Ale 208

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The most recent addition to our signature series of beer is 208 Session Ale.  Launched in September of this year, it has been very well received.  This Ale is brewed with 100% Idaho grown grain, hops, and pure Idaho spring water.  The package imagery is inspired by and pays tribute to Idaho’s rich agricultural heritage and its diverse and beautiful vistas.  The name comes directly from the 208 area code that encompasses all of Idaho.

Share your photos of Ale 208 with us and we can include them in the slideshow!

Perfecting Labels: The printing process at Inland Label

12 labels are printed face up on a metalized sheet of paper.

12 labels are printed face up on a metalized sheet of paper.

The New Year is here and with it comes four newly designed labels.  Kathleen, our on-site graphic artist, recently traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to help press check and match colors for the labels that will accompany the 2013 Cellar Reserve collection. We have worked with Inland Label for several years to print the paper labels for our 12 oz and 750 mL bottles.  Kathleen’s presence on the press line allows her to help adjust color and print registration to ensure the labels come out just how we planned.  The trip not only serves as an educational experience for Kathleen, but as a benefit to the final label that is placed on our bottles.  (read about Kathleen’s experience here)

The printing process:

The printing presses at Inland Label are huge! Roughly 6’ wide and 80’ long, they keep the press operators constantly running from one end to the other. Twelve labels are printed face up on a metalized sheet of paper roughly 24” wide which then is fed into the printer on large spools. The press is amazing to see running at full speed. Each label typically has 4-6 colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and occasionally one or two Pantone colors. Each color requires its own printing plate made from aluminum etched with imagery for that specific color. As each plate lies down its specific color, the layers build up to reveal the image. The press operators are constantly making sure all the plates are lined up, inks are flowing and colors are printing smoothly. With all the adjustments made, labels started to fly off the press.

Once the labels were printed and set out to dry, I turned my focus to a few great things Wisconsin has to offer – great beer and squeaky cheese curds!

Kathleen, Grand Teton Brewing's onsite Graphic Artist

Kathleen, Grand Teton Brewing’s on-site Graphic Artist spends time rock climbing in her free time.

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All

As Grand Teton Brewing celebrates the holiday season, we would like to pause and reflect on the goodwill we as a company try to bestow on our community.  Throughout 2012, our Donations’ Committee awarded beer and soda to charitable organizations in Teton Valley.  This year, our goal was to help educate non-profit groups on how they could maximize profits by selling kegged beer and bottled soda at charitable events.

CC.FinalFor the third year in a row, the brewery supported the Community Foundation’s Tin Cup Challenge by hosting “Pint Nights.”  These events bring together non-profit members, the community and tourists.  “Pint Nights” have become a favorite as 30% of pub sales for that day are donated to the non-profit organization and then matched by a fund set-up by the foundation.

In September, we partnered with the Teton Valley Foundation to host a traditional Oktoberfest celebration where the profits would benefit a Zamboni fund for the hockey rink just down the road from the brewery.  Our family orientated celebration was for the whole community, complete with a pie-baking contest, a keg toss, face painting and a stein-holding competition.

We would like to thank all of our local non-profit organizations for their work in making Teton Valley a wonderful place to live, work and play.  Our wish for 2013 everywhere in the world is that we have peace, happiness, good health and prosperity.  Happy Holidays!

-Steve, Ellen & the rest of Grand Teton Brewing

Silver at Festival of Barrel Aged Beers! Our Brewmaster shares his experience

FoBab LogoGrand Teton Brewing attends dozens of beer festivals every year, from small local fundraising events to Denver’s GABF, the biggest of them all.  The festival I most anticipated this year was the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB) on November 17th in Chicago.  I was not disappointed.

We’ve been experimenting with wood-aging our beers for a few years now, and have enjoyed some success, winning praise for beers like Bourbon Barrel Double Vision and Who’s Brett? as well as medals for our two previous FoBAB competition entries.  2013 marks the 25th Anniversary of Grand Teton Brewing, and to celebrate we’re working on several special barrel-aged beers for release to our best retail partners throughout the year.  I looked forward to learning from some of the best in the country about the art of aging beer on wood.

The highlight of the day was my morning at the judges’ table along with several brewers
much more experienced than I with barrel work. We tasted a score of wood-aged strong porters and stouts, ranging in quality from very good to phenomenal. It was a great education for me. Lesson number one: time matters. Barrel-aging cannot be hurried. All of our favorite beers shared complexity that could only have been gained from long months in wood.

As we prepare for our anniversary celebrations, we were quite pleased to win a silver medal in the Classic Style Category for our Barrel-Aged Grand Saison, last year’s summer Cellar Reserve conditioned for a year in French oak Syrah barrels. Keep your eyes open for this and other barrel aged beers on tap at a great beer bar near you next year.

Black Cauldron French Onion Soup

The arrival of old man winter in Teton Valley coincides with cooking hearty soups.  This French Onion Soup made with our own Black Cauldron Imperial Stout is sure delight everyone in your household.  Add the ingredients in the morning and a delicious soup will await your arrival home.

Serves 8-10 medium-sized bowls

Prep/Cook Time: 7-9 hours


  • 4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 12 ounces of Black Cauldron Imperial Stout
  • 1-2 tablespoons sherry
  • 64 ounces beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • french baguette 
  • gruyere cheese, sliced

1. Set your crock-pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic and mix until combined. Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to caramelize and brown on the edges.

2. Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, sherry and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

3. Before serving, cut baguette into slices. Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Recipe adapted from ‘how sweet it is’

Oktoberfest 2012

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Oktoberfest, a benefit for Teton Valley Foundation, is thrown by Grand Teton Brewing Company and celebrates the harvest season. All proceeds went toward the purchase of a zamboni for the Kotler Ice Arena.

With fantastic beer provided by the Grand Teton Brewing Company in Victor, this year’s fundraiser featured great live music with Brian Maw and Friends followed by the Alta Boys, kids activities, spirited Oktoberfest competitions, a pie baking contest and craft vendors. Great Oktoberfest food from Dining In Catering was served as well as pizza from Tony’s Pizza!

Brew Crew BBQ

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The Wyoming State BBQ Championships were held August 16th – 18th in Worland, WY.  Early this year, Grand Teton Brewing had been asked to sponsor the event.   We said that we’d be happy to sponsor the event if we were allowed to compete in the BBQ competition.  Our proposal was quickly accepted.  With the BBQ trailer in tow and beer samples in the cooler, we were off to Worland.

The event began with a beer tasting and live music on Thursday night.  This was the first year a beer tasting was involved and judging from the crowd response, it won’t be the last.  Cooking began on Friday with 30 BBQ teams from 10 different states.  Our team was labeled Brew Crew BBQ (led by sales director Chuck Nowicki) and was the only amateur team in the competition.  We started cooking at 7:00am Friday morning and continued through the night until the judging Saturday afternoon.  Teams competed in Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken, Ribs and BBQ sauce.  Awards were given in each category, best overall and people’s choice.  Although we scored well in several categories, we didn’t end up on the podium for any individual category.  However, after all the votes were added up for the People’s Choice, it was Brew Crew BBQ by a landslide!

We plan to come back in 2013 to defend our title.  It was a fun event with great camaraderie.  After two days of solid cooking there were a few leftovers.  Upon returning home, the entire brewery crew was treated to an all you can eat BBQ brisket lunch.

What I learned…

Summer Internships at Grand Teton Brewing

The summer college intern program is now in its fourth year at Grand Teton Brewing Company.  We started in 2009 with the hiring of a summer festival/marketing intern.  In 2011, we added an engineering college intern to our program.   The engineering students come to us from the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine.  Our chief engineer, Ron Paradis, is a former graduate of the Academy and spoke highly of the students who attend this university.  The engineering intern gets college credit for this position, which involves working on precision equipment on the bottling line and handling special projects.  The festival/marketing position is for a student majoring in business and involves supporting our sales manager.  This position includes representing the brewery at festivals in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Our intern program gives a student free housing, a sense of responsibility, enhances their education, and offers a chance to see the beautiful outdoors of Teton Valley, Idaho.

Grand Teton Brewing was very blessed to have two excellent interns for summer 2012.  Conner Watkins, a student at the University of Idaho, was our festival/marketing intern.  Ben Cummings, a student at the Maine Maritime Academy, was our engineering intern.  Both young men were intelligent, hard working and very dependable.  They each brought insight, skills and a sense of humor into their positions. Grand Teton Brewing thanks Ben and Conner for their hard work this summer!  We hope to continue this valuable program in the future.

What I learned at Grand Teton Brewing
by Ben Cummings 

This summer I completed my college internship at Grand Teton Brewing.  It was an amazing opportunity for a person from the Eastern seaboard.  Although a brewery may not be everyone’s first choice for an engineering internship, it was definitely mine!  I was able to become intimate with the steam boiler in the brewhouse and spent plenty of time wrestling with the brewery’s main electrical distribution systems.  This internship will help me towards my goal of completing the State of Maine Third Class Engineer license as well as allow me to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.  All of which, I’m sure, sounds exciting enough on its own!  As an added bonus I get to tell my friends and family of my experiences in beautiful Teton Valley.

Like fishing in the one and only Bitch Creek, the name sake for Grand Teton Brewing’s award winning brown ale.  Or hiking for seven hours to the top of Rendezvous Mountain where I rode the tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for the first time.  And the many float trips we took down the Teton River complete with the most beautiful views of the Tetons I have ever seen.

As I head back to Maine Maritime Academy in my “new” blue Ford F250, with a few cases of beer for my family, I take with me a summer I will never forget.  Thanks Grand Teton Brewing!

Connor Watkins – 2012 Festival/Marketing Intern

Connor Watkins, a soon to graduate business major from the University of Idaho, spent the past two and half months promoting beer for Grand Teton Brewing throughout our local markets.  Conner is the son of Mitch Watkins, our distributor for the Twin Falls, Idaho area.  Conner brought a unique perspective to the summer marketing position.  He spent years working summers in his dad’s beer warehouse and delivering beer to retail establishments.  He learned about the Craft Beer Industry quickly and became one of Grand Teton Brewing’s biggest fans and a great advocate.  Conner promoted our beer at festivals in Jackson, Laramie and Evanson, Wyoming, as well as at the North American Brewers’ Awards in Idaho Falls.  He was responsible for delivering and supervising beer sales at the famous Music on Main events near our brewery in Victor.  He also helped deliver soda to retail stores in Victor and Driggs, offering great insight and ideas in enveloping our soda program.  Conner plans to work in the beer industry somewhere outside of Idaho after he graduates in December.  We wish Conner well in all his future endeavors.

Press 1 for a Human Being

We have always believed that our customers should be treated exactly as we want to be treated. This extends to how your calls to the Brewery are answered. It has long been our objective to have every phone call answered by a person… someone live and understandable… during our normal business hours.

It’s time to put faces and names to the voices of our dedicated employees who daily strive to ensure that every phone call to Grand Teton Brewing is answered by someone… and not a machine. It is through his or her commitment to customer service that you are able to talk with someone when you call us.

Oh, it has not always been easy for them. First they coped with a “new high tech” phone system that made certain they got plenty of exercise during the work day as they chased around the brewery looking for the person for whom a call was intended. Only problem with the system is that it did not serve to both have a caller on the phone and page someone to handle the call. As they endeavored to get the call routed correctly they chased around the brewery searching for the proper person.

Next we made a decision to switch phone service and moved to VoIP service. Yes, the phones had all of the required functionality… call handling, concurrent internal paging and efficient call forwarding and individual message boxes if the caller elects to simply leave a message. Only problem was that it dropped calls, intermittently lost connection and a number of other frustrating problems.

Not to be deterred from their desire to have a person actually answer every call, they hounded the phone manufacturer and our internet service provider until finally we achieved harmony between technology and our dedicated staff’s objectives.

Kathleen Hanson and Julie Levy (pictured) are the driving force behind our “every call is answered by a person” approach to providing the best possible experience when you, our customers, call Grand Teton Brewing to ask for advice, find our beer and soda, find directions and discuss ongoing business. We are blessed that they are part of our Team.