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.

Vail Big Beers Festival 2012

This year we sent three representatives down to the Vail Big Beers Festival where we pulled out some rare bottles of Sheep Eater Scotch Ale.  Check out the photos below.

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Butternut Sweetgrass Soup

I have been making this soup every fall (about four times a season) for the past three years and every time I make it a little different.  In fact I am notorious for not following the recipe. So this time I decided to add a little beer to the pot.  My key ingredients are always curry, chili and sherry vinegar.  Combined with the buttery squash and cream these flavors shine.  So have fun with this one and feel free to stray…

1 large (2 med) butternut squash
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 fresno chili
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1 bottle of Sweetgrass APA
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tblsp butter
sherry vinegar to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash in half and remove seeds with spoon.  Rub BOTH outside and insides with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Set halves face down on baking sheet and bake for 45 min to 1 hour, until pokes soft with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large stock pot (or crock pot) combine onions, carrots, garlic and spices (including generous pinches of salt and pepper).  Cover with apple juice, water and beer and slow cook on med/low heat for 2 hours (or until vegetables are tender) and liquid has reduced by1/3.

Add roasted squash without skin.  With hand blender puree with milk, cream and butter.  Add tablespoons of sherry vinegar to taste.  As well as s&p.

Garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup and crushed pecans, or thinly diced chives and olive oil.  Serve with a glass of APA
(at the risk of sounded redundant this month) pair with a glass of Coming Home 2011.  The sweetness of this beer balances the spice of the soup the same way the hoppy APA does.


Julie Levy

Spokane Beer Dinner


The Flying Goat
and Grand Teton Brewing
Beer Dinner
Sunday November 6th at 6pm

First Course

Seared Arctic Char with bacon lentils, roasted leeks
and a honey white grapefruit reduction.
Paired with Sweetgrass APA ABV 6% – IBU 60

Second Course

Pumpkin Bisque with spiced candied ginger and a shallot chip.
Paired with The Grand Saison ABV 7.5% – IBU 32

Third Course

Goose Terrine with sage and maple syrup sausage,
spaghetti squash and apricot jelly.
Paired with Pursit of Hoppiness Imperial Red ABV 8.5% – IBU 100

Fourth Course

Elk Osso Buco with a Gremolata, finished with a cranberry demi-glace, served with creamed root vegetables and chanterelle mushrooms.
Paired with Bitch Creek ESB ABV 6% – IBU 54

Fifth Course

Boca Negra dark chocolate indulgent cake served
with a white chocolate whiskey sauce.
Paired with Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter ABV 7.5% – IBU 40

Beer + Cheese = Love

Julie Levy

I have to say that my love of beer originally sprang from my true, deep, passionate, and obsessive love of food.  In fact it was the sublime pairing of a 1998 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale with the nutty sweetness of a sticky toffee pudding, a traditional English dessert, that changed my life forever.  It was then that I began to appreciate the subtleties in aroma and flavor in beer, something I have always loved about the culinary arts.

For me, cheese and beer go hand in hand.  Both are centuries-old artisanal crafts that  require patience, skill, and love to cultivate.  Dependent on natural resources, both beer and cheese are subject to unique seasonal variations.   Like moths to a flame, cheese and beer connoisseurs alike are drawn to these variations and find it only natural to unite the two.

Lucky for us here in the Teton Valley we have a few great artisan creameries to choose from.  For our most recent tasting we asked Kris Malling of Teton Valley Creamery, located in Driggs, Idaho, for a few samples of cheese to try with our beers.  He introduced us to their Haystack Havarti, Yellowstone (a Fontina inspired cheese) and Sapphire Blue.

We successfully coupled the nutty Yellowstone with our Sweetgrass APA.  They each brought out the sweetness in the other.  The Havarti style Haystack, a milder and creamier version of the Yellowstone, was more difficult to pair.  The Bitch Creek pulled through in the end complimenting the tanginess of the cheese with its piney finish.

Our favorite pairing, however, was the Sapphire Blue with the Black Cauldron Imperial Stout.  The malty richness of the beer complimented the bold blue flavors of the cheese.  Thus creating a beautiful synergy between the two that kept you wanting more.  This was the ideal situation, in my opinion, when it comes to pairing beer with food.

Here are some great beer and cheese pairing tips.

  • Match Textures.  Soft and chalky cheeses, like feta and a mild goat, pair well with the mouth feel of wheat beers.
  • Big Beers go with Big Cheeses.  Like a stout and a blue!  Or a sweet hoppy beer with a pungent washed rind cheese like Kings Peak from Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery out of Eden, Utah and the sweet and smooth Alt-itude from Wildlife Brewing (Victor, Idaho).
  • Pair Regionally.  Have you ever tasted Chimay beer with Chimay cheese?  Neither have I, but it has got to be delicious.  Same goes for English Cheddars and English Ales.

Oh, how rewarding it is to pair a local craft product with another.  Just one more reason we love living, brewing and eating in the Teton Valley.  Watch this space for more beer tastings, pairings and recipes.


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