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!

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
RobBio
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.

Lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

Grand Teton Soda“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, those days of soda, and pretzels and beer!” Nat King Cole’s wonderful song from the summer of 1963 summarizes the feelings of all the employees here at Grand Teton Brewing.  The weather is warm, the flowers are blooming in our whiskey barrels, and tourists have started to flock to our pub.  Although this is the “busy” season for Grand Teton Brewing, employees can be seen with smiles on their faces as they speak about weekend adventures fishing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and mountain climbing (to name just a few).

This June we celebrated the one-year anniversary of our new Kettle Brewed Craft Sodas.  Grand Teton Brewing has been making award-winning Root Beer for the past 10 years, under the name Old Faithful Root Beer.  We also made small batches of Old Faithful Ginger Ale.  In January of 2011, we began a 6-month process of testing new recipes for three new sodas and creating a new package design.  The result is four sodas sold in attractive 4-pack cases, each soda label a different color:   Root Beer (our original recipe), Cream Soda, Mountain Berry, and Black Cherry.  Our sodas are made with pure Teton Mountain Spring Water and 100% cane sugar. They are also caffeine free.  Mountain Berry is brewed with a unique blend of huckleberries, blueberries and blackberries.  Black Cherry is actually a blend of both sweet and sour cherries.

To date, our sodas have been very well received by local retailers and local customers, as well as tourists who visit our pub.  Last July (2011) we shipped our first big order to the Associated Food Stores, Inc. warehouse in Salt Lake City.  Currently we are selling our soda line in over 100 Associated (Western Family) Stores in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.  You will find our sodas in many retail establishments in our own backyard of Victor and Driggs, Idaho, as well as Jackson, Wyoming.  In recent months, our beer distributors in Idaho and Wyoming have also taken on our soda line, selling the sodas in both grocery stores and restaurants in more outlying areas of these states. We continue to sell Old Faithful Root Beer and Old Faithful Ginger Ale in Yellowstone Park General Stores.  Store officials feel that the Old Faithful brand provides a nice souvenir for tourists in the park. For 2012 and beyond, our goal is to establish “deep roots” in the states around the brewery, to develop customer loyalty to our brands and to expand our soda line to other states where we ship our beer.

Our sodas are delicious – just ask any one of the employees in the brewery! Plus, they make terrific soda floats on a hot summer day. When you drink a frosted mug of our famous Root Beer, “you’ll wish that summer could always be here.” (Nat King Cole, 1963)

Grand Teton Brewing wins two medals at World Beer Cup!

Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association, calls the World Beer Cup, “The Olympics of Beer Competition.”   799 breweries from 54 countries entered 3,921 beers into this year’s competition.  (That’s a lot of beer!)

This year’s competition was held in San Diego, CA and winners were announced on May 5th.  Beers were tasted and critiqued by 211 judges from 27 countries.  The judging panel consisted entirely of professional brewers and industry experts, two-thirds of these judges coming from outside the USA.  They were assisted by over 250 beer enthusiasts who stewarded the blind tasting competition.  For all this effort, only 284 medals were awarded over 95 categories.  To win at this level of competition is truly a world-class accomplishment.

Grand Teton Brewing is honored and proud to announce we took home two of these medals.  Pursuit of Hoppiness Imperial Red Ale won the Bronze Medal in the Imperial Red Ale Category.  From our renowned Cellar Reserve series, 5 O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager won the Bronze Medal in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category.  

We’ve always strived to brew the highest quality handcrafted beers without compromise.  This recognition gives affirmation that our dedication, values and passions are in the right place.

We raise our pints to our brew crew and all others who every day dedicate themselves to following their passions and doing the right thing.

Snarling Badger Berliner Weisse

Grand Teton Brewing Company is pleased to announce the release of Snarling Badger Berliner Weisse next month.  As part of our Cellar Reserve Series, we have been brewing bold, flavorful beers and serving them from large, beautiful bottles since March 2004. On May 15th, please welcome Snarling Badger to the 2012 Cellar Reserve Series.

We’ve always intended these beers to be wonderful when fresh but also to be “cellarable”–to improve with months or even years of proper storage.  Over the years we’ve been happiest cellaring our strong malty beers. That’s made selecting styles for our summer Cellar Reserves a challenge, since the best beers for cellaring are not always the best beers to enjoy on a hot summer’s day.

In Berliner Weisse we think we’ve found the perfect style for our summer Cellar Reserve.  This north German wheat beer is traditionally brewed and released very fresh. It has a light body from the wheat and refreshingly tart acidity that make it a perfect summer thirst-quencher.

Its lemony tartness is provided by a secondary fermentation withLactobacillus, the same microorganism that’s responsible for yogurt’s tang. That tartness increases and improves with age, so the people of Berlin are known to buy extra bottles to bury in their gardens for two years or more.

As usual with our Cellar Reserves, we’ve taken a traditional style and added our own twist. In this case we’ve tripled the strength over the traditional beer, which should  increase its aging potential. For the primary fermentation we used traditional Bavarian hefeweizen yeast that produces soft notes of banana and clove. We followed that with Lactobacillus and six months in conditioning to create a complex fruity acidity that compliments the soft sweet malt tones and a unique ale that is both fulfilling and refreshing.

This summer time ale perfectly compliments spicy salmon filets from the grill and can wash down your savory BBQ pork ribs with ease.  Enjoy with a fresh arugula salad or salty french fries with blue cheese dressing for dipping.  For dessert try, grilled pineapple drizzled with honey.

ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 15
Color: 5.9 Lov.
Original Gravity:  16.9

Truly a Great Beer

How does someone or something achieve greatness?  Does is take winning a competition or award?  I have a trophy in my closet for winning a Halloween costume contest some years ago.  It’s gathering dust and I don’t have any pretence that this defines me as a great make up artist and I’m absolutely certain no one else puts any stock into it either.

Winning every time?  Sports contests take place every day.  Bad teams win, good teams lose and even the very best players and teams don’t win every time.  Michael Jordan was quoted, “I’ve been given the winning shot 27 times and missed…”  No true basketball fan would question his greatness in the sport (baseball maybe).

How about being popular?  Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was one of the most popular winter Olympians of all time.  He was also the worst ski jumper in Olympic history.

So what does it take?

It seems that in any competitive field those that are considered great have a few commonalities.  They participate at the very highest level of competition available.  In these competitions, they consistently outperform their peers.  Recognition is given by the most critical authorities of that particular field.

In 2004, the first year of Bitch Creek’s production, Bitch Creek ESB won its first gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF).  The GABF is considered the largest, most prestigious beer competition in the western hemisphere.  Since its initial win, Bitch Creek ESB has won numerous medals at the GABF including another gold medal.  It has also won awards at the World Beer Cup, LA International Commercial Beer Competition, The US Open Beer Championships, North American Brewers Awards, World Beer Championships and the United States Beer Tasting Championships (USTBC).  No accredited beer critic is going to argue that these constitute the very highest level of beer competition.  Bitch Creek has not been entered into any other national level competitions.

No beer wins every competition and Bitch Creek is no exception.  However, it consistently wins awards, outperforming all of its competition.  This last month was a career milestone for Bitch Creek, earning its 10th time on top the podium when the USTBC announced Bitch Creek as their National Grand Champion in their brown ale category.   How many silvers and bronze medals?  Honestly, I’ve lost count.

What can we conclude from this?  Stated simply, Bitch Creek ESB is a truly great beer.

Tis the Season of Giving

Since its founding 23 years ago, Grand Teton Brewing Company (GTBC) has been aproud supporter of charitable causes in both Teton Valley, Idaho and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Our donations of beer, merchandise, employees’ time and even our facility have helped local non-profits raise money to enhance the well being of the people in our community.  As a company, we take pride in our community involvement.

For 2012, GTBC is again allocating funds from our budget to support charitable causes in the local area.  This budget is in addition to the cash donations we will make through the Tin Cup Challenge in 2012 via our popular Non-Profit Pub Nights early in the summer.  We are asking that you help us plan our giving year by applying for a donation well in advance of your event.

Click here for a link to out Donation Request form, which we ask you to complete and return to us by January 31, 2012.   All requests received by this date will be reviewed by a committee of brewery employees.  A large majority of our donation budget will be allocated based on this first round of requests.  We urge you to make your request early, even if you have not yet worked out all the details of your fundraising event.  We will award you a donation provisionally then ask you to contact us again four weeks prior to your event.

After the application deadline of January 31st, all later requests during 2012 will be considered on a case-by-case basis, only if given three weeks lead time and only if there are funds remaining in our donation budget.

New for 2012 is a Donation Information Sheet (included in our request form) listing our beers and sodas and showing your organization how you can increase your fundraising by selling our product.  We will give preference to those organizations that sell our beer and soda and leverage our donation to an even larger impact on the money they raise.

The GTBC Donations Committee will prioritize donation requests based on the following criteria:

  1. Return our donation request form by January 31
  2. A 501c3 non-profit organization located in Teton Valley, ID or Jackson, WY
  3. Sell our beer or soda at your event to maximize the money you raise
  4. GTBC will be the only brewery represented at your event
  5. Include GTBC in the publicity of your event (posters, ads, banners, etc.)

We look forward to helping your non-profit organization achieve success in 2012.  If you have any questions, please email Julie Levy at beermail@grandtetonbrewing.com.

Sincerely,

 Ellen Furbacher

Co Owner & Donations Committee Chair