A new Salmon River Brewery Pub for YOU!

It never ceases to amaze, the quick passage of time. SRB has FIVE years under our collective belts, in the business of brewing craft beer to the highest quality possible, preparing food in our pub with great care, and supporting local, regional, national, and international, Live music, as an eclectic venue. Speaking of venue, have you been to the NEW SRB Pub yet?!? Well, if not, let’s take a TOUR!!

Welcome to the NEW Pub

Welcome to the NEW Salmon River Brewery Pub located at 411 Railroad Ave. in McCall’s historic old train depot. (Photo: wildaho©)

SRB front door montage

Salmon River Brewery (Photos: wildaho©)

(Photo: Idahobatholith Productions©)

View from the back deck of Salmon River Brewery!(Photo: Idahobatholith Productions©)

First off, let’s get some background on this move. Local Valley County hotelier, restaurateur, golf course dreamer, and avid outdoors-man, David Carey, approached us about moving SRB down to McCall’s old train depot in the fall of 2013 (Which his father, John Carey, progressive land developer et al., had purchased in the  early 1990′s).
David has served SRB’s beers in their Jug Mountain Ranch club house, and lakeside restaurant, Ruperts at Hotel McCall since the day we opened in 2009, and has been a BIG advocate of our business on many fronts for the years following. When he approached us about moving, we had just completed our 5th summer at our original joint, and had recently announced the addition of Adolphus Busch IV as a minority partner in our company, and the ensuing equipment expansion in our brew house. We had also completed new business plans exploring the construction of a larger, production size brewery, capable of producing enough beer to spread the cheer to the entire state of Idaho, and multiple neighboring states. We knew moving SRB to the core of town, with all of the associated costs, would entrench us as a Brew Pub (that’s ok!!), requiring us to focus intently on our restaurant aspect of the business. One issue came up quickly. Where does the Brewery go? David wondered if we could keep the current brewery, and deliver beer to the new pub. We quickly explained our belief, that to deliver the BEST customer experience, the brewery needs to be attached to the pub, so customers can see where the beer magic happens, and so staff can have that close connection to the heart beat of the company, the BEER! David believes so deeply in the future of SRB, that he proposed they build us a custom brew space attached to the pub, for us to outfit, and brew MORE craft beer for you!! More on THAT project in the next blog post!!

(Phot: wildidaho©)

Salmon River Brewery Tap house. 25 total taps                         (Photo: wildaho©)

(Photos: wildidaho©)

Salmon River Brewery (Photos: wildaho©)

Artist, Ed Anderson's custom SRB Beer Board (Photo: Michael Tobiason©)

Artist, Ed Anderson’s custom Salmon River Brewery Beer Board (Photo: Michael Tobiason©)

SRB brewers delivering beer to THIRSTY pub-go'ers. (Photo: Idaho Batholith Productions©)

Salmon River Brewery brewers delivering beer to THIRSTY pub-go’ers. (Photo: Idaho Batholith Productions©)

The great part about being “entrenched ” in the brewpub model, from a beer standpoint, is it means we get to focus more on new recipe development,creation of a bona fide barrel aging, and sour beer program, and fun, special beer related events around the pub grounds.
It does mean there is going to be some difficulties supplying our growing keg distribution network in Central, and Southern Idaho this coming summer. More on that in the next blog post!

(Photo: idahobatholith productions©)

Salmon River Brewery’s Cherry Christmas Ale 6.4% abv. Fermented with Sweet and Tart cherry’s                     (Photo: idahobatholith productions©)

(Photo: Michael Tobiason©)

Salmon River Brewery (Photo: Michael Tobiason©)

(Photo: idahobatholith productions©)

Salmon River Brewery (Photo: wildaho, Michael Tobiason, idahobatholith productions©)

From a food, and customer service experience standpoint, it means much more of good thing, in regards to delicious gourmet pub grub, expanded full service, and major outdoor customer area enhancements. The old outdoor kitchen (remember the Matt’s et al. out on the old deck bbq’ing beer soaked brats in sideways snow?), has been replaced with a larger, more capable kitchen (Yet, not large enough?!? More on that in the next blog post). SRB’s new chef, and Le Cordon Bleu Portland graduate, Jason VanSlyke, has not been wasting any time utilizing it. He has improved our Elk Burger, brought back baked Mac and Cheese, Oven Roasted Hot Wings, and Smoked Salmon Tacos. He implemented the addition of a Thai Beef salad, and Wrap. Jason added a wonderful Salmon Filet dish, Baked Nachos, and the Scotch Egg. Town is already starting to pay attention to Jason’s daily specials, including his delicious hand-made soups. Follow this link for our FULL MENU.
Check out the photos below of the special dishes he paired with SRB beers, for a “Ski Apres Coffee Table Book”, being published out of Vail, Colorado.

(Photo: Idaho Batholith Productions in cooperation with Brealmedia©)

Salmon River Brewery Chef Jason VanSlyke surrounded by his passion.(Photo: Idaho Batholith Productions in cooperation with Brealmedia©)

Great beer, and food, are major components that we are committed to delivering with excellence. Staff to pub go’er interaction is another critical component that we are bound to. Our pub team grew from 10 to over 30 in only a few short weeks to keep up with the demand, that we are so pleased to see exists! Our General Manager Chenoa Badley, and Chef Jason, are excited, and up for the challenge of developing, and retaining an outstanding staff team in our pub.

(Photo: wildidaho© Edit: IBP©

Salmon River Brewery Chef Jason VanSlyke, and General Manager Chenoa badley in lower left corner. (Photo: wildaho© Edit: IBP©

The new pub has 75 interior seats (up from 35 in the old joint), and some major aesthetic, and functional upgrades from years past, that all came together thanks to the help of Studio 616, Tall Timber, SRB Season Pass member, and master craftsman Eric Taplin, epoxy master Mountain Pulliam, Rocky Mountain Signs, DeMoss Glass ArtRough N’ Rustic , many staff members who cleaned, painted, stained, and the SRB owners who helped at every phase.
What kind of upgrades? Custom lounge zone, the addition of a massive 15ft Ponderosa bar top,and a 8ft Ponderosa table, custom metal tables, and keg lighting, suede ceiling details, cut glass growler wall sconces, additional artwork, river oar display, softer lighting, and paint schemes, ceiling speakers, and more!

(Photo: Brealmedia©)

Studio 616 in McCall, assisted with design, and construction of the lounge zone. Rough N’ Rustic’s wood work, from the previous business,  can be seen in the colored wall, that we stained a slightly darker shade. Salmon River Brewery Co-owner, Jennifer Hurlbutt, added her interior design prowess at all phases.                       (Photo: Brealmedia©)

Beer is Good

The Salmon River Brewery metal fish was cut, and lit by our colleague, Jim Hinson, at McCall’s Rocky Mountain Signs (Photo: wildaho© w/ edit IBP©)

SRB Co-Owner, Matt Hurlbutts custom medal "beer" table, with copper inserts (Photo: wildidaho©)

Salmon River Brewery Co-Owner, Matt Hurlbutt’s custom metal “beer” table, with copper inserts.                   (Photo: wildaho© w/ edit IBP©)

SRB Co-owner, Matt Hurlbutt's custom tables. He used the tops of old Idaho Power cable wheels, stained them, laid epoxy on the tops, and wrapped them in hand forged metal details. (Photo: wildidaho©)

Salmon River Brewery Co-owner, Matt Hurlbutt’s custom tables. He used the tops of old Idaho Power cable wheels, stained them, laid epoxy on the tops, and wrapped them in hand forged metal details. (Photo: wildaho©)

A close up of some of the wheel table in-laid details. Local glass artist, Jesse DeMoss brought some pieces to be encased in the epoxy

A close up of some of the wheel table in-laid details. Local glass artist, Jesse DeMoss brought some pieces to be encased in the epoxy tables at Salmon River Brewery (Photo: wildaho© edit IBP©

SRB Co-owner, Matt Ganz got into the plasma torch action, creating this light feature at the bar. (Photo: wildidaho©)

Salmon River Brewery Co-owner, Matt Ganz got into the plasma torch action, creating this light feature at the bar. (Photo: wildaho©)

SRB Co-owner, Matt Hurlbutts plasma torch kegs (Photo: wildidaho©)

Salmon River Brewery Co-owner, Matt Hurlbutts plasma torch kegs (Photo: wildaho© edit IBP©)

It has been a whirl wind journey from our new pub opening in December of 2013, until now. It has been, much, much busier than we projected. With the busy Winter holiday season behind us, we are prepared to learn from our successes, and our challenges, with the goal of being ready to positively impress all of our loyal patrons, and new customers, in what we expect to be a phenomenally busy Summer of 2014. We are now open 7 days a week lunch, and dinner. Lunch was always a challenge at the original location, business was too hit and miss. It was also difficult to keep strict hours everyday, for the same reasons.  The new location has proven to be vibrant, right in the heart of McCall’s foot, and general daily activity zone, for locals and visitors alike, which has allowed us to stick to our listed hours more closely, and offer daily lunch. Stay tuned for more blog posts related to this move, specifically the CUSTOM, brewery that is planned to be attached to our pub in the old train depot! Prost!!
Salmon River Brewery

McCall's,Jim Hinson, of Rocky Mountain Signs, created this sign for Salmon River Brewery (Photo: wildidaho©)

McCall, Idaho’s Jim Hinson, of Rocky Mountain Signs, created this sign for Salmon River Brewery
(Photo: wildaho©)


Winter Madness, Winter Menu

This November is a time of transition in McCall and the nation, for that matter. While we can only do so much on a national level, we’re hard at work tweaking things in the pub and brewery. Beginning yesterday, we are offering the newest installment of the pub menu. While we didn’t cut much from our previous menu, we did add a few tasty items.

First off, we have the Tijuana Brat. It is our homage to Francisco de Tijuana, a 16th century Spanish explorer who discovered(yes, discovered) the brat in the Amazon before going on to found the spring break paradise known as Tijuana or TJs. You can check Wikipedia. That is 100% made-up fact. Anyway, Tijuana’s legacy lives on in this spicy brat topped with house made pico de gallo, cabbage, and bacon. Served alongside the ubiquitous Kettle Chips and pickle spear, this is well paired with…well, with beer.

Next up is the Salmon Burger. It seems appropriate that we have salmon somewhere on the menu. This is a tasty alternative for those people who are deficient in omega-6 fatty acids. The dill flavored salmon patty is topped with Swiss cheese and pico, then set atop a bed of lettuce and avocado. All that amidst a onion roll from Evening Rise, a local bakery here in town.

Beside these new regular items, we are strengthening our commitment to daily specials. There will be a different special everyday. Yesterday, the special was Da Bomb Fries, fried to perfection with a little special spice, parmesan cheese, and green onions. Served with garlic and spicy aiolis, its a great appetizer for a few folks to split. Today, we’re doing Shrimp Tacos. With pico de gallo, the new uber-condiment. What’s tomorrow’s special? You’ll have to come check it out. But I think it starts with Mac…..

On the brewery side of things, the Matt’s have been chugging along as usual, brewing your familiar favorites and a new beer that we’re pretty excited about: White IPA, which will be out soon. It’s also worth mentioning that the Cherry Christmas Ale has not been brewed yet. We’ve had a few calls about it from some eager beer lovers. It’s exciting to hear the anticipation in your voices. Honestly, we’re looking forward to it as well and we’re stoked that you’re stoked. We’ll keep you posted on when it’s available.

In the spirit of Francisco de Tijuana,


Hot Summer Nights~Thirsty People~More Craft Beer

Summer action has been in full swing since the end of June here in McCall at our brewery and pub. The hot days on the lakes, rivers and trails have fostered loads of thirsty and hungry people, and as always, we our pleased to oblige!

The Matt’s have brewed more beer in the last six months, then in the entire year of 2011!  July saw a brewery record of 11 brew sessions in the month, with 40 bbls of beer flowing from our taps and filling our kegs! What is happening here? Well, a few things.  Salmon River Brewery is halfway through our fourth summer of operation. Word of mouth is bringing more people to our pub, Co-owner and music booking manager Jennifer Hurlbutt’s hard work at anchoring SRB as a local and regional stop for live music is really starting to take effect, thirsty pub goer’s continue seeking out local options for their craft beer, artisan wine and food, and a recent mini expansion of equipment in the brewery has allowed the Matt’s to RAMP IT UP, increasing among many things, our outside distribution footprint in McCall and Boise!

What new equipment you ask? Well, to start SRB purchased a used (<100,000 mile) 20 ft. International refrigerated  box truck. This rig allows for efficient (see lift-gate) beer delivery’s to our growing draft accounts, it can be utilized as a mobile beer show wagon, capable of chilling beer off-site, it is an excellent billboard to showcase our logo (Thanks Rocky Mountain Signs of McCall!), and it allows for  increased onsite keg storage if needed. SRB also acquired 150 refurbished kegs from Franke kegs, complete with our logo tagged on the sides. On kegs, these vessels opened a bottle neck that the brewery has experienced for the last 8 months. Kegs are mini beer tanks, they give us an oxygen free, UV light protected, sanitary environment to move beer that is conditioned. For brewery’s with beer in demand, bottle necks consistently pop up, but the temporary reprieve SRB has experienced has been like carefully opening the weir of beer! In conjunction with kegs, SRB has also purchased a semi-automated two-head keg washer from Premier Stainless of California. This is the most modern/technical piece of equipment in our brewery and pub, our block , and maybe further!! It is worth the hype, as this unit will allow for mult-tasking while the machine cleans, sanitizes and purges oxygen with carbon dioxide. The brewery has also invested in new tap handles, “tin tacker” embossed wall hangings for our draft accounts, and half a UPS truck of logo T-shirts, zippy hoodies, and hats. Just ordered, is a new 15bbl conical uni-tank and glycol chiller, on track to be in service by winter. That last sentence is a big one for us. Fermenters and Brite tanks are another classic bottleneck in brewery’s. It is only one tank, but it will allow the Matt’s to double batch brew into it. Brewing once and filling a tank is the most efficient, but our current boiling kettle and mash-tun are just under 10 bbls, so a 15bbl tank needs 2 brew sessions to fill. Though brewing once is best, brewing twice in one 24 hour period is still efficient enough to justify double batching, and it will help us keep up with our fastest moving beers in our pub and draft accounts. This last paragraph is an exciting one for the brewery, something SRB has been working towards for over 4 years!!

This summer has been a great one in the pub. SRB recently hired Eric Brown as Pub Manager, and his cool and collected demeanor, belief in SRB’s vision, and passion for the pub and grill has shown. With Eric in place SRB expanded the pub menu, bringing in Baja Fish Tacos, a Cobb Salad, and a Western Burger.  The summer staff has been working their tails off, doing their very best to take care of customers. Our live music line-up has been outstanding, including local Idaho (and beyond) favorites Jeff Crosby and the Refugee’s, Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats, Innocent Man, and FinnRiggin’s (to name a few) . Regional favorites Buster Blue returned. Claude Bourban, all the way from the United Kingdom, put on a absolutely wonderful guitar clinic, and youtube phenoms, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers stopped by for an off the charts show, where over 350 people attended.

SRB was pleased to increase our beer show action this summer. We poured beers at the  18th annual Mountain Brewers Fest in Idaho falls, at Kelly’s Whitewater park for a leg of  the freestyle kayak nationals,  Ride Idaho and their opening ceremony and dance party, at Charlie’s Garden artists benefit on the lake, and sampled beer at the Lift bar and Grill in Boise, to a packed house!  Our beers were flowing at the 4th annual Idaho-Down at Brundage Mountain, at the Magic Valley Beer Fest, and we will have a significant presence at the Barley Brothers Travelling Beer show in Meridian Aug. 31st thru Sept.1, including Mom’s Ginger Plum and Grapefruit Gold at the signature V.I.P. beer dinner the first Friday of the event.

Plenty of summer is left,  so stay tuned for new seasonal beers on taps, new draft accounts in McCall and Boise, more live music and great nights at SRB! CHEERS!!

Buster Blue warms up the crowd in SRB’s backyard beer garden.

Matt G. and Matt and Jennifer Hurlbutt whoop it up at the Mountain Brewers Fest.

SRB’s new beer truck delivering beer to Bier Thirty Bottle and Bistro in Bown Crossing (Boise, Id.)

Beer Wars

Beer WarsAs Beer Geeks we get excited about news about beer, home brewers, and microbreweries.  Our most current excitement is about the movie ~ BEER WARS.

Director Anat Baron explores the evolving tastes of Americans and the continuing debate of Macro versus Micro Breweries.

Watch the movie ON Demand

We’ll look forward to your thoughts & opinions about the movie.  Cheers!

Wet Hop Wild – Once in a Lifetime Brew

Matt G, Jennifer, Matt H & Billy ready to Harvest SRB's Emmett Hops

Matt G, Jennifer, Matt H & Billy ready to Harvest SRB's Emmett Hops

The Hop Harvest of 2009 was challenged after an invasion of the neighboring rancher’s cows.

The SRB crew was so happy to save the featured Willamette Hops in the 2009 harvest.

Within four hours of this picture these hops were cut, picked straight off the vine, & put into SRB’s boiling kettle.

The final result was 3 weeks later when SRB released their Wet Hop Wild Harvest Brew.

The unique batch of Wet Hop Wild is a once in a lifetime brew.  Come by and enjoy a pint because once it’s gone….it’s gone.

Check out Chris Oates review on the Treasured Valley Blog:


New Brews on Tap

The Matts have been busy brewing. We have two new brews on tap:

1st Wet Hop Wild: Fresh wet hops straight from SRB’s field in Emmett and into our kettle. This brew is smooth and full of fresh hop flavor! We will be brewing this beer only once per year….when it’s gone, it’s gone!

2nd McCtoberfest: A fall seasonal ale with a full body and a nice crisp hop finish, dark amber in color in celebration of fall!! Our biggest seller at McCall’s first annual Oktoberfest.

Come by the River & enjoy a pint!