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Grand Teton Brewing Company - Bitch Creek ESB

Grand Teton Brewing Company - Bitch Creek ESB

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Grand Teton Brewing Company - Bitch Creek ESB

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    50-55° F
  • Malts:

    Idaho 2-Row Pale, German Melanoidin, Belgian Special B, British Crystal, Amber, Chocolate
  • Hops:

    Galena, Chinook, Centennial
Wyoming’s Bitch Creek flows down the west side of the Teton Mountains not far from the Grand Teton Brewing Company’s brewhouse in Idaho’s Teton Valley. Early French trappers called it “Anse de Biche” (or “Doe Creek”). Perhaps more appropriately, early valley settlers changed the name from the French “Biche” to “Bitch” because its fast flow and steep, rugged canyon cut through volcanic rock made it “a real bitch” to navigate. Today Bitch Creek is best known for its extraordinary scenery and fine fly fishing, and it gives its name to the fly depicted on this beer’s six-pack packaging (which is used to catch the variety of fish portrayed on the bottles’ upper neck label). Like the stream, Bitch Creek ESB is full of character and not for the timid. It is a medium-to-full-bodied brew with an aroma that is full of intricate notes of citrusy pine, toffee, nuts and chocolate malts. Look for an initial spiciness in the flavor which gives way to grainy malts and a peppery, bitter hop finish. A truly great beer—full of character and presenting a most admirable complexity.

This Just In: On Saturday, October 2nd, Bitch Creek ESB received one of the highest accolades in the microbrew world. They won the gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition, the largest national beer competition which recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States today. The gold medal at the GABF represents a world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance. Nice work Charlie!
In a quest for full-flavored, freshly-brewed, locally-produced beers, a couple of Wyoming brothers paved the way for themselves and others to brew and sell beer in ways not seen in that state since prohibition. Charlie and Ernie Otto, brothers of German-Austrian descent, had long been familiar with great beers. In fact, Charlie had become a well-respected area homebrewer. So accomplished was he that friends and family were constantly asking him to brew more beer. Of course, the demands soon spread to others who caught wind of his fine handcrafted ales, and that got the brothers thinking about starting their own commercial enterprise. But because Wyoming did not issue licenses to homebrewers, Charlie had to muscle up and take on the law. Through an ambitious effort, he eventually helped to get a bill passed which would allow him to start selling his beer commercially. In 1988, he was awarded Wyoming brewery license “no. 1”. And the license came in handy—the brothers had already built a small brewhouse in Wilson, Wyoming (just outside Jackson Hole)—so securing the first malt beverage manufacturers’ permit issued in the state in over 35 years made it possible for them to start selling their delicious brew. In 1988 they did just that, founding the Otto Brothers’ Brewing Company, officially the first modern microbrewery in the state of Wyoming. They soon began presenting their original amber “Teton Ale” to local draught establishments and for the next two years their beers were only available on tap. Seeking a wider distribution through bottling, the brothers decided to get creative. In 1989 they rediscovered a long forgotten container, a European, lidded tin-pail known as a “growler”. The term Growler was originally used for the tin buckets used to transport beer from the tavern at which it was purchased. The Otto Brothers’ Brewing Company reintroduced it in a modern, 64-ounce glass jug version. “Growlers” have since become commonplace at breweries throughout the nation, and the brothers enjoy the credit for having resurrected and recreated this novel (and environmentally-friendly) idea. So thus far we’ve learned how these brewing brothers contributed to the good of the nation by setting the stage for a new generation of Wyoming brewers to spring up, and by bringing back the growler. You’d think these accomplishments would be enough for these guys to be contented, but they had big plans in the works still! The brothers wanted to bring Wyoming its first brewpub, but again, state law prohibited breweries to act as retailers (incidentally, this is still a fairly common prohibition-era law that hampers the establishment of brewpubs across the nation). Not surprisingly, Charlie was undeterred and on the wings of previous legal triumphs he began three years of letter writing, phone calling and grass roots organizing to bring about the legalization of brewpubs in the Cowboy state. And wouldn’t you know it, the guy came through for his fellow citizens; in 1992, Otto Brother’s Brewing Company opened Wyoming’s first brewpub. The brewpub brought a surge in popularity to the Otto Brothers’ beer line up (at that point numbering about three ales) and in 1992 they acquired a 22-ounce bottle production line. This meant higher portability and deliverability of their brews, prompting an even greater demand for their microbrews and leading the brothers to break ground for a new, high-capacity brewery at the base of the Teton Pass in Victor, Idaho in 1998. The site was chosen for its proximity to locally-grown barleys and Northwestern hops, as well as nearby Teton Glacier water. In Fall of 2000 the Otto Brothers’ Brewing Company was officially changed to the Grand Teton Brewing Company in order to portray a more regional and recognizable marketing approach, while still retaining their proud history and tradition of beer-brewing in the region. For more information about the brewery, brewpub or scheduled tours, call (888) 899-1656, or visit their website at www.grandtetonbrewing.com.
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