We celebrated American Craft Beer Week with several great events in our pub and tasting room this year. It was a blast!
During the last week of March and first week of April I was able to travel around Belgium enjoying wonderful Trappist Ales, Lambics and sours and many other well known Belgian brands. I was able to connect with the site manager of Rodenbach, the production manager of Liefmans and the in house cicerone of Duvel Moortgat. At Grand Teton, we have been brewing some sour ales, our most recent release being Oud Bruin (pronounced Ow’d Bruin) as part of our Cellar Reserve series. Being able to talk with the brew team at Rodenbach and try a true Belgian Oud Bruin was very enlightening because they were sharing practices they use to brew this style which I was not familiar with at all.
One of my favorite conversations I had was with Nicolas Soenen, Duvel’s in house cicerone. I was able to try almost all of the beers in their portfolio that are made in Belgium (Duvel Moortgart owns Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York and recently purchased Kansas City based Boulevard Brewing Company). They make some wonderful Trappist ales, as well as Kriek beers under the Liefmans label and of course, Duvel. Each year they make Duvel Tripel Hop by adding a new hop that turns this classic Belgian Pale Ale closer to a Belgian IPA; this year they used Mosaic Hops. The last beer Nicolas shared with me was their new IPA; Vedett Extra Ordinary IPA. I will tell you, nothing about this IPA is ordinary. It is bursting with Pacific Northwest hop flavors and aromas and it is perfectly balanced, one of the finer examples of an IPA I have tried. Nicolas was particularly proud of this beer when he poured it for me and I understand why. I asked him if he could tell me what hops they used in this beer. He told me it was actually a secret but he assured me it has several hop varieties used in most American IPAs and he has a feeling we use them at Grand Teton Brewing.
My trip to Belgium aligned perfectly with the release of our new Summer Cellar Reserve; Splashdown Belgian Style Golden Ale. This beer is a great blend of drinkability and complexity from the simple malt bill, noble hops and Belgian Yeast. While pale in color, this beer boasts an ABV of 7.5%. We will be featuring another beer this summer brought back from our Cellar Reserve Series which was promoted to our Seasonal program; Snarling Badger Berliner Weisse. We brewed this beer to be crisp, clean and sour like a slice of lemon. Brewed with a strain of Lactobacillus to provide that crisp tartness, low in hops and pale in color, we hope this beer will become a summer staple. This beer will be released in four packs as well as on draught. Make sure to get some while you can.
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Please see the original recipe here thanks to The Beeroness.
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 16, 2014) – This year’s winners were selected from 1,450 entries from all 50 states in a Blind Tasting held in September. The 225 judges, experts in their various industries, flew to San Francisco for a full day of blind tasting. Those that rose to the top were subject to a rigorous vetting process to verify they met the sustainability and social responsibility criteria to win a Good Food Award. This year’s Good Food Award winners exemplify excellence in both taste and responsible production.
Grand Teton Brewing Company, Sweetgrass APA, Idaho
Here’s just a few reasons Sweetgrass was a winner:
Our beer is crafted with Teton mountain glacier water, local barley, hops and yeast. No artificial ingredients are used in our brews. This year more than half of our hops were grown in Southern Idaho. We expect as much as 85% of our hops will be locally sourced by the end of our current five-year contract cycle. We have always brewed with pure, clean Teton mountain glacier water, filtered over the course of 300-500 years by Teton mountain limestone and granite before it surfaces at a spring a half mile from the brewery.
Our water recycling process is such that as water is used to cool the wort (the liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing) it is recaptured and re-used for the next brew. As for resource conservation, the heat recovered from the wort is used in the next brew. Heat generated by yeast during the fermentation process is used to preheat water for brewing and cleaning. Our spent grain is donated to a local farmer to feed his cattle. Additionally yeast is saved and spread on local fields, as the yeast is reportedly good for the soil. All of the lights in our brewery are energy efficient and we are in the process of re-insulating our warehouse.
We are excited that Sweetgrass has won the Good Food Awards for a second time (2011 and 2014). To see if it is available near you, check out our distribution page.
Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwich
Adjusted from Caryn Ross’s recipe found here:
Prep Time: 15 min; Inactive Prep Time: — Cook Time: 8 hr 15 min
Serves: 8 sandwiches
Place the pork in the bottom of a slow cooker and sprinkle with the seasoning salt. Pour the root beer and liquid smoke over the top. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Once the pork is done, remove from the pan and shred with a fork. Place into a bowl and add in the Sassy Sauce, as well as 1/2 cup of the juice from the slow cooker. Serve on a bun with pickles and onions.
To make the sauce, add the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard to a medium saucepan. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove and serve with pulled pork sandwiches. Makes 1 1/2 cups.