Best Place on Earth to Craft Beer
|GTBC file photo
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!
Best Place on Earth to Craft Beer
Reason Number Two: Fantastic Idaho Hop Growers
|Grand Teton Brewing Company's Brewmaster Rob Mullin (left), Nate Jackson and Grand Teton brewer Chaz Hansen (right) at the Gooding Farm.
E arly August is a good time to visit with hop growers. The vines are tall and strong, the machines are buffed and ready, but harvest is still a month or so away. A group of Grand Teton Brewing Company’s brewers benefited from the growers’ hospitality during this “slower” season the first weekend in August. Brewmaster Rob Mullin, Head Brewer Kevin Bolen, Brewer Chaz Hansen and Brewer Trainee AnnaLisa Gardiner made the scenic drive through the lava fields of Craters of the Moon National Monument to Parma, Idaho to meet with our local grower partners. Read more...
Bio: Owners Steve and Ellen Furbacher
Grand Teton Brewing Company owners (from left to right) Steve and Ellen, with son Chris, daughter Jackie and son Stephen, 2011.
Running a successful brewery isn't as easy as your average beer drinker might think. We'll let you in on a little secret... you only need two things: good beer and good people. Not enough of one and you end up with your old pappy's homebrew, or not enough of the other and you get something high in "drinkability" but low in soul. So, repeat after me...step one, be good people. Step two, make good beer. Step three, (optional but highly recommended) do it all in an amazing place. Steve and Ellen Furbacher, owners of Grand Teton Brewing Company, have followed these steps with great success, although not necessarily in that order. It was the place that brought the great people to brew the tasty beer. And in the two years since they bought the business from Charlie Otto we have quickly come to learn how lucky we are to have them in Teton Valley. It is time to share exactly why you should feel just as lucky as we do. Read more...
Click here for more photos of Steve and Ellen Furbacher and the brewery.
How Old is Your Beer?
Have youever opened a bottle of your favorite beer and it just didn't taste right? What did you blame it on? Did you think you just got a bad bottle? A batch of beer that wasn't up to par? Your hangover? Maybe the beer didn't match up with something you had eaten recently? Realistically, it was something much more simple. By any chance did you check the date code?
Every year, we receive several consumer complaints about product quality. Almost exclusively, it's another case of out-dated beer (usually WAY out-of-date!) Great efforts are taken to keep our products fresh in all our markets, but inevitably some old product slips through the cracks or simply hangs in someone's garage for too long. Our signature beers should be consumed within the first 4 months after being bottled or kegged. We do design beers that are meant to be cellared and aged, but those beers are usually confined to our Cellar Reserve Series. Read more...
Quality Control Manager
The shut down last winter definitely paid off from a quality standpoint. As part of our physical plant improvement project we installed a "newer" generation Meyer bottle filler. This version has several technological updates over our old machine. As a result, we are starting to see huge improvements in packaging quality, which translates into better quality beer for consumers!
You might have noticed that our bottle fill levels are much more even than they were in the past, with many fewer "low-fill" and "high-fill" bottles. Most importantly, the new filler runs consistently, without many starts and stops. That allows our filler operator to "dial in" the parts of the filler that purge the air from the bottle prior to filling and then again just before the crowns are applied. More consistent purging means less air in each bottle, which should lead to crisper, fresher-tasting beer. Read more...
4pm | October 8th | Kotler Arena, Victor, ID
Featuring live music by BC/DC!
Oktoberfest, a benefit for Teton Valley Foundation, is thrown by Grand Teton Brewing Company and celebrates the art of beer and brewer's culture.
For this first time ever, this year's Oktoberfest Celebration will be held at Kotler Arena to culminate the first day of competition in Victor Velo two-day MooseCross race. Registration in the Moose Cross gets you free admission to the party! Register today for a discounted fee!
In addition to the annual release of our Fest Bier Märzen Lager this year's fundraiser will feature great live music, kids activities, spirited Oktoberfest competitions, and brewery tours. Beers and brats will be available for sale.
2011 Calendar of Events
September 17 - California Brewer's Festival, Sacramento CA
September 17 - California Beer Festival, Ventura CA
September 19 - Beer night at Old Chicago Topeka, Kansas.
September 19 - GTBC night at Pete's Brass Rail, Danville CA
September 19 - National Talk Like a Pirate Day, National
Sepember 19-20 - Boise Beer Bus, Boise to Victor ID
September 23 - Morris Dist. BCIS/WIMP kick-off Poker Tourney, Petaluma CA
September 24 - Santa Monica Beer Festival, Santa Monica Beach CA
September 25 - Harvest Festival, Jackson WY
September 29 - GTBC night at Harry's Hofbrau, San Jose CA
September 29 - October 1 - Great American Beer Festival, Denver CO
September 30 - Hamilton's "Firkin Friday" event featuring GTBC and Big Sky Brewing Co., San Diego CA
October 1 - GTBC night at Monkey Paw, San Diego CA
October 8 - Oktoberfest, Victor ID
2011 Beer Release Schedule
Fest Bier Marzen Lager (Brewers' Series) - August 15st
Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter (Cellar Reserve) - September 1st
Black Cauldron Imperial Stout (Brewers' Series) - October 1st
Coming Home Holiday Ale (Cellar Reserve) - November 1st
Beer history... Will Work for Beer
At one time or another we've all seen either a t-shirt or college student holding up a sign, "Will work for Beer". They probably thought it clever and witty, yet there was a time when this was a necessity of life. In the age of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, the builders of pyramids were paid in (you guessed it) beer! They received about two gallons of beer per day for their efforts and drank it through a complex siphon tube filled with straw to filter out the grain husks still present. It was such a part of life that archeologists have often found beer jars buried in the graves of workers. Hieroglyphic records show that it took approximately 230 million gallons of beer to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt's largest pyramid.
For more information on ancient Egyptian beer lore, check out the following websites:
Ancient Egypt Online