Kristen Pope worked in partnership with Visit Idaho to create this Travel Tip.
Tucked between the Teton and Big Hole Mountain Ranges, the Teton Valley is known for its scenery, wildlife, and outdoor recreation. Now, it’s also known for its beer. Over the past year, the valley’s brewery count has doubled, and there are now four different places to sample locally brewed beer.
With two breweries each in Victor and Driggs, any beer lover will appreciate the rapidly evolving local beer scene. A visit to Teton Valley’s own “ale trail” is a must for any beer lover on a search for Idaho’s best brews.
Grand Teton Brewing
The first brewery to set roots in the valley was Grand Teton Brewing, which initially started just over the hill in Wyoming. It was actually the first microbrewery in the Cowboy State, but the original owners, Charlie and Ernie Otto, decided to move over to Idaho in 1998, changing the brewery’s name from Otto Brothers Brewing Company to Grand Teton Brewing in 2000.
Today, the brewery sits near the base of Teton Pass, and welcomes people to sample classics like Old Faithful Ale, Teton Range IPA, Ale 208, and many others. Check out the impressive collection of award medals, grab some popcorn from the popper, and belly up to the bar. Or, in warmer weather, snag a seat outside. Locals know the pub’s outdoor seating area, complete with a shady porch and sunny lawn, is the perfect place to soak in spectacular views while enjoying a brew.
Just down the road from Grand Teton is the valley’s second brewery: Wildlife Brewing. This pub and pizzeria feature an impressive menu of both food and beer. Sample the cheese curds, garlic cheese bread, wings, and other tantalizing appetizers before ordering up a pie, stromboli, or calzone.
The brewery’s collection of beer includes an assortment of playfully named brews that pay homage to the local way of life, including pastimes like skiing. “Point It!” Pale Ale is the brewery’s most popular offering, which is fitting because its name celebrates the joy of skiing—fast. Mountaineer Marzen is a German lager on tap for fall, and one beer’s name even serves as a cautionary tale: “Don’t Pet The Bison Amber!”
Wildlife is also is installing a “crowler,” which is a take on the popular glass growlers. It will allow people to bring home extra large sealed cans of their favorite brews on tap.
Teton Thai Brewery
One of the valley’s favorite Thai restaurants—yes, there are several—also brews its own beer. Teton Thai’s brewery in Driggs opened in October 2018. The brewery’s first beer was an English style Money Penny Pale Ale. While the brewery has expanded its offerings to include other styles, the Money Penny Pale Ale remains it’s most popular.
The beer is brewed on-site, and available on tap at the restaurant. Pair a pint with Pad Thai or Pad Kee Mao or simply sit at the bar and savor a beer brewed in the next room over while enjoying the ambiance.
Citizen 33 Brewery
The newest kid on the block, Citizen 33 is a Driggs gastropub focusing on everything local. It uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and brews its ever-changing beer menu using mostly Idaho-grown varieties of barley and hops.
Pair a pint on tap with starters like pretzel bites with mustard aioli and beer cheese, or wings with coconut chili sauce. Then move on to the main course with hangar steak nicoise salad, the C33 smash burger, poke style tuna fish sandwich, crispy eggplant sandwich with tomato fennel sauce, bimibap cauliflower rice bowls, and more.
Feature image credited to Citizen 33.
Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor who writes about outdoor adventure, science, conservation, and travel for NationalGeographic.com, Backpacker, Audubon.com, Western Confluence, and Discover, just to name a few. Visit her at www.kepope.com.
Published on October 10, 2019