Vacationers at Grand Teton Park that are looking for an afternoon activity should consider visiting the Grand Teton Brewery, just a half-hour drive west over the Idaho state line.
You can taste the micro-brewery’s high quality ales and lagers made from glacial water, filtered over 300-500 years by Teton Mountain granite and limestone before it surfaces at a spring a half mile from the brewery.
The Grand Teton Brewing Company is a 30 barrel brew house with 660 barrels of fermenting tanks in their cellar, allowing for both ale and lager production. They source their malting barley from the Teton Valley and hops from Southern Idaho before bottling and packaging all of their beer in-house.
Although there’s nothing terribly distinctive about this brewery, it is in a beautiful location and has solid, acceptable beers. You can enjoy samples outside on their veranda-like patio while looking out at the green rolling hills surrounding the brewery. The staff, locals and customers are very kind, welcoming and informative.
So, while there are no bells and whistles like you’ll find at some other microbreweries, you will find daily specials at an affordable price. Unfortunately, there is no food available there, but they do have a big popcorn machine inside the tasting area, and food trucks stop outside the brewery. While you are there, stop by their retail store where you can pick up some craft beer to go, as a well as a nice assortment of Grand Teton Brewing Co. t-shirts and gear.
The Grand Teton Brewing was originally named The Otto Brothers’ Brewing Company, and was founded in 1988 by Charlie and Ernie Otto as the first modern “micro” brewery in the state of Wyoming. The brothers were of German-Austrian descent and decided to build a small brewhouse in Wilson, Wyoming after securing the first malt beverage manufacturers’ permit issued in the state in 35 years. The Otto brothers presented their flagship amber “Teton Ale” to local draught establishments in 1989. “Old Faithful Ale” and “Moose Juice Stout” brews soon followed.
In 1989, the brothers discovered a long forgotten container, a European lidded tin-pail known as a “growler” and reintroduced it in a modern, 64-ounce glass jug version. “Growlers” are now sold at breweries throughout the nation. Otto Brothers’ Brewing Company enjoys the credit for having recreated this novel and environmentally-friendly idea.
In 2000, the brewery’s named changed to The Grand Teton Brewing Co., and in 2009, Charlie sold the brewery to Steve and Ellen Furbacher. Since that time, the Furbachers have made significant changes to the brewery including adding brewing equipment which enabled them to increase production and distribution throughout the United States.