History of Gose

Gose was brewed at least as early as the year 1000 in Goslar, Lower Saxony, Germany. Emperor Otto III ruled Germany from 983 to 1002 and praised the Goslar beer, which was named after the River Gose that joins the Abzucht just southwest of the Old Town. The area was known for its mines, including salt mines. Some salt naturally made its way into groundwater used for brewing. Medieval alchemists spoke of the health effects of white Goslar salt, which they called “blanc de Goslar.”

GOSE 2016

Grand Teton Brewing brewers created their own version of Gose. Our version uses Teton Mountain glacial runoff – clean, pure and slightly sweet. We’ve added Yellowstone Salt, naturally produced and hand-harvested from Salt Creek just outside the National Park. The salt provides a pleasant saltiness and rounded mouthfeel, while accentuating the other flavors in the beer and complementing most accompanying foods.


Some Beer History

Our brewmaster Rob Mullin researched colonial brewing and the history of pumpkin beers many years ago. He received this very informative reply from Bly Straube, the curator at Jamestown Rediscovery. Cheers!

As early as 1609, the Virginia Company of London is advertising for brewers to go to Virginia. In 1623, they recommend that all new colonists bring a supply of malt so they can brew their own beer “thus making it unnecessary to drink the water of Virginia until the body had become hardened to the climate.” The general consensus held by many at the time was that one of the principal causes of the high mortality rate was that the colonists had no beer to drink. Instead they had to consume water which was often filthy and brackish. Back home in England, the colonists were not accustomed to drinking water. The principal drink was ale or beer, which was consumed by men, women, and children at all times of the day. The children would drink “small beer” which was not as strong. John Smith, writing in 1629, says that the Jamestown colonists “have two brew-houses, but they finde the Indian corne so much better than ours, they beginne to leave sowing it.” In their words, the Jamestown colonists found that corn made a better beer than the wheat they were bringing from England. For drinke, some malt the Indian corne, others barley, of which they make good Ale, both strong and small, and such plentie thereof few of the upper Planters drinke any water: but the better sort are well furnished with Sacke, Aquavitae, and good English Beere (John Smith 1625). A lot of the colonists were brewing their own beer, which led to the consumption of large quantities of corn that were needed for foodstuffs. In 1620/21 a law was passed that no private person should “brewe anie beere or ale.” The beer/ale was to be produced by the Common Brewer.

The value of beer appears to have increased through the 17th century in Virginia. In 1639 it commanded 12 pence a gallon and in 1671 it was worth twice as much at 2 shillings a gallon. According to Virginian Robert Beverly, writing in the early 18th century, the poorest class of people had many substitutions for the expensive malt. They used dried Indian corn, green corn stalks, bran, molasses, persimmons, potatoes, pumpkins, etc.

Structure 110 on Jamestown Island has 3 brick fireboxes and is believed to have been a brewhouse. According to the achaeologist who did the work in the 1950s, John Cotter, the artifacts date the structure to ca.1630-50.

Happy Brew Year!

Greetings my friends.

Happy New Year from us all at Grand Teton Brewing.

We had a wonderful year in 2014. We brewed some great beers, won some awards, started to develop a new year round beer; an IPA! (You can read more about that in this month’s edition of Idaho Brew Magazine), and we managed to triple the size of our wood barrel program.

So 2014 has come and gone, what is next for the GT Brew Crew? Well I will tell you.

We started off 2015 right by bottling a small run of this spring’s Cellar Reserve; 5 O’Clock Shadow Double Black Lager. Delicious. Look for that on shelves mid-February (I’ll post more about that beer as we get ready to release it). We also brewed our 4th version of Grand Teton IPA. IPA #2 has gotten some great reviews, but it is almost done, so be sure to swing by the pub for IPA #3 early next week which features all Idaho ingredients and some fun new Hops. One beer that I am particularly excited to drink is this summer’s Cellar Reserve: The Sour Grand Saison. I’ve got big plans for this beer but right now we are fermenting part 1 of a three part brew. The first part is an all Brettanomyces fermentation. It is going to be delicious.

As I mentioned above, we tripled our Wood Aging program. I brought in some Rum barrels, and a lot more wine barrels. I want to dedicate a post entirely to the wood program and where it is heading this year, so I won’t spoil anything here so stay tuned!

Just a little teaser update for you all, stay tuned for more!

Until then, Happy Drinking!

The many faces of Splashdown

Salutations my Friends!

It may be December, but here in Teton Valley, we are seeing temperatures in the high 30s and even the low 40s! With these warm temperatures, I have been enjoying one of our summer offerings in the Cellar Reserve Series (CRS): Splashdown Belgian Golden. Normally during this time of year I like to sip on our award winning Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) or Black Cauldron, our big, roasty, smokey and chocolate like Imperial Stout. I guess you could say I like to drink to the season; lighter more quaffable, effervescent and generally more pale beer while it is warm, and darker beers for that warming sensation in the winter.

Recently I was able to enjoy a Splashdown Belgian Golden, our summer CRS for 2014. Overall, this beer is cellaring well and I highly recommend moving it somewhere cold, like a dark basement, closet, or better yet, a refrigerator. Wonderful aromatic esters like pineapple, red apple, pear and peach are quite noticeable on the nose. The alcohol flavors that were previously noticeable while the beer was fresh have really subsided allowing the malt flavors and belgian candi sugars to shine.

What would I do? I would drink this beer soon and pair it with a wonderful dinner. I fear that it may have peaked and that it will begin to become cloyingly sweet or that the Belgian esters that are so wonderful now will begin to change. If you have many stashed away, start to store them cold ASAP. I know I will be holding onto a few bottles out of curiosity, eager to see how the beer continues to transform. Pair this beer with pasta, heavy with olive oil, garlic and maybe lightly seasoned chicken or fresh seafood (clams or shrimp). This may be a great time to break out that pesto you made this fall from fresh basil. To truly highlight the beer, whatever pasta you chose to make, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it.

One of my favorite projects I have the great fortune to work on at Grand Teton is our barrel aging program. Right now at the brewery we employ a wide variety of different types of oak barrels (American, French or Hungarian) at various toast levels that all held various liquids at some point or another. My favorite type of barrel to use are the medium toast oak barrels that once held red wines. I decided to put a lot of Splashdown into some freshly emptied red wine barrels and the result was incredible.barrels

If you have had the original non barrel aged Splashdown, you will not believe that this is the same beer. I only let Splashdown sit in the wood for 6 weeks. Right out of the gate, I noticed how the color had changed, it has taken on a slightly orange hue and some haze. It is quite evident that this beer spent some time in oak and I can get that simply from the aromas alone. All of the wonderful fruity and candy like aromas have dissipated and have been replaced by dark fruit and caramel. Some bitterness as well as tangy notes are new. This beer is extremely quenching and I have really been enjoying it.

Right now Barrel Aged Splashdown is only available on draft in our pub. It may make some trips to some of our markets in the near future so stay tuned! If you’re in and around Victor, be sure to stop in to try out this beer, you don’t want to miss it!

That is all for now folks! I hope everyone has a great week.

Until then, Happy Drinking!


It is about time….

Hello All!

My name is Max Shafer and I am the Cellar Master at Grand Teton Brewing.

It is about time, and I apologize for the delay, in getting some up to date posts!

What I hope to do in these posts is to give everyone my opinions and insight on our beers. I will mainly focus on the Cellar Reserve Series beers, but as our seasonal beers are released, I may update everyone on those as well.

A quick thought on the Cellar Reserve Series (CRS) beers: I always recommend purchasing at least 2 of these bottles, and no, it is not just because I want you to buy our beer, but because you have chosen to buy our beer and I want to set you up for success and a great beer drinking experience with a Grand Teton Brewing beer. When we design our CRS beers, we are thinking about the future and how the beer will age. Purchasing two allows you to experience the beer fresh and aged and it can be quite fun to compare notes between tastings (suggestion: write them down and tape them to the bottle you are planning to cellar). We tend to avoid big hoppy beers in this series because hops do not age well. Many of these beers will feature big malty beers, sweet beers, beers with a lot of alcohol, and my personal favorite, sour beers. When you purchase our CRS beers, I recommend storing it like you would store a fine bottle of wine- between 44 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid sunny places. You don’t need to lay our bottles on their side, but if you chose to, it won’t hurt. You could also cellar them cold.

We have so many wonderful beers floating around out there these days and it would be hard for me to give updates on them all so I am going to give my recommendations and updates surrounding some of the most recent beers we have produced.

I want to start off with our most recent release (and its little brother from last year)- Coming Home 2014: Belgian Quadrupel and Coming Home 2013: Belgian Dubbel

Coming Home 2014
The 2014 went quickly here at the brewery (only a handful of cases remain) and there are very few bottles still floating around out in our markets. This beer is a big 10% Belgian Quadrupel (Quad). It still has some residual sugars making it fairly sweet. I like that, because the remaining maltose sugars will allow the beer to age very well. Right now, this beer reminds me of the holidays. I suggest pairing it with a red meat, roasted vegetables and a spiced pie, pumpkin or apple will do. When you serve this beer, pour it into a tulip shaped glass, snifter or wine glass. Serve it cold, fresh out of the fridge and savor every sip allowing it to rise to the upper cellar temperature (50-55F). As this beer warms, you may begin to notice the fig, raisin and carmel flavors will begin to become more assertive and on the front of your palette.

What would I do? If you have a few, drink one now and save the others for as long as you can withstand. If you only have one; save it! This beer is only going to grow with age and develop into a wonderful beer so I would personally put it away and revisit it next fall or winter.

Coming Home 2013

This Belgian Dubbel has been aging for you at our brewery so I recommend picking some up now (we still have some bottles available in our pub). A slightly lower ABV on this beer then the current Coming Home and slightly lighter in color. This beer has also aged well in the bottle and I can only imagine it will continue to age well (for about 2 more years). As it has spent a year in the bottle, the true Belgian esters (cotton candy and bubble gum) have begun to peek through layers of dried fruit flavors. It has also started to become very dry. Enjoy this beer with a creamy desert like a chocolate pudding or Creme Brulee. Just like the 2014 Coming Home, when you serve this beer, pour it into a tulip shaped glass, snifter or wine glass. Serve it cold, fresh out of the fridge and savor every sip allowing it to rise to the upper cellar temperature (50-55F).

What would I do? Drink a bottle now and allow the others to age. Space your tastings out by either 3 months, 6 months or a year. If you only have one, I would drink it now.

I won’t overwhelm you with any more, but in the coming days I will give you my thoughts on Lazy Marmot Maibock, Splash Down Belgian Golden (and a variation we did here at the brewery), and a very rare beer that involves Coming Home 2014.

If anyone ever has thoughts, comments, questions and/or concerns, please email us or post them in the comment section, I am happy to field anything that comes my way.

Until then, Happy Drinking.


Fest Bier Tasting Notes

Our Fest Bier Lager was released on August 1st in 1/6 and 1/2 barrel kegs.  It is available while quantities last.  Here are some brief tasting notes from our Cellarmaster, Max Shafer.

Fest Bier Logo smallAppearance: Beautiful and bright beer. Pours a golden hue with a whispery white head that fades rapidly.

Aroma: A strong biscuity and sweet caramel nose are on the front of the aroma while a light and delicate essence of orange lingers at the end.

Taste: A clean tasting lager with lingering heat from the alcohol on the back of the tongue.  Slightly more estery than most Marzen style lagers but the mild hop aroma from traditional noble hops brings this beer full circle.

Have you tried the 2014 Fest Bier Lager?  Let us know your thoughts!



Vertical Tasting: Coming Home 2010

One of our brewers shares his vertical tasting of the Coming Home 2010 Holiday Ale:

October 19, 2010 to October 19, 2011

-Pours a dark mahogany in color yet bright with no haze.  The light white fluffy head lingers to the bottom of the glass.

-Aroma is filled with bourbon, fig, raisin, and a hint of maple.

-Flavor is much like the bourbon on the nose, great fig flavor, and unlike the aroma, a banana flavor stands out and then warms to dried fruit.

Interestingly enough, the original rich taste of the beer mellowed and became a drier, much easier drinking beer.  If you still have some at home I suggest drinking it now or within the next six months.

This year’s Coming Home 2011 is a Belgian Triple and will age great!  Just like last year, I would suggest putting at least a couple down to age. I personally plan on watching a few cases age throughout the year.

See how last year’s tasting notes compare.

On a side note, I regret to inform you that the 2009 Sheep Eater Scotch Ale has peaked.  If you have some, drink it now!

Three Years of Black Cauldron

A Vertical Tasting of Black Cauldron Imperial Stout

This is the third year that we have brewed Black Cauldron Imperial Stout, and I thought this would be a good time to go back and taste the three editions side-by-side-by-side. Black Cauldron was first brewed as a part of our Cellar Reserve series a few years ago, and when we began our seasonal program, we brought it back to brew each winter. Imperial Stouts tend to age well, due to the happy convergence of high alcohol, high hopping rates, and a heavy use of black malt–three ingredients that all help to preserve beer.

Black Cauldron Imperial Stout

8.0% Alcohol by Volume
2007 (1 liter bottle), 2009 (12 oz bottle), and 2010 (750 ml bottle) editions

Tasting Notes from February 2011:
Each of the three brews pours the same color of jet black–no ruby highlights or brown lacing to get in the way of the deep black beer that fills the glass. Likewise, a thin and quickly disappearing tan head tops each glass.

The 2007 Black Cauldron (hereafter, just BC) has by far the deepest, most complex aroma. I’m happily surprised to see that the oxidation aromas (sometimes called “sherry-like” or “cardboard” or “band-aid”) are very slight. These aromas can be fine in very small doses, but have ruined many a fine beer by overpowering any other flavors. Among that light sherry aroma is a very dark caramel–almost burnt– and a black olive briny kind of savory flavor. A really nice almond, or perhaps cherry pit, aroma shows up on the finish, which is something I really didn’t expect.

In comparison, the 2009 and 2010 BCs don’t have nearly the depth in the aroma department. The 2010 is probably the lightest aroma, with just the faintest whiff of chocolate rising from the glass. The 2011 aroma is a little stronger, with more of a coffee emphasis.

When it comes time to finally taste, the 2007 BC really stands apart from the other two. Whether this is strictly from age, or from changes in recipes and ingredients, I can only imagine. What I do know is that the body on the 2007 is remarkably fuller and creamier than the other two years, both of which leave a sharpness on the tongue due to a carbonic bite from the higher carbonation levels. The 2007 BC reminds me so much of chocolate mousse–rich and chocolately but with a light, uplifting finish. There is still a touch of smoke lingering in this brew, but it is very subdued.

As for our more recent editions, the main difference lies between the emphasis on chocolate and coffee. These two flavors exist in nearly every stout in one form or another, and in our Black Cauldrons we seem to have a slight difference in one year to the next. The 2009 BC has a stronger chocolate flavor and a pretty clean finish. There is a bit of graininess in the middle, but not too much bitterness or sharpness.

The 2010 BC–our most recent edition–has a very strong dark roasted coffee flavor, and a somewhat roasty bitterness to match. Add to that a fresher hop bitterness level, and this brew tastes much more potent than the other two. This BC seems to actually have a little more balance than the 2009, and I think that in a couple years will match the complexity of the 2007.

Cellar Master Says: I’m amazed that three years of the same beer can all taste so differently. The 2007 Black Cauldron certainly tastes good now, and I encourage anyone out there hanging on to a bottle to pop the cap soon. The 2009 Black Cauldron is the most delicate of the three I tasted today, and I don’t expect it to stand up well to anymore aging. Go ahead and open this one, too. The 2010 Black Cauldron tastes young and impudent now, but in a couple of years should turn into a beer that is a little more refined and worthy of a special occasion.