One of the things we love to do when traveling is check out what kinds of things that they make locally. We have a penchant to look for not only cool museums but other activities like factory tours. The next time you find yourself looking at a visit to Alaska, you might want to check out our hot list of 5 Fun Factory Tours in Alaska.
Alaskan Brewing Company became the 67th operating brewery in the United States in 1986, making it Alaska’s first brewery. Since Brewing production Alaskan Brewing Company has won over 25 medals for their various brews. In 1988, the brewery achieved the “Best Beer In The Nation” award from the Great American Beer Festival Consumer Preference Poll.
The tour provides samples of Alaska Brewing Company’s award winning brews with a knowledgeable guide, you’ll be able to see how it all forms and comes together between Brewing, fermenting, and bottling process. You’ll learn about the history of the company and the 100 year old recipe that inspired its Alaskan Amber beer.
Visitors also get to learn of making Alaska’s seasonal smoked porter. Take a walk around checking out the historical collection before browsing through the gift shop. This tour is perfect for the master brewer or any beer connoisseur.
Alaska Mint was founded by Mike’s father that had works manufactured outside of Alaska but in 1990 Mike started piecing together and acquiring the machines, tools, and supplies needed to mint silver and gold in Anchorage.
What started out as one design quickly had requests were rolling in. Alaska Mint creates the designs, cut, polish, and heat treats their own dies making it a one stop shop for minting. The medallions apes struck on 4th street in Anchorage and are detailed reproductions of original sculptures. Montages for some medallions are 5 to 10 coins per year, making them highly collectable.
One of a kind jewelry is made from from raw gold bought from miners and gold bearing quartz. Plan a visit to the Mint to learn its rich history and intricate details detailing Anchorage minting.
The Ulu Factory (pronounced Ooloo) has made an ancient history knife into a functional and contemporary piece that can be used everyday. The first Ulu knife was made from bone and slate with a sharp edge for hunting, fishing, scaling. Small knives were made for skin while cleavers were made for meat carving.
The version of the Ulu knife today is manufactured from stainless steel, a rounded steel blade meets the hardwood of the handle for an easy grip. Through the tour you’ll see the knives being cut and how they’re assembled. You can see a demonstration of how to use the cutting knife and wooden bowl, before you hop the vintage trolley back to downtown.
Musk Ox Farm is a private non profit organization sitting in Palmer, the farm is dedicated to the domestication and development of the Musk Ox. Musk Ox’ are the oldest living arctic species, and the farm is a unique way of learning while being able to photograph them.
The idea of the farm is to create a non-intrusive form of agriculture to the arctic which all started in 1954. The rich wool is harvested once a year then delivered to an Alaskan Native co-operative, the knitters then make scarves, caps, and nachaqs. The tour teaches about the Musk Ox, a prehistoric remnant of the ice age. You’ll see cows, very powerful bulls, and little newborn calves.
The Great Alaskan Bowl Company still uses machinery designed from 100 years ago to carry out the production of their wooden bowls.
The Great Alaskan Bowl Company uses a method for cutting trees that is actually healthy for the forest. The company cuts 2-5 13” trees or larger per acre, this provides more sunlight to to reach the smaller developing trees. After the bowls are cut they’re stacked on carts that go into the kiln to dry anywhere from 4-6 days, each bowl is then individually sanded.
You can see a demonstration daily of how the company’s birch wood bowls are made right in the showroom.
This list of 5 Fun Factory Tours in Alaska is just our idea of fun, there is so much to see in this beautiful state that lets you have a sneak peek into their culture! Do you know of an amazing place to visit when in the area? Let us know!
Looking for more information on visiting Alaska with your family? You might want to check out our latest travel book: Alaska Family Fun: a Travel Guide for People with Kids on Amazon.