Monday, December 12, 2011

Show Me Your Grand Tetons

Snake River Brewing Company
265 South Millward St.
Jackson, WY

Sometimes you definitely want the window seat.

Like when you are coming in for a landing at the Jackson Hole Airport a half hour after sunset.

This is the only commercial airport in America located entirely within a National Park.

The Grand Tetons rise straight up out of the valley just a mile to the west of the terminal, silhouetted against the still crimson autumn sky.

As I admired the snow caped peaks towering overhead while I threw my luggage in the truck of my Impala rental, I realized that this was the sixth airport I had traipsed through in the last 24 hours.


Let me tell you, that is a hell of a lot of TSA testicle groping for one day. Way too much.

I needed a beer. Bad.

But I couldn’t take my eyes off those majestic peaks, even as they faded into the twilight.

Can you imagine the first dude who laid eyes on them?

Well, to be perfectly politically correct, that would probably have been some club-wielding caveman 11,000 years ago.

No. I’m talking about the first dude who crossed the Snake River winding through the valley and looked up and exclaimed, “Wow. This is cool. I need to go back and tell people about this.”

As it turns out, that dude was probably one of a party of early 19th Century French Canadian fur trappers looking for beaver. (I’m not making this up.)
Theses lonely French explorers took one look at this majestic mountain range and immediately named it “Grand Teton”. The first thing that popped into their sick little minds.

Roughly translated: “big titties.”

Crazy Frenchmen.

Obviously, they had been away from the comforts of Montreal for WAY too long.

Great. Thanks to these sex starved Frenchies, we now have a National Park named after what sounds more like a Bourbon Street strip club.

Maybe that’s why the good folks at Snake River Brewing Company decided to name their brewery after the river rather than the mountain range.

Located a block or two off the main drag of tourist Mecca Jackson, Wyoming, Snake River Brewing is a favorite hangout of shaggy-haired twenty-something Silicon Valley trust fund babies whiling away their summers waiting for the first snowfall to break out their snow boards.

On a Tuesday night at 10:30pm, the place was packed.

And fortunately for me, still serving food.

Not bad for a town with only 8,000 permanent residents.

All beer is brewed on premises in big copper vats right behind the bar.

I tried the Snake River Pale Ale first.

Unfortunately, it lived up to its name. Pale, light and somewhat uninteresting, it lacked the hoppy pop you get from most American pale ales.

My second choice – the Zonker Stout – was much better. Strong, flavorful and malty, this was one of the better microbrewed stouts I’ve had in a while.

To wash down my beer, I ordered a BBQ chorizo peach pizza.

Yes. You read that right. Peaches on a pizza.

I quickly calculated that this is the first time I have voluntarily eaten peach since my mother force fed me when I was a child.

Fruit does not make an appearance in any of the Suit757 food groups. In case you hadn’t noticed.

But you know what? The sweetness of the fruit nicely complimented the spicy chorizo.

Sometimes spicy and sweet work really well together. And smothered over a layer of sweet molasses BBQ sauce rather than more traditional tomato sauce, the meat-fruit combo was an exciting variation on this crispy thin crust pie.

Just when I thought the sweetness of the sauce and peaches was overpowering the pizza, my mouth would start burning from the spicy Mexican sausage.

And I’d take another swig of Zonker Stout.

Ahhh. I deserved this. Six airports in 24 hours.

Traveling can take a toll on the mind and the spirit.

Just think about those French beaver trappers so far from home. They took one look at a mountain range and thought “sex”.

But thanks to Snake River Brewing Company, the next time I see those mountains I’ll be thinking peaches and beer.

Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt.

Snake River Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

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