New Image for Sweetgrass
by Chuck Nowicki
Sweetgrass won its first Gold Medal at the GABF in the American Pale Ale (APA) category last September. It was the first time we entered it in the APA category and we won against 107 other entries. Sweetgrass has a great local following and is the favorite session beer of all the brewery employees. Styles have shifted over the years and American Pale Ales are more flavorful and hoppy than ever before. They are now closer to classic India Pale Ales (IPAs). IPAs have become stronger and more massively hopped. It became obvious that we needed to make a change: either we change the recipe of our favorite beer that has stood for over seven years or re-brand Sweetgrass to reflect more accurately where it stands in current style trends.
What did we do?
We are pleased to announce that starting this April, Sweetgrass will don a new image and be re-branded as Sweetgrass American Pale Ale (APA). The new image features hop vines and cones highlighted against a night sky adorned with barley stars. The new label and package is captivating to any beer and hop lover.
You didn't really think we would change the recipe for Sweetgrass, did you?
Sales are up 65%!
by Chuck Nowicki
It has been a rough market all the way around but Grand Teton Brewing is bucking the trend. Shipments have increased 65% over the last three months! Did we hire new distributors or expand our region? Actually, we increased our market penetration and sales in existing markets. We pound the pavement and actively engage our customers through tastings, promotions and beer dinners to create demand. We work with on and off premise accounts in order to educate them on our brands, gain distribution points and schedule events. We visit our distributors and communicate frequently to teach brand awareness, educate and gain mindshare. Here at Grand Teton Brewing, we strive to make the very best brews anywhere. We taste our beers daily. We taste our competitor's beers. We work overtime. We like to think that passion doesn't punch a clock. This pride and effort is reflected in our beer and people are noticing.
GTBC Revamps Charitable Giving Program
by Rob Mullin
Throughout our history, GTBC has generously donated our beer, our employees' time, and our brewery space to help local non-profits raise money. New owners Ellen and Steve Furbacher are committed to continuing and expanding our giving program. In order to spread the brewery's donations to as many local non-profit organizations as possible, a new committee of brewery employees will review all donation requests. Highest priority will be given to 501c3 charities, primarily working in Teton Valley and Jackson Hole, who will sell GTBC's beer or soda to raise funds for their organization. All local non-profits are invited to apply for fundraising assistance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In addition to this donations program, GTBC will again host its popular series of Pub Non-Profit Nights leading up to the Tin Cup Challenge in early summer.
Charitable organizations from outside of Teton Valley and Jackson Hole are also encouraged to request donations, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact email@example.com to discuss donations for fundraisers outside our local area or other sponsorship opportunities.
by Cate Roscoe
When I tell people I am the quality control manager at Grand Teton Brewing Co., it is almost always immediately followed by a joke about how "you'd better taste this beer just to make sure it's good." After a good laugh, I try to keep a straight face as I explain that tasting is actually a very important part of the job. In addition to plating samples, monitoring and improving bottling practices and analyzing data from the brewing process, at Grand Teton Brewing Co. we do daily tastings, and we take it very seriously.
Our tastings are done several ways and for several important reasons which includes "making sure the beer is good." However "good" is only one way to measure quality. Consistency is another important measure. To test for consistency we do blind tests where tasters sample beer from different batches. Using red glasses to hide any visual differences, beer from one batch is poured into two glasses, while beer from another batch is poured into a third. Tasters then attempt to determine which beer is from the different batch. If things are going well, they can't identify the difference.
We also use this tasting method to find differences in beer of different ages and beer stored at different temperatures. Tasting beer stored at warmer temperatures is particularly important in identifying problems before they would normally occur and determining if any reported problems are related to improper storage or delayed distribution, as opposed to brewing problems.
Tasting is also done proactively at various stages in the brewing process prior to bottling. With help from the brewers we taste the beer while in the fermenter so changes can be made if necessary. Beer is also tasted in the bright tanks before it is approved for bottling. At these points the beer is evaluated for appearance, head, aroma and taste. Beers from these stages also occasionally make it into the differential "blind" tests.
In addition to tasting "experiments" to monitor and avoid problems, tastings are done on our cellar reserve line. When we taste the cellar reserves we use clear glasses and tasters comment on look, aroma and taste. These comments are recorded and put into our cellar reserve log. These tastings will appear in the new GTBC Cellar Blog, which will help purchasers determine which beer is right for them, and when any beers they may have in their cellars are at their best.
Not all breweries take the time to do daily tastings, but they are an important part of how we make such great beer. It can be a tough job, but somehow we manage!
Soda Line Expansion
by Chuck Nowicki
Already known for award-winning Old Faithful Root Beer, Grand Teton Brewing Co. will be expanding our soda line this May. Adding to the Old Faithful soda line, we will soon be offering Old Faithful Ginger Beer, Old Faithful Black Cherry Soda and Old Faithful Cream Soda. All four sodas will have new eye-catching artwork and will be available in 4-pack carriers. For information or samples, please contact the Grand Teton Brewing Sales Department.
Sheep Eater Launch Re-cap
by Pete Mervis
The release of the Sheep Eater Scotch Ale at Grand Teton's Pub was a hit. Live music, shepherds pie, bacon infused beer and the Burning of the Clavie were highlights of the party. Victor's local bluegrass band The Random Canyon Growlers kicked off the evening with their foot-stompin' tunes. Our Scotch Ale was served cold on tap and Cellar Master Reid Stratton created a tasty bacon infused version that was served off the hand pump. The clinking of glasses and happy beer enthusiasts set the night ablaze with the Burning of the Clavie, a traditional hedonistic Scottish practice. Don't miss the next release party for the 2010 Lost Continent Double IPA on Friday, March 26th!
With the support from the Grand Targhee Ski Resort, Grand Teton Brewing Co. ran a promotional Sweepstakes for a ski vacation package during November. The package included lift passes and ski in/ski out accommodations for two people at Grand Targhee, one of best powder skiing resorts anywhere. We are proud to announce our winners: Tyler Frazee of Columbia, Missouri and our corresponding distribution partner winner: Marcie Davenport of Missouri Beverage. Congratulations to our winners!
Calendar of Events
Wednesday February 17th: Big Beer Promotion at the Front Door in Boise, ID featuring Pursuit of Hoppiness, Sheepeater Scotch Ale, Oak Aged Lost Continent & Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Vision Doppelbock.
Saturday February 20th: Belmont Station in Portland, OR featuring Bitch Creek, Sweetgrass, Au Naturale, and Black Cauldron Imperial Stout. Festivities 5 - 8 PM.
Monday February 22nd: Pete's Brass Rail in Danville, CA featuring Bitch Creek, Oak Aged Lost Continent, Sheep Eater Scotch Ale, Black Cauldron & Whisky Black Cauldron. Festivities 5 PM until "M.J. Bar the Door".
Friday February 26th: Firkin Friday at Hamilton's in San Diego, CA featuring Bitch Creek on cask, Bitch Creek, Sweetgrass, Oak Aged Lost Continent, Black Cauldron & Whisky Black Cauldron on tap.
Saturday February 27th: Spokane Brewfest in Spokane, WA
Friday March 5th: Targhee Animal Shelter Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser at Grand Teton Brewing Co. in Victor, ID. 5:30-8:30 PM.
Wednesday March 10th: Brewer's Dinner at the Cadillac Grille in Jackson Hole, WY led by special guest Brewmaster Rob Mullin.
Saturday March 13th: 70's vs. 80's Dance Party at the Grand Teton Brewing Co. in Victor, ID. Party starts at 6:00pm, proceeds to benefit the Teton Arts Council.
Monday March 15th: Barclay's Pub in Oakland, CA featuring Sweetgrass APA, Pursuit of Hoppiness American Red Ale, Whisky Double Vision Doppelbock, Oak Aged Lost Continent & Black Cauldron Imperial Stout. Festivities 5 PM until they call a dozen cabs.
Wednesday March 17th: Rio Nido Roadhouse in Santa Rosa, CA featuring Bitch Creek on tap. Festivities 5 PM until the Russian River overflows her banks.
Friday March 26th: Launch Party for the 2010 Lost Continent at Grand Teton Brewing Co. Brewpub in Victor, ID. Be the first to taste this year's Lost Continent Double IPA. Get Lost!
Thursday April 1st (April Fools Day!): Bilko's Billiard's in Napa, CA featuring Pursuit of Hoppiness American Red Ale. Festivities 5 to 8 PM & again until the local band burns out!
Saturday April 3rd: Breckenridge Spring Beer Festival in Breckenridge, CO
Saturday & Sunday, May 1st & 2nd: MicrobrewFest in St. Louis, MO
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding the bride's father would supply his son-in law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is made from fermented honey, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month", or what we know today as the "honeymoon".