PALMER — On Wednesday night, Matanuska Brewing Company owner Matt Tomter said cheers to Palmer, cutting the ribbon to open the newest of the Matanuska Brewing brewpubs at their location in downtown Palmer.
Matanuska Brewing started in 2017 with owners Matt Tomter and Kevin Burton, brewing their first beer out of the historic Matanuska Maid dairy building on Valentine’s Day in 2017. With the opening of the dining room at the Palmer location, Matanuska Brewing now operates four brewpubs in Southcentral Alaska.
“We really love that we’ve been able to take this old three acre lot with this old building that’s been here since the 30’s and turn it into a brewery and now we’re just going to be able to show it off a little more. We’ll be able to get more people here to see it and enjoy it and make it part of the community,” said Tomter. “I will say this it’s amazing to see the difference between communities and how they handle COVID-19 and everything we’re dealing with and to do business in Anchorage and Eagle River and here, Palmer’s just a town to celebrate and to be super proud of because yeah the virus is real, we need to take precautions and do our thing, but we also can’t stop living and I just really appreciate that.”
Matanuska Brewing Company produces 24 different canned products out of their brewery in Palmer that is sold wholesale at liquor stores and bars, and at their now four brewpub locations. Wild North is the seltzer and hard cider brand and Glacier Brewhouse beers are also brewed in Palmer. While the ability to drink locally brewed beer at Matanuska Brewing in Palmer is not new, the food menu is.
“It’s super important, kind of the soul of the brewery is a place where people can come and taste it and have food to go with it and let people stay here and enjoy it is perfect,” said Tomter. “That’s going to be cool with Bleeding Heart right here is we’re just going to knock a hole in the fence, put a gate in there so you’ll be able to do a pub crawl between Bleeding Heart and Matanuska.”
Tomter said that with the new addition of a winery and cider license, he plans to build a cider house on the property. Tomter was joined by Palmer Mayor Edna DeVries, Manager John Moosey, Councilwoman Dr. Jill Valerius and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ailis Vann.
“This is just bringing so much life back to this area that was such a heart of Palmer,” said Vann. “From the chamber’s perspective we of course love having new businesses, existing businesses expand. It shows that things are happening and Palmer is a wonderful place to be.”