The distillery of the Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen in April 2018. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

The distillery of the Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen in April 2018. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

OrchestrAle to make brew debut Sunday

Sunday will see a brew debut with a musical twist.

Kenai River Brewing Company will go public with its new signature beer, “OrchestrAle,” at a fundraising event to support the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra.

The event, which will take place at the Kenai Fine Art Center Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m., will introduce the new concoction to the public with 100% of funds raised going to the orchestra.

KPO artistic director and orchestra conductor Tammy Vollom-Matturro said the idea for a new batch of brew was born after seeing the success of the “Tsalteshi Trail Ale,” which was produced by the Soldotna-based brewery in partnership with Tsalteshi Trails Association in winter of 2017/18.

Vollom-Matturro said she met with Kenai River Brewing owner Doug Hogue to come up with a similar idea.

“I talked to him about working with the orchestra because he loves contributing to the community and nonprofits,” Vollom-Matturro said. “We got together and talked about what kind beer to brew … and he put his brewers on it.”

Kenai River Brewery production manager Joe Gilman played a role in creating OrchestrAle, along with fellow brewer Havilah Tuite. Gilman said the new beer is a Belgian-style saison, the first of its kind crafted at Kenai River Brewery’s current location, which opened in 2016.

“They decided what they wanted for the best beer,” Gilman said. “They decided what character they wanted.”

Tuite said OrchestrAle was brewed to be a crisp, light ale that features a fruity flavor with some spices added to it. Tuite said it was about a two-week process to create the new batch.

“We let the yeast do the flavoring for us,” Tuite said. “And it worked out pretty well.”

Vollom-Matturro teaches at Kenai Middle School and said one of orchestra’s board members came up with the name.

“I haven’t even gotten to taste it yet,” Vollom-Matturro said. “I’m excited to see what it’s about. It’s just a cool thing to see.”

The evening will also feature artwork by Alanna Derocchi and Jonathan S. Green, and live music from Garrett Mayer and Bus Duty, a musical group made of teachers from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.

Vollom-Matturro said all funds raised from Sunday’s event will go to the KPO. A portion of all future earnings made from sales of OrchestrAle at the brewery will also help the orchestra.

Tickets are $20, which includdes two servings of ale and hors d’oeuvres. Additional servings of beer are $5. Tickets are available at River City Books, Already Read Books and at the door.

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