by Rob Mullin
Those of us lucky enough to live in the Tetons have always known how great it is to work and play here. Some of us have known for a long time that this is also a fantastic place to craft beer. Now we’re coming to understand that Teton Valley, Idaho really is The Best Place on Earth to Craft Beer.
Unlike much of the Mountain West, Teton Valley is blessed with abundant water, the result of massive annual snowpack and millennia-old glaciers. The water we use to brew our beers is pristine glacial run-off filtered over hundreds of years through Teton Mountain granite and limestone before it bubbles to the surface at a spring just down the road from the brewery. It is the best tasting water we’ve tried, pure, clean, and perfect mineral and ph balance for brewing.
We like our water so much that we refuse to treat it. Many breweries filter their water. Some remove all minerals-and flavor-through reverse osmosis, then add back the minerals they desire for brewing. Over the past decade we have strived to create the best beers we can with our Teton Mountain Spring water, and have gravitated toward styles that are enhanced by our unique and flavorful Teton mountain spring water.
Of all the great old brewing capitols, Munich is probably the city whose water most closely resembles ours. Like Munich’s, our water lends itself to producing bold, more malty beers. We think our water is largely responsible for the wonderful balance exhibited by our brews. Even our hoppiest ales-Lost Continent Double IPA and Pursuit of Hoppiness Imperial Red-are often praised for their drinkability and malt “backbone.”
After water, malt is the biggest ingredient in beer by weight. The farmers of Eastern Idaho-and Teton Valley in particular-are widely recognized as growing some of the best malting barley in the world. Our well-drained, volcanic soil and cool, dry summers are ideal for growing barley. All of our base malt is grown in Eastern Idaho and processed in Pocatello, a short drive from the brewery.
Finally, we are also fortunate to be close to some of the best hop fields in the world. Until recently the Idaho hop farmers were contracted to sell most, if not all, of their crop to the world’s biggest U.S. brewery. Changes at that brewery now mean that Idaho hops are available to us. Our initial batches brewed with Idaho hops have blown us away with their flavor and overall quality. Last month our brewers visited with three of the four Southern Idaho hop farmers (see related article here.) We were very much impressed with the farmers’ operations, and value the relationships we’re building with our new grower partners. This month our brewers will return to the hop farms to observe the harvest and bring fresh hops back to the brewery for our first-ever “wet hop” ale. Watch this space for more information.
Beautiful mountains, fresh mountain streams, wonderful water and some of the best barley and hops anywhere. No wonder we’re proud to call Teton Valley, Idaho The Best Place on Earth to Craft Beer!