HEALY, Alaska — There is only one thing I know about beer. It tastes best when it is really cold.

But I learned a lot more after spending one hour at a brew chat with Tom Keranen and Alex Peyroux, two assistant brewers for 49th State Brewing Company in Healy.

The brew chats are educational sessions that require sipping on a few different beers and learning about them. The workshops take place this week at a corner of the bar at Prospector’s Pizzeria and Alehouse at Denali. These are well worth the $7 admission fee. The premier chat focused on pale ales and IPAs.

There’s a lot to think about now when I decide to order and drink a beer.

There’s color: is it straw or amber or copper? There’s clarity: can I read a newspaper through the glass of beer? There’s flavor: does it smell like citrus or does it smell smoky? Is it carbonated? Does it have texture? Is it English or American? Is it, as the brewer would describe it, “chewy?”

Truly understanding beer is kind of like understanding wine. There is a system to the courtship between brew and brew drinker.

“Once you smell it, you’re already tasting it,” Keranen said. “Once you smell grapefruit, don’t you taste it?”

Truth is, most customers don’t notice all of these qualities either. But the brewers are meticulous about each and every one of those factors. And they want to share their passion with customers.

That’s why the brewery began holding these educational sessions.

It’s also the beginning of Solstice Brewfest Week and a chance to show off what the 49th State Brewing Company has been brewing.

“Alaska is a craft brewing state,” said Ellen Maloney, marketing manager. “It is one of the top 10 states for brewing.”

This solstice week, dedicated to brewing, is a chance to demonstrate that expertise, she said.

Additional brew chats are scheduled through Thursday and will include traditional German beers, specialty beers and Belgian beers.

Call 907-683-PIES for details.

As part of Solstice Brewfest Week, some special beer-pairing meals will be offered.

The first takes place tonight at 229 Parks Restaurant, linking 49th State brews with a special menu at that restaurant.

On Thursday, a special meal — paired with special brews — is offered at 49th State Brewing Company in Healy.

Grand events are planned for the solstice weekend, including music, frisbie golf tournaments, and on Sunday there is a special free concert by the Mudge Family Band, a local favorite.

You can also learn how to grill with beer, attend an introduction to home brewing, and enjoy live outdoor music with Denali Cooks, H3 and Superfrequency.

See the full schedule at www.49statebrewing.com for times and admission costs.

Today

• 4-5 p.m. — Beer chat at Prospectors bar area. $7. Open seating. A specific style of beer will be highlighted by brewers and examples of these styles made by Alaskan craft breweries will be sampled and discussed.

• Beer dinner at 229 Parks. Time/price/menu TBA

Thursday

• 4-5 p.m. — Beer chat at Prospectors bar area. $7. Open seating. A specific style of beer will be highlighted by brewers and examples of these styles made by Alaskan craft breweries will be sampled and discussed.

• Beer dinner at the 49th State Brewing Co. $50. Time/menu TBA

Friday

Beer release party at the 49th, an all-day event.

• 4 p.m. — Grilling with beer seminar, learn how to grill with beer from a master. Free sampling at the end of the talk.

• 5 p.m. — Introduction to Home Brewing Seminar

• 8 p.m. — Live outdoor music with Denali Cooks, H3 and Superfrequency on the outdoor stage.

• 1-4 a.m. — Late night dance party indoors.

Saturday

• Beer release party at the 49th, an all-day event.

• 4:30 p.m. — Grilling with beer seminar, learn how to grill with beer from a master. Free sampling at the end of the talk.

• 5:30 p.m. — Transitions in brewing seminar, hosted by master brewer Jason Bullen and brewer/owner David McCarthy from the 49th State Brewing Co. This seminar covers steps in transitioning from homebrewing to nano brewing to micro brewing.

• 8 p.m. — Live outdoor music with Denali Cooks, H3, and Superfrequency on our outdoor stage.

• 1-4 a.m. — Late night dance party indoors.

Sunday

• Noon to 5 p.m. — Disc golf putting competition

• Noon to 5 p.m. — Live music on the outdoor stage with the Mudge Family Band

Note: Tickets will be on sale at www.49statebrewing.com and available at the gate. Some activities are free, some require an entrance fee or tickets. Check out the website for complete details about the events.

Kris Capps is a freelance writer and columnist who lives just outside Denali National Park.