Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grand Teton Root Beer

I picked this one up personally a while ago up in Centerville, UT (a suburb just north of Salt Lake City). My brother lives there and we went up for the 4th of July to visit family, and it just so happened that i found this one by chance at the local grocery store by his house (which i can't seem to remember the name of at this time). The Grand Teton Brewing Company is located in Victor, ID and has been making beers and sodas since 2003. Victor is night near the Idaho/Wyoming boarder, near Yellowstone National Park and at the foot of the Grand Teton Mountains. I went to college my first year in a small town nearby called Rexburg, ID and spent a lot of time in the Tetons snowboarding at Targhee Ski Resort. I have a lot of fond memories of that place, even though i doubt i would want to live there permanently. It was very scenic and pretty, but also quite isolated. I much prefer the city life personally. Still, convincing me to go back to Targhee for a snowboarding trip wouldn't be hard. They had great snow and a lot of fun runs. It's been well over 10 years since i have been back, so it would be neat to go visit for a few runs.

I picked this up in a 4-pack of 12 oz. clear glass bottles. The label is well done, colorful, vibrant, and fitting of a small town brewery in Idaho. There is a scenic picture of the Grand Tetons setting a backdrop for a meandering stream and a silhouette of a moose. Yes, they do have moose in those areas. My brother and i did a night time canoe trip down the Snake River one night and he told me how he had done the same float before with friends and they were stared down by a giant moose getting a late night drink of water. We didn't see a moose on our trip, but we did tip the canoe and get soaking wet in the middle of the night. Even at the tail end of summer it was freezing cold. In the moment it wasn't much fun, but we had a good laugh about it after.

This root beer is fairly watery and is prominently flavored by anise. I don't love the black licorice taste, but it is watered down enough that i don't gag on it or anything. It is sweet tasting from the cane sugar, but i am not in love with the overall experience. The carbonation is ok and it has a nice sweet finish, but it all comes down to the unfavorable anise flavor. It's also a common taste, meaning that i know there are several root beers i have had which taste very similar, though i can't pinpoint one immediately. Not terrible stuff, but definitely not in contention for one of my favorites. My wife agrees, this does little to nothing for her.

My official review is that Grand Teton Root Beer gets 5 (five) IBCs. My wife doesn't like it at all and doesn't think it deserves even a 5. Technically, it should get a 4 since it's not necessarily bad, but definitely not what i'm looking for. But i figure i will bump it up for sentimental reasons. It brings back a lot of memories of my time in Idaho, even though i never drank this there. But that was a fun period of my life and it's nice to revisit it when drinking this stuff. So grab some of this is you care. Or don't. I'm not really bothered either way. However, if you do find yourself in Rexburg, you should take a trip out to Big Jud's and get a Jud Burger. It's about 15 to 20 minutes south of town in Archer, ID and it's totally worth it.

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