Brown Jug Friendly Spirits


8840 Old Seward Hwy
Anchorage, Alaska, 99515-2000
United States

(907) 522-9544 | map

Notes: For those of you accustomed to asking for Ed for help with beer selections, please note that he no longer works here.
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 9 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnnyP3
JohnnyP3 from Alaska

3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

After reading the reviews for this place, I dropped in twice last week. I never met the heralded "Ed" and now I see that he has given his 2 week notice. Well, let's talk about what this Brown Jug has to offer. The atmosphere was nothing special. A liquor store with beer to the left and wine and spirits to the right. Beer is pretty much all in coolers and a shelving unit in the back with beers at room temp.

The service--well, the employees are pretty much all at the registers or in the back stocking, so from what I could tell, you are pretty much on your own. Not necessarily a bad thing if you know what you are looking for, but if you want to talk beer with the staff, prepare to have a conversation with yourself. I did bump the rating to above average because they did find some boxes to facilitate carrying my stash to the car.

The highlight here is the selection. Whether that will suffer with the apparent departure of Ed, only time will tell. For now, the selection is stellar. The wall of coolers is jam packed with goodies, many that you will not find anywhere else in Alaska (too numerous to list). How they get some of this stuff is what I would like to know. Plus, they have some older vintages of certain beers that were clearly cellared and then made available. Don't miss the shelving unit toward the back as there are many U.S. and import craft beers that are real gems that you will not find elsewhere. Same goes for certain sections of the cooler. Also, there is a cooler devoted solely to Midnight Sun bombers. I missed it the first time I was there (it's very close to the registers) but they have both new and vintage MS bottles in there.

Prices seemed about average. I noticed many discounts, but it was hard to tell whether they were "true" discounts or merely bringing some prices in line. Nevertheless, seemed about average for Anchorage. Kudos to the Jug, however, for a capital selection for the craft beer devotee that will not disappoint.

Sep 04, 2011
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GeezLynn from Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

Stopped by this place on the advice of a friend who knew I was in search of Midnight Sun. Was pleasantly surprised to find they had a serious lineup of Alaskan beers as well as a good selection of beers from the lower 48 and Europe. Service was good, but I really didn't need much help as soon as I saw the cooler with Midnight Sun. They also had a few hard to find brews from the Pac NW.

Prices were a little higher than I've paid at times, but that's standard for most commercial goods in AK I'm told. In addition, the location was convenient with plenty of parking. All in all, a great experience!

Sep 02, 2010
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AKBelgianBeast from Alaska

4.7/5  rDev +11.4%

Ed! This is my favorite brown jug in town. Great selection of belgians and plenty of microbrews as well. But what makes this store really special is the service. If you happen to wander in ask for Ed the store manager. Ed knows his beer and shares a love for the best beers around. The microbrew selection is also very good here. Ask for something and if ed does not have it, he will probably order it for you. He has been trying to get some bottles of utopias for weeks now. Hooked me up with a 3L of chimay and some anchor christmas magnums. Sit there and chat it up with him and if your worthy, Ed will go in the back and find some real treats for you. He enjoys good beer and good beer conversation. He is also in the habit of laying down cases for shelving later. He currently has 05 grand cru of the emporers and 05 saison dupont and bon voeux on the shelves! Great store and great selection and some of the best service youll find in anchorage.

Dec 21, 2007
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SargeC from California

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%

This store is a hidden gem in the Brown Jug Empire in Anchorage. The store is in a strip mall centered between an iron triangle of a Wal-Mart, a Chevy dealer and the Dimond Center Mall, right off Old Seward Highway. They have the most diverse beer selection of any of the Brown Jug stores, including the warehouse. I saw specialty, seasonal and limited release brews I have never seen at the warehouse. It seems this store may feed some of the specialty selections in the other stores. I was in there late and both the cashier and the stocker were very friendly and knowledgeable. They were able to point out the latest arrivals and knew what to say about them. The store really seems to take pride in their beer selection and it shows. Now that I know the selection this store has, it is now part of the liquor store trap line I check every week.

Dec 15, 2007
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megatron0259 from Nevada

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%

brown jug is by far the best and easiest place in anchorage to buy beer and liquor. They have many locations, but the warehouse is definately the best place to find what you are looking for. sadly, the the liquor selection is far superior to the beer selection. but the beer selection is pretty diverse as far as alaska standards go, the staff is more than willing to try and find a beer for you if they dont currently stock it. prices are reasonable but arent always the best in the city when it comes to beer. Its slim pickings in alaska, but this place makes it just a bit easier.

Nov 22, 2006
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juzy from Alaska

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Okay, as always, when I review a bar/brewpub/liquor store I have to disclaim that my perception of value is going to differ from that of someone coming to Alaska from outside. The prices are reasonable for here. For someone from the lower 48, they may seem over-priced. But we have to account for high-dollar shipping costs and we have a very high alcohol and tobacco tax here.
The other disclaimer I'll make about this particular place is with regards to service. I usually deal with the store manager, Ed. He is always helpful, friendly, and dependable. I've not had to deal with other employees at this store. So my advice would be, if you are visiting and looking for a wide range of beers from all over, come here and ask for Ed, personally.

Now with all of that said, I will let you know that this place is well stocked with the latest and greatest in the world of beer. You'll find it located near the Dimond Center, next to Subway and Great Clips, in a little strip mall just before Wal-mart. There are a slew of Brown Jug stores in Anchorage, so be sure you are getting to the right one.

Obviously we don't get everything, but just for example, some of his latest offerings are Peche Mortel, Thiriez (Blonde, XXtra, Amber), Ridgeway Brewing's Bad Elf, Very Bad Elf, Santa's Butt, and Lump of Coal, and too many others to name, thanks to a new partnership with Specialty Distributors of Alaska and Shelton Bros. of Mass. There is a list of other new breweries' offerings that will be here soon as well. Ed also stocks a good selection of local brews from Midnight Sun, Alaskan, and Silver Gulch.
Ed is very passionate about beer, loves to cook with it as well as drink it. He is the only store in town that I have seen adopt the BA shelf-talkers.
Being a liquor store, it is not fully dedicated to beer as they have an extensive wine selection as well as liquors, cordials and the like. But if you are looking for good beer while in Anchorage, this is one of the few places to check out. Remember; Ask for Ed.

Nov 29, 2005
Brown Jug Friendly Spirits in Anchorage, AK
Place rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 9 ratings