One of the many breweries that we’re looking forward to seeing represented at the Bluffton Beer Festival is Grand Teton Brewing Company of Victor, Idaho.
South Carolina has come a long way in the past few years, where we are now seeing great beers being delivered here that aren’t available in neighboring states. South Carolina is only one of two states east of Illinois in which Grand Teton beers are available. However, based upon the great reviews they’ve been getting, this is likely to change.
Sweetgrass APA and Bitch Creek ESB are the two most popular Grand Teton beers.
Sweetgrass APA was a gold medal winner in the American Pale Ale category at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. Dry hopped with Cascade and Amarillo hops (60 IBU), this pale ale borders on IPA territory. My favorite review of this one on Beer Advocate describes it as a pine cone dipped in orange juice.
Bitch Creek ESB is oddly enough, not an ESB. ESB, or Extra Special Bitter, is an English style of beer. In this case, however, the brewery claims that it stands for Extra Special Brown, making Bitch Creek ESB an Extra Special Brown ale. Reviews suggest this is a hoppier (54 IBU) brown ale which would be a good diversion for an IPA lover looking for a change of pace.
The Grand Saison Farmhouse Ale is the brewery’s effort at brewing a Saison, the original Belgian farmhouse style of ale. We’ve talked about Saisons a few times in these countdown posts, discussing them in the T Minus 14 and T Minus 6 posts. Grand Teton’s Saison gets a pretty good review from the Alstrom Brothers on Beer Advocate, so we look forward to giving it a try.
Rounding out the Grand Teton brews to be available at the beer festival, the one I’m most curious about is the Persephone Pils Imperial Pilsner. This one gets a glowing review from the Alstrom Brothers on Beer Advocate. And I have to confess, I have never tasted an Imperial Pilsner. With other beer styles, the Imperial prefix is generally used to designate stronger beers, so it would appear that this is a maltier, hoppier (70 IBU) take on mainstream pilsner lager.
All in all, this looks like an excellent beer to try for anyone who normally prefers a lager. But the good reviews also suggest that those beer snobs who generally look down at lager with a condescending stare may want to use this opportunity to become a little more open minded. Drink this one with moderation, however, as it is rather strong at 8.75% ABV.