Saturday, March 13, 2010


It was to be a night like any other night – or so I’d thought. Just an average Monday night out, sucking down a couple beers with a bro – or so I’d thought. Nay, I stumbled upon GRAND TETON BREWING pint night at Barclay’s in Oakland this past Monday, an unadvertised, barely-promoted event where “punters” could sample a range of GRAND TETON beers and even cart home their own souvenir pint glass. I’m serious!! So throwing caution to the wind, I cancelled everything; called my wife and told her not to expect me until daylight, called in sick for the next two days, and went to town with the help of my #1 favorite brewer from the great state of Idaho. Here’s what I tried:

Oh wait a minute – let me tell you why my plans changed and I drank only GRAND TETON beers on this epic night. Just a few weeks ago I thoughtlessly threw a 12-ounce bottle of their BLACK CAULDRON imperial stout into my cart, and then drank it a couple nights later to “get it out of the way”. I loved it – an awesome, fantastic, big bad aggressive imperial stout. So naturally, I’m curious about this brewer. OK, back to the recap. Here’s what I tried:

PURSUIT OF HOPPINESS – Of course, they lose a half point on our ratings scale for the bad pun in naming the beer. But other than that, this imperial red ale was excellent. Smooth but biting, with maltiness not being laid on too thick, and really tingling and delicious. I didn’t see if it was bottled but if it is I’m going to grab me some. 8/10.

LOST CONTINENT OAK-AGED DOUBLE IPA – An understated oak-aged IPA, at least compared with the Southern Tier Unearthly I wrote about earlier in the week. It might be a notch down from that one, but it’s still really, really good. At this point, three beers overall into my exploration of Grand Teton Brewing, I decided that these guys are major alemaking heavyweights. 7.5/10.

SHEEP EATER SCOTCH ALE – ….And this one totally confirmed it. Our waitress told us this was “weird” and that we might not like it. I told her that she was weird, and that she’d better bring me one of these scotch ales, chop friggin’ chop. This beer is decidedly not weird. It’s a dark, roasted, deep and mysterious scotch ale, close to black in color and really rich and full bodied. If I didn’t have a set of car keys in my pocket and a home with a warm bed to get to (I lied above, of course), this would have been served to me in a much bigger glass than the one you see here – and then another after that to boot. 8/10.

1 comment:

Michael Fischer said...

I like all the Grand Teton stuff, especially their wax dipped monsters. The Pursuit is a fall beer, I got a bottle from BevMo, but it's gone now. I still have a Sheep Eater in my cellar. The beer that started my interest in GT was the Bitch Creek XX Double ESB! Hopefully that will be back this spring.
I haven't tried Black Cauldron. They also make a double weizenbock that I've heard good things about. I wish I'd known about the event at Barclay's.