The year of 2009 marks an important date for those of us in the Forbidden Peak Family. Since all of us have ties back to the great state of Alaska, it is most appropriate for us to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Alaska’s Statehood. In order to celebrate the great state of Alaska and 50 years of contributing to the United States, FPB would like to introduce “Seward’s Ice Box”. Seward’s Ice Box is a special edition Golden Ale, which seems appropriate for the Golden Anniversary of Statehood. Like most things in Alaska, Seward’s Ice Box is just a little bit stronger and better tasting than most Golden Ales, checking in with a solid 5.9% Alcohol (no coincidence that ‘59 was the year Alaska first became a state). This Golden Ale has a strong gold color and a hint of subtle hop flavor. This beer is meant to be an easy drinker with a slight extra kick of alcohol.
In 1867, US Secretary of State William H. Seward commenced negotiations with Russia to buy the Alaskan territory. The Alaskan Purchase as it was dubbed was widely mocked in public forums and the purchase became commonly known as "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Ice Box". After copious amounts of gold, timber, and later oil was discovered, Seward's purchase has become an historical stroke of genius. Furthermore, later historical accounts show what amazing lengths Seward went to negotiate a low price on the purchase. According to recent computer analysis of photos taken during the negotiations to purchase Alaska, two large hairy shadows have been revealed in the corner of the closed-door negotiation room. These two figures may correspond with the “advisors” discussed in several historical documents from the time of Alaska’s purchase. Seward noted in his memoirs that two "large and seemingly unkept men" had come to him days before the negotiations were closing, informing him of the secret to outsmarting their ally Russians in negotiations. They had acquired this knowledge because, as Alaskans, they could see Russia from their doorstep and often walked across a small frozen pond to visit their neighbors. The secret "negotiation tactic" was later revealed from a large cloth satchel during heated negotiations - two cases of a dark malty beverage with a taste of black licorice. The two burly young "men" cleaned up as best as they could and then served the beverages only to the Russians while Seward savagely acquired the land for less than two cents per acre.
Those of you familiar with the FPB family may already have an inclination as to who these young men were. Although their clandestine work as government agents was never revealed, on nights when the beer flows like wine, bar patrons have been known to hear Squatch and Skookum quietly laughing about "the deal with the bearded one and neighbors to the left". Although no one has definitively identified the two wilderness dwellers, there is little doubt in the great minds of FPB who these historical figures were and what these two individuals did for the great state of Alaska and for the United States as a whole.
In 1959 Alaska formally entered the Union as the 49th state. Since then Alaska has brought many untold wonders to the lower 48 and beyond, including salmon, packaged moose nuggets, Alaskan Beer, and land that encompasses 2.5x the size of Texas (we should also note here that Alaska is actually not located in the Gulf of Mexico, but in fact lies to the Northwest of the contiguous lower 48 states and is separated from them by the land of "Canuks").
So throw your glass or bottle up and say cheers to the "bearded one" Mr. William Seward and the 49th state which continues to enrich the lives of many in the FPB family and beyond.