JUNEAU, AK (August 11th, 2022): Alaskan beer can art is well known for its use of classic Alaskan scenes, but one beer may stand out as a little odd. What’s up with the surfer on the Icy Bay IPA? When people think of surfing most people think of California, Hawaii or Florida, but few would throw Alaska in a list of great surf spots. So you may be surprised to learn that Alaska is actually a legendary spot for those looking to surf off the beaten path.
For over 25 years, Tyler Lindquist has worked as a brewer with the Alaskan Brewing Company. The Oregon-born brewer is known by crew and friends for his off-the-wall lifestyle. Which is why it was no surprise, when Tyler set his sights on surfing the Alaskan coastline. Sometime in early 1997, after reading an article about Surfing Alaska in Surfer Magazine, Tyler set out to find the best waves in Southeast Alaska. After a chance encounter with a like-minded bartender in Sitka, he caught wind of “world-class waves” in the nearby city of Yakutat.
By March of ’97, Tyler and 2 friends from the brewery travelled to Yakutat in search of a surfing experience unlike anything else. Renting a beat-up Suburban with windows busted out from a local, the crew found their way down to Cannon beach. They spent the night as it down poured 2+ inches of rain and in the morning found ideal conditions for surf.
Donning 754 wet suits to withstand the frigid Alaskan waters, the group hit the waves for over 6 hours. Surrounded by the rusting out planes, cannons and tanks of cannon beach and legendary Alaskan beauty, the group would spend the day surfing alongside seals and sharing the beach with brown bears.
A couple years later, Tyler’s exploits would serve as the inspiration for the Icy Bay IPA and the beer itself paying homage to Alaska’s often overlooked surfing community.