From the Brewery:
“At Grand Teton Brewing, we are very fortunate to live in one of the greatest places on earth. The beauty, wildlife, mountains, clear water and endless activities found right here in our backyard make for an outdoor playground paradise.
One of these local landmarks is Bitch Creek. Similar to the water used in our brewing process, Bitch Creek is spring fed and flows out of the west side of the Grand Tetons. It’s a popular playground for kayakers and fishermen alike. Bitch Creek ESB is named for this local landmark. Since 2004, it’s become one of the most award-winning beers in the industry having claimed 15 gold medals at national events.
Bitch Creek perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full bodied, satisfying mahogany ale. Like the stream for which it is named, our Bitch Creek ESB is full of character… not for the timid.” 6% ABV English Brown Ale
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Oregon City Brewing can glass. Bitch Creek ESB pours a deep reddish-brown, with a huge brown foamy head. The label lists it as bottle conditioned, and it seems the bottling yeast/fermentables ratio may be a bit off due to the intense head and vigorous visible carbonation. The head leaves good lacing on the glass throughout.
The aromas are straightforward and simplistic; dark fruit esters upfront combined with slightly sweet caramel malts. It’s quite possible I’ve got an old bottle (which unfortunately happened quite a lot on my recent trip through the Northwest), as the only hop character that comes through is a bit of stale lemon hops, possibly slightly oxidized centennial hops?
Medium-thin bodied, with a mouthfeel that is more harsh than I expect from the style. The harshness comes from the over carbonation that is initially noticed during the pour. It is definitely distracting, but not a beer deal-breaker. The flavors which appear are tame, the dark fruit and caramel malt from the nose, a touch of nuttiness and roasted malt, and finishes with a metallic/mineral character.
This is yet another random bottle I picked up on a recent beer-cation, and this one is definitely on the lower end of the spectrum of those I’ve tasted thus far. Its over carbonation creates a harsh, spastic mouthfeel that doesn’t match an English Ale style. This, mixed with the simplistic flavor character, creates an unfortunately forgettable beer. 5/10
Grand Teton Brewing – Victor, Idaho