It seems like every Hollywood celebrity, professional athlete, or politician has stated their desire to own a home in Jackson Hole. While those of us with more humble circumstances may not be able to realize this dream, what we can do is enjoy a refreshing craft brew from one of several breweries in the area.
Therefore, if you are in Jackson Hole for a skiing trip or simply to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Tetons, keep reading to discover the 7 essential breweries in the Jackson, WY area!
Although there aren’t as many breweries in downtown Jackson as there are in more populous cities, there are plenty of breweries in the town and its neighboring vicinities to satisfy beer (and cider) enthusiasts:
- Snake River Brewing
- Grand Teton Brewing Company
- StillWest Brewery & Grill
- Roadhouse Brewing Company
- Melvin Brewing
- Citizen 33 Brewery
- Highpoint Cider
Opened in 1994, Snake River Brewing, Wyoming’s very first brewpub, has been giving guests an unprecedented look into the craft brew process. With lots of natural light and exposed steel beams decorated with the artistic backdrop of stainless steel brewing equipment, Snake River Brewing has been at the vanguard of the industrial-style brewery that has taken the nation by storm. For nearly 30 years, the company has been giving the residents and guests of one of America’s favorite ski towns a better beer.
Twice named “Small Brewery of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival, Snake River has put out dozens of outstanding beers over the years. For those brews currently on tap, Le Serpent Cerise is at the top of the list of the most highly rated. A Flanders-style sour ale, this beer is inoculated with multiple souring organisms laid down in French oak barrels for over one year. The result is a fine Belgian sour brown that packs a considerable punch at 7% ABV, helping lessen the pain of those tumbles down the ski slope.
Located about 24 miles west of downtown Jackson on Old Jackson Hwy, Grand Teton Brewing Company is definitely worth the short drive. Located at the base of Teton Pass, the brewery’s proximity to locally grown barley, Northwest hops, and Teton glacier water gives each of the company’s beers a truly authentic Rocky Mountain taste. One fun fact: the company’s founders, Charlie and Ernie Otto, claim to have introduced the modern 64-ounce growler to America. So every time you head to the brewery to have your growler refilled, you can thank Grand Teton Brewing!
Among the beers on tap, the most famous is the Sweetgrass Pale Ale. A favorite among locals since it was introduced in 2002, this beer is widely distributed to retailers throughout the Rocky Mountain region. A winner of numerous awards over the years, its citrusy, resinous spiciness still stands out in a crowded craft beer landscape.
There is no shortage of reasons to visit StillWest Brewery & Grill–homestyle cooking, craft beers, cocktails, and unmatched views of the mountains. Taking pride in maintaining the styles and sensibilities of the Old West, the company crafts its brews to pair expertly with its constantly evolving scratch kitchen menu.
On the tap year-round at StillWest is the “May The Pils Be With You” pilsner. Brewed from noble hops, this beer has earthy tones and a hint of biscuit that makes it the perfect beer with which to wash down some good old-fashioned home cooking. And at 5% ABV, it is far from an impotent easy-drinking craft brew.
Roadhouse Brewing Company was born in 2012, the dreamchild of home brewer Colby Cox and chef Gavin Fine. Creating food to complement the brewing and beer to complement the cuisine, RBCO aims to capture the spirit of Jackson Hole through every beer they brew–a spirit steeped in humanity’s desire to seek, explore, find, and engage.
Amid the hearty selection of beers in the taproom, there is no beer that makes a statement quite like “The Walrus.” Purported to growl, knock, grunt, and bark, this peach, and tangerine-flavored double imperial hazy IPA pack a heavy punch at 8.3% ABV. However, despite the kick, this beer is noted for its juicy flavor that goes down easily and fully satisfies the palate.
Located roughly 30 miles south of Jackson Hole in the small town of Alpine, Melvin Brewing has a personality notably more gaudy than those of its humble confines. Born in the back of a Thai restaurant in 2009, Melvin won “Small Brewpub of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival in 2015, leading them to secure the grant that helped them open the $3 million facility in Alpine in 2016. The brewery aims to spread “Melvin Madness” throughout the community by featuring events such as Wu-Tang-inspired brass music and Cirque-du-Melvin parties.
Among its zany beer offerings, none can top the original Melvin IPA. Admitting to getting lucky during a random brewing session, the brewers landed upon the perfect mixture of hops and fruit, creating a beer that is intense but not as bitter as other IPAs. Guests lament not living in Wyoming and being able to sip off the frothy head of the Melvin IPA on a regular basis.
Another Jackson-area brewery just off the beaten path, Citizen 33 Brewery is located about 32 miles northwest of downtown Jackson, just north of the aforementioned Grand Teton Brewing. Born to celebrate the community of Teton Valley, ID, the brewery uses only locally sourced ingredients to produce some of the finest beer found in the Northwest. In fact, the brewery believes that the local farmers “grow” their beer just as much as they themselves brew it.
Among the beer selections on tap at Citizen 33, the Idaho Obsession IPA is said to be one of the genre’s most “crushable” beers. Blending the east coast and west coast IPA styles, this beer uses classic IPA hop profiles mixed with Idaho’s best hop strains to produce a fruity, piney finish. Drinkers note the sweet, citrusy flavor that is very light on the palate, all of which make it likely that this IPA will become your new obsession.
The final taproom on the list of Jackson-area essentials is a cider house, also located in nearby Victor, ID. Highpoint Cider hosts trivia nights every Tuesday nights to bring guests together and enjoy hand-crafted ciders, fresh from the Rocky Mountains.
Among the ciders the business has on hand, the Tram-Line gets the highest marks among patrons. Crafted with local Idaho Mosaic hops, it is a cider that appeals to both beer drinkers and cider enthusiasts, providing a rich, citrusy finish that is hard to resist.