Guests board the Alaska Railroad in Anchorage in the morning for a three-hour journey north to beautiful Talkeetna, with the likelihood of Denali views along the route. The guide - a "hoperator" in Big Swig's parlance - meets guests in Talkeetna and heads straight for Denali Brewing Company, one of the largest brewing operations in Alaska, for a private tour and tastings. The trip continues south by 12-passenger van to Arkose Brewing in Palmer for tastings paired with chocolates from JB Chocolatier. From there, the ride rolls on to two of the region's newest breweries: hockey-themed brewer Odd Man Rush in Eagle River and Anchorage's own Resolution Brewing. Each stop reveals the special conditions of brewing in Alaska, and showcases time-tested brews and new favorites.

"Hops on the Rail" tours are available year-round and depart Saturdays only. The tour has a three-person minimum, 12 person max. It is available Sept. 15 through April 30 starting at $249 per person and May 1 through Sept. 14 at $299 per person. Tickets include one-way rail travel in glass-domed cars, a minimum of 16 beer tastings, box lunch from Talkeetna Roadhouse, chocolates, round-trip transportation and guide narration. Book online at

Find out why there's plenty to toast on a visit to Anchorage; read more about Alaska beers, breweries and wineries.