Well it's not that beer's cheap in Alaska
(though it's not necessarily more expensive than elsewhere), but ingredients are. So, combine the cost of propane
for the crab cooker burner, 10-15 lbs of grain per batch (including some specialty grains that are more expensive), most stores not shipping
for free to Alaska, and enjoying good ingredients (Marris Otter is usually my base malt, instead of American 2-row), then it definitely gets a bit pricier. And that's before the stainless steel
boil kettle, mash tun, wort chiller (needed even in winter in Alaska-trust me), refractometer, stir plate for yeast starters, etc. Sure, not all of the equipment
is completely necessary, but as I said, my wife and I brew great beer. Of those 15 we entered in the competition, we received medals for 11 of them and two received best of division awards. So we probably do brew for much less than we could get beer in the store, if you're looking at only the batch cost, but ultimately that's not why we brew. We brew because we love the process, have a great homebrew club with monthly "meetings" (i.e. parties) during the winters, and enjoy the occasional competition. I once made a comment that brewing beer for competition was a lot like being in 4H, but tastier.