Before I go to any brewery I check out their website to see what beers they have and do a little planning for what I might order. Sometimes this pre-shopping will make or break a visit to the brewery. If the tasting notes are vague or the list includes beer styles I do not enjoy, such as Belgium styles, I may skip the brewery all together.
Snake River Brewing’s beer list was neither vague nor included an over abundance of Belgium styled beers. The list of beer was impressively large, with several styles of beer represented. But for me it was not the size of the list, but the clever beer names that caught my eye. With names like “Rye Not”, “White Snake”, “YB Bitter” “Dark Helmet” “Custer’s Last Ale” and my personal favorite “License to Pils” how could I not want to swing in and grab a pint from Snake River Brewing while I was in Jackson?
When I arrived at Snake River Brewing I noticed that their beer list had something in common with their parking lot. Lots of beers and lots of cars. Luckily I had already had dinner so I took a seat on the taproom side. The taproom has both bar seating and tables. I am always a fan of sitting at the bar as it gives me the best view of the beer selection, so I bellied up to the bar. I started my beer tasting with the Apakolypso IPA, a 6.7% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 60 International Bittering Unit (IBU). This is a dry hopped beer that has a fruity flavor to it. Tasting notes list the fruits as stone fruit, pear, apple and lemon. The beer has a nice clear light amber color. This beer had good flavor to it, not overly hoppy, as to be expected by the lower IBU and was a nice way to start out my beer tastings.
My next beer was the Snow King Pale Ale, a 6.0 ABV with a 55 IBU. The tasting notes state that this beer is a hybrid of the American hoppy pale ale, using Magnum hops and the English floral and spicy flavors: Challenger and Fuggle hops. This beer is also dry hopped however I found that the beer was not overly hoppy in flavor as I would expect from a dry hopped beer. This beer pays homage to the ski mountain in Jackson, Snow King Mountain. The Snow King Pale ale has a slight haze to it, most likely from the dry hopping and a solid copper color.
Since the Dark Helmet, a whiskey barrel aged beer, was not on tap, I went with the Zonker Stout. I am not usually a stout drinker, unless it is the Narwhal from Sierra Nevada. And if you have not tried the Narwhal yet, I don’t know what you have been doing with your time. Now back to the Zonker. I think I ordered the stout perhaps because I was going through withdrawals from not having a black IPA in awhile. The Zonker Stout has a nice smooth roasted flavor to it along with some caramel and chocolate notes. This beer has a 6.0 ABV and a 36 IBU to compliment it’s beautiful dark color. This beer is award winning, picking up several gold and silver medals at the Great American Beer Fest, The World Beer Cup and The North American Brewers Fest over the years.
As I sat in the taproom enjoying my beers I took in the local feel of the place. The taproom had a nice ambiance and the locals were friendly and inviting. While enjoying my last beer I met a lady who I might describe as someone who may have had one more beer than she should have and still had a beer in hand. Hey we have all been there. I chatted with her for quite some time after she saw a photo of Boomer on the screen of my phone. Boomer draws in a crowd even when he’s not in the room. She gave me some tips on the town’s hot spots for live music and more beer. Although I had hit my quota of beer for the day we all know I need more beer… tomorrow!
Snake River Brewing is located at 265 S Millward Jackson and they are open 7 days a week from 11am to 11pm. They do offer both guided and self-guided tours of their brewery. Sadly I did not know about the self-guided tour until just now, eh maybe next time. The restaurant has a pretty tasty looking food menu that I will for sure have to check out next time I am in the area.