It's getting hard to keep up with the beer explosion here in Chicago. Every week it seems that a new beer bar opens up or a "new" brewery is offering their products in the area. The latest "new" brewer of note I've come across is Grand Teton Brewing which hails from Idaho. Yes, Idaho, from the town of Victor to be exact. I've recently tasted two of their offerings and can report that the Idaho brewing industry is well represented by the products that have emigrated here.
The Grand Teton beer that's a must-try is the Trout Hop Black IPA. Black IPAs are hot right now with many brewers attempting them, led by Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. Trout Hop is similar to Sublimely and is itself a sublime beer. It pours an oatmeal colored head and appears cola black. It smells of pine hops and some oats. It is creamier than Sublimely with a denser mouthfeel like a porter. Smoke, roasted flavor, and grainy hops pave the palate. It has a long silky finish. This beer is highly recommended.
As I type this review, I am currently enjoying Grand Teton's Double IPA. It has a slight grapefruit nose and pours a yellow-orange color with a substantial head and moderate lacing on the glass. The mouthfeel is light to moderate. It has that "watery" hop taste in which the hop flavor is thin and juicy, similar to Founders Harvest Ale and Avery "DuganA" Double IPA. This brew is a pleasant experience but the liquor store clerk talked it up way too much. It's a fine beer and the alcohol volume is not killer but it is just another above average double IPA of that thin, refreshing variety. You can find many of these on the market without having to commit to a 22 oz. bottle, as is this.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with Grand Teton and would commit to drinking anything they have to offer. My next goal is their Black Cauldron Imperial Stout. Come on; with a name like that how can it be anything other than Grand. Plus, it is sold in a four pack of 12 oz bottles. Grand!