In the Beginning…

Grand Teton Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by Charlie and Ernie Otto as Otto Brothers’ Brewing Company.  It was the first modern “micro” brewery in the state of Wyoming. After returning from a ski and bike trip in Germany Charlie started brewing beer and experimenting with popular recipes in the kitchen of his historic log cabin at the base of Teton Pass in Wilson, Wyoming.

In the beginning the brothers scoured old brew houses and dairy farms for equipment. Their first fermentation tank was a stainless steel dairy bulk tank.  It wasn’t long before his home was overrun with friends stopping by to “sample” their beer.  The high demand led Charlie to send their friends home with a questionnaire.  Which beers do you like, and don’t like, and why?  The overwhelming positive feedback prompted Charlie, at the time an environmental educator for handicapped children, to travel to UC Davis were he took classes in Brewing Science.

In 1988 they founded Otto Brother’s’ Brewing out of a newly built shed in their back yard.  They launched Teton Ale as their flagship beer.  Soon to follow was Old Faithful Ale and Moose Juice Stout (retired).

In 1989 their father told them about a pre-prohibition container called a growler. The New England lidded tin pail was refillable at the local pub or bar by the consumer.  Charlie wanted to reintroduce the growler in a modern way and so came up with the 64oz glass jug still used by breweries today.  Through letter campaigns and ardent communication with legislature the brothers succeeded in legalizing the brewpub in Wyoming in 1992.  Thus allowing Otto Brother’s Brewing to sell beer directly to consumers from their brewery and prompting Charlie to move out of the cabin and convert it into a retail space and tasting room.  Shortly after they set up a six head hand bottling line for silk screen 22 oz. bottles.

In the spring of 1998 ground was broken on a new brewery on the other side of Teton Pass in Victor, ID.  Two years later they changed their name to Grand Teton Brewing Company.

Today Grand Teton Brewing Company is known for their renowned Cellar Reserve program.  The Cellar Reserve series of beers are unique, different even from other craft beers. They are brewed with specialty hops and malts and unique strains of yeast. Most ales and lagers are produced in 2-4 weeks. However, 3 to 8 months are spent on each of the Cellar Reserve specialty brews. They are also bottle and keg-conditioned, which produces natural carbonation that will blend and smooth the flavors with age. These beers have a long shelf life and don’t need to be rapidly consumed. Proper aging of these bottles creates beers to be cherished in the years to come.

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5 O’Clock Shadow Press Release

February 1, 2012 5 O’Clock Shadow will be the newest release of the renowned Cellar Reserve series from Grand Teton Brewing Company.

VICTOR, ID – Grand Teton Brewing Company, known throughout the West for their exceptional craft brews, announces the release of 5 O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager, the newest of their Cellar Reserve series.  Join them Wednesday February 1st at their pub for the inaugural tapping of the first keg at none other than 5 o’clock.

5 O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager is brewed in the German Schwarzbier (black beer) tradition. Schwarzbier is to lager what stout or porter is to ale. Like those dark British beers, Schwarzbier has long been considered nourishing and even curative. German doctors often recommend Schwarzbier for nursing mothers. Our Brewmaster, born in Munich, was the beneficiary of just such advice.

We have taken the traditional Schwarzbier, intended to be a “session beer” with typically moderate alcohol, and almost doubled its strength to 7.6% alcohol by volume. We brewed our version with a fine balance of crystal and roasted malts and spiced it with noble hops. We fermented 5 O’Clock Shadow at cold temperatures with a select German lager yeast and cold-conditioned it for over four months to create a velvety smooth, easy-drinking springtime brew.

The 5’OClock Shadow marks the first ever black and white label from Grand Teton Brewing Company designed by our very own Kathleen Hanson.  It is complete with its own QR code directing consumers to a homemade video about the brew.

This German lager pours a deep brown, almost black color with ruby highlights. It has soft dark chocolate notes with hints of caramel and a light roasty finish.

5 O’Clock Shadow pairs nicely with hearty, spicy foods. Try it with barbecued, roasted or blackened meats and sausages. Steaks and burgers, especially charred, will taste great. A cheese of choice might be a fine Munster or even a buttery, well-aged cheese like Gouda. For dessert we suggest a raspberry tart or ginger pear cake.

Original Gravity:  18˚
International Bitterness Units: 38
Alcohol by Volume: 7.6%
Color (Lovibond): 40˚

Grand Teton Brewing Company was founded in 1988 as the first modern “micro” brewery in the state of Wyoming. Today, Grand Teton Brewing Company is in the Brewer’s Association’s “Top 100 Craft Breweries in North America.”  Their premium microbrews include the 9x gold-medal-winning Bitch Creek ESB, the 2009 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner (American Pale Ale) Sweetgrass APA and the favorites of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks; Old Faithful Ale (pale golden), Howling Wolf Weisse Bier (hefeweizen) and Teton Ale (amber.)  From their production facility in Victor, Idaho, Grand Teton Brewing Company beers are hand-crafted from only the finest ingredients, including locally-grown grains and pure Teton mountain spring water.  Grand Teton Brewing Company is a green company utilizing environmentally conscious and sustainable practices whenever possible.  Grand Teton Brewing Company is also the inventor of the modern glass growler, which is estimated to save over one billion bottles and cans from entering the ecosystem every year.  Discriminating beer drinkers can find their favorite Grand Teton Brewing Company brews on tap and in bottles throughout California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Contact: Julie Levy, Communications Manager