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Chasing Spirits

Where to whet your whistle while exploring East Idaho

Published in the June 2022 Issue Published online: Jul 08, 2022 Discover Idaho Falls, Lifestyle Steve Smede
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WE ALL KNOW THE OLD TROPE ABOUT HOW IT’S THE JOURNEY THAT MATTERS, NOT THE DESTINATION.

The route one takes on any good journey, however, will be dotted with little destinations along the way. And for all you partakers, there are few better ways to spice up your journey than by sampling a nice wine, beer or cocktail.

Here’s the good news for cheer-meisters in and around Yellowstone Country: The region abounds with watering holes at (and en route) to a variety of destinations. Dial up your designated driver and give these a try, just for starters:

THE MINT BAR
645 N 2880 E in Roberts
This little historic getaway is out of town, but not too far. Open daily, it’s a quaint little destination for a cold beer/drink and a game of pool. It’s just a short stone’s throw from the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area—a major draw for birdwatchers.

Got some pipes you want to share with the world? Be your own songbird, because The Mint is big into karaoke.

Twice a month you’ll also get great live music, but the bar also does comedy on occasion. For example, April 1 made a fitting departure with the bar’s hosting of the Keeping Our Day Jobs Comedy Group.

IDAHO BREWING COMPANY
775 S Capital Ave. in Idaho Falls
A long-time staple for local brews, IBC’s distribution spans the region. The 10-barrel brew system’s menu features a hearty selection of year-round favorites and renowned seasonal specials. More than a dozen beers are always on tap, which you can enjoy at the bar, on the porch or in the on-site tasting room. Check their calendar for live music and events.

TAP ‘N’ FILL
1494 Milligan Road in Idaho Falls
Another Idaho Falls favorite, this festive brewhouse in the heart of I.F.’s Snake River Landing development is poised to become one of the region’s best haunts for ale enthusiasts of all stripes. The selection is absolutely huge, featuring a full line-up of micro brews from light to hoppy to dark. Popular offerings include award-winning names like Stone, Sierra Nevada, Grand Teton, Sockeye and more. (Growlers-to-go are also available.) You’ll love the outside seating atmosphere, right across the street from the SRL pier.

GRAND TETON BREWING
430 Old Jackson Highway in Victor
Heading over to Yellowstone’s little sister park for a weekend full of adventure? 

Grand Teton Brewing is a great place to drink a beer, but it’s an even better place to learn about the essence of beer, and the special care that goes into its production at a small independent brewery. Call ahead and schedule a tour if possible—it will be well worth the time. You’ll get an amazing back-story of how the region’s glacial run-off filters into every glass from a nearby spring, and the source material grown from the best hop farms in the world.

Be sure to try their tried-and-true favorite—the venerable 208. This iconic golden ale is a local mainstay in regional bars and restaurants. Crisp, light, highly drinkable with a touch of citrus, it is brewed with 100% Idaho hops and barley. (It even won the Silver award at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.)

Grand Teton also makes sodas like Old Faithful Root Beer, a nonalky concoction made with pure cane sugar, sassafras, vanilla and (according to GTB) “a hint of wintergreen.

SHOTGUN BAR
3519 Yale-Kilgore Rd. in Island Park
East Idaho’s “Mini-Yellowstone” area sports about half a dozen great little watering holes. We especially love the Shotgun Bar for its rustic decor and small but super-friendly environment. Newly remodeled, the bar offers a good selection of beer and wine.

Heading through IP on your way back from Jellystone? Drop in for Shotgun Sunday, featuring live music. Upcoming performances are usually promoted on the bar’s Facebook page.

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