September 20th, 2012 3:06 pm | by JOHN LOCANTHI Food & Drink | Posted In: The President of Beers

President of Beers: #23

Teton Ale: Grand Teton Brewing Company, Victor, Idaho

We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.

#23 Teton Ale: Grand Teton Brewing Company, Victor, Idaho

State: If you’ve ever had a French fry at McDonald’s or eaten a potato at any other restaurant in the country, you’ve probably tasted an Idaho spud. Potatoes are what they do here. Well, that and making hideous football fields.

Brewery: Grand Teton Brewing became the first fully operational brewery in the state of Wyoming in 1988. It was relocated to Victor, Idaho in 1998 once it was large enough to expand.

Beer: Billed as Jackson Hole’s original, Teton Ale moved north to Idaho with the brewery.

Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Moderate. For some silly reason it is not sold in Oregon but you can find it in all of our neighboring states.

Rating: 64.75

PHOTO: Cameron Browne 
Teton Ale could lay claim to the title of flagship beer of Wyoming and Idaho, and it doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t really excite either. This medium-bodied amber ale pours a hazy copper color. The caramel malts hit you upfront before fading into a mildly unpleasant acidic aftertaste.

Idaho has 20 active breweries with three more slated to open this year, which is not bad for a state with only 1.5 million people. The breweries are working together to improve the state’s beer scene. A bill was passed earlier this year that allows for an individual to own multiple breweries.

Let’s also not forget that Idaho has a built-in advantage in what could be a growing industry: potato beer.

Potatoes aren’t just for vodka anymore. The starch has little-to-no effect on the taste of the final beer and it’s gluten free. People who are allergic to wheat or suffer from celiac disease can enjoy a potato beer. Gluten free craft beer, as with all things gluten free these days, is becoming more and more popular. But most of the current entities use sorghum, corn, rice, or sugar to replace the barley, not potatoes.

Potato beer can mimic most any style of beer and has been a staple of homebrewers for years. Potatoes are cheap, too. Sure, brewing with potatoes became markedly less popular once the US stopped rationing food crops after WWII, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a try.

It’s a more interesting use of potatoes than making shitty batteries anyways.

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