a long running downtown staple. It’s that bar full of regulars that aren’t afraid of talking to the tourists, which isn’t always the case in Alaska. As soon as you sit down you’re greeted with a bowl of free popcorn and the pours are heavy.
The owner, Darwin Biwer, grew up in Oregon but moved to Alaska and opened the bar in 1981. He’s very active in the community, and even writes for the Anchorage Daily News. Don’t worry though, he leaves politics at the door and usually struts around in some sort of old school regalia complete with matching hats.
The vibe at Darwins Theory is undoubtably fun and light hearted. They even poke fun with a sign in the window that reads “Tourist Trap, where the locals view the Urban Wildlife“. This place gets packed even on the weekdays, so come early if you want a seat at this classic bar in Anchorage, Alaska.
MY ORDER: Can of Twister Creek Pale Ale from Denali Brewing
Best Lounge Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
After a long trip in the bush, and a long soak in a bath, it can be nice to re acclimate yourself to polite society with a stiff drink at a nice bar. Here’s a couple bars in Anchorage, Alaska that will help you dust off the bush and get you back into the swing of things.
Bernie’s Bungalow Lounge
Bernie’s Bungalow bar lounge in Anchorage, Alaska is the antithesis to the wilderness. All the young folks looking to dance to a live DJ until the wee hours of the morning come out here. It’s probably more of a club than a bar. Which usually isn’t my thing, but like we said earlier; there’s a bar in Anchorage, Alaska for everyone.
Originally opened as a small martini bar in 1997, Bernie’s has since expanded and taken the party outside onto a big ass patio where live music is played on the weekends. They have a bunch of beer on tap and your normal lineup of cocktails and silly shots, like the “gummy bear shot”, strawberry sky vodka, peach schnapps, sprite & sour mix.
MY ORDER: Club Soda and an Uber back to the hotel room
Situated on the top floor of of the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown, this Anchorage, Alaska bar has elevated itself above the competition in more ways than just literally. They have a stupid large wine cellar with something like ten thousand bottles. Cocktails are more my speed, and they don’t disapoint.
The real reason you come here though is for the views, and they are stunning. 20 floors up you can see the rest of downtown, the Cock Inlet, the Chugach mountain range, and all the other bars in Anchorage, Alaska. So snap that instagram photo and lord over all the peasants who loom, quite literally, below you.
You might think the awards, the world traveled sommelier and the classically trained chef would make the Crows Nest a bit pinkies out, but it doesn’t. It manages to maintain a very approachable vibe. They don’t want you wearing shorts or sandals but that shouldn’t be a problem, you are in Alaska.
MY ORDER: Old Fashioned
Best Wine Bars in Anchorage, Alaska
Just because we’re in the rugged last frontier doesn’t mean we don’t wanna sip white wine with our pinkies out. There’s a few good spots in town to drink a glass or two, but crush is my favorite wine bar in Anchorage, Alaska:
Crush Bistro and Bottle Shop
Crush is a wine bar in Anchorage, Alaska and it’s also one of the best restaurants in the city. But first the wine! They have a bunch of different fun flights and a big selection of wine by the glass. With glasses in the 10-13$ range, you can afford to have a couple. They also have a full bar.
Cute little atmosphere with art on the walls, wooden tables, and a small bar. The bistro menu has a bit of an identity crisis and is kind of all over the place, but everything is REALLY good. They serve Mexican carnitas, scallop pad Thai & Thai style chicken wings, a slew of Italian dishes like ricotta gnocchi & crispy Polenta, and a burger. Don’t put them in a box alright! Certainly not like your other typical bars in Anchorage, Alaska, but options are good!
MY ORDER: Rose Wine Flight
They bottle shop next door has an excellent selection.
Bars in Anchorage Alaska to Avoid
Before the owner/operator got in trouble for writing… less than inclusive quotes on their chalk board, F-Street Station had a terrible reputation for being rude and down right mean to tourists. Why go somewhere where they don’t wanna take your money, especially with such of great selection of other Bars in Anchorage, Alaska willing to serve you with a smile. So to them I say “F, F-street station”.
Best Bars in Anchorage Alaska (Post Summary)
Just to recap, here’s a list of our favorite bars in Anchorage, Alaska.
- Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse
- Williwaw Social
- 49th state Brewery
- Anchorage Brewing Company
- Midnight Sun Brewing Company
- Pioneer Bar
- Flight Deck Bar & Lounge
- Darwins Theory
- Bernie’s Bungalow Lounge
- Crow’s Nest
- Crush Bistro and Bottle Shop