Monday, May 23, 2011

Thai Food. West Coast Hopping. Nanobrewing. And Flavor-to-Price Ratios.

What do you think of this?

"Many breweries make simple beers that cost less than 40 cents to make and charge you $5.00 – wow – no wonder the are all millionaires! If we are going to charge a brother $5.00 then it better get to the point on the first sip and you should not have to get more than a couple."
I like the spirit there. If I'm going to pay five bones for a beer, it is nice to be punched in the face with flavor now and then. There is beer as something to drink. Which I support. Then there is beer as an experience, as something that makes you sit up and pay attention with every sip. I can support that too.

I do, however, like to drink more than a couple. But I digress.

The quote is from Jeremy Tofte, owner of Thai Me Up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I told you about that nanobrewing Thai joint about six months ago. Bright, flavorful food and bright, flavorful beers. The 2x4 Quadruple Pale Ale is the one that had me sitting up and paying attention with every sip. The hop aroma was absurd. Bitter? Yes, but not in that overly resinous, unpleasantly lingering way that hinders too many American hop bombs.

A few days ago I got word from Tofte that he's expanded brewing capacity to three barrels and gone from two taps to 10. A little bigger but still nano, in his mind.

Meanwhile Thai Me Up's new head brewer has serious West Coast pedigree: Kirk McHale was previously at the popular Pizza Port in Carlsbad, California. This is a guy who knows how to play with hops.

Jackson Hole locals, visitors, rich folk, celebrities, bikers, hikers and cowboys: Take heed.


  1. One of McHale's beers, called Frank, won the gold in Double IPA the first year Imperial/Double got its own category (2003).

  2. I've been reading your blog for awhile now but I think this is the first time I've ever commented. Anyway! All of your recent posts about small US breweries are getting me really excited for my upcoming quick trip back to the States. I can't really think of a better way to spend summer than to enjoy some of Michigan's small beers (alongside a game of croquet, obviously!). Please keep up the great posting!

  3. Stan: That fits, having tasted the 2x4. Not sure what brought McHale to Jackson, and he might be working on a small kit in the back of an Asian restaurant, but it also happens to be one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.

    Emily: I know exactly how you feel. The expat life does help us appreciate certain things...

  4. Wait, how many brewers are millionaires? Maybe deciding to just stick to homebrewing wasn't such a good financial decision.