by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
April 2, 2005
GBC’s clever seven-pack packaging might be their hook, but their beer is what seals the deal. A four-employee operation handles this, the biggest brewery in Yellowstone Country, with an on-premises bottling machine handling about 1,000 cases a day once or twice a week. That comes to about 10,000 barrels of beer a year, which is a boon for local farmers since McMurry gives away all the leftovers from the brewing process.
McMurry, who attended a brewing school in California and has now been in the business for about 8 years, didn’t always possess his now well-honed knack for developing unique beers. "I did make some home brews at first, but they all sucked!" he confessed. Fortunately for him, he now has a 20-barrel system, a huge storeroom, and the aforementioned bottling machine (a rarity for area breweries) at his disposal. He also acquired Moab beer on September 1, 2004, and is doing 90% of GBC’s sales in Utah, where the maximum alcohol limit is 4.0% by volume (3.2% by weight). It may have been weaker than most beers, but the Baja Especial (from a seven-pack, of course) still had the refreshing bite that all Mexican beers have.
After taking us on a full tour of the brewery ("You don’t want to piss of the yeast during the brewing process because it’s a living organism! So we take special care to cool it down"), McMurry led us back to their front tasting room, which is open from 10am to 8pm. It’s a basic room with picnic tables and a fly-fishing theme, with anywhere between 7 and 10 beers available on any given day.
After a few cold ones we departed McMurry’s company, but not before he graciously offered each of us a seven-pack to take with us. And wouldn’t you know, a few weeks later, back home in Brooklyn, there came a night when a friend stopped and requested a beer. All hail The Seventh Bottle of Beer!
From journal Yellowstone Country: Beds and Breweries