Serving up the South

31 Mar 2019

New Brewery Starts with a Love Story

Winter 2018/2019

Written By: Jessica L. Flammang | Images: Megan Peterson

At the base of Snow King Mountain, a new craft brewery recently made its debut. With sweeping views of the town hill, the three-story, open-air, mountainside StillWest Brewery and Grill sports a distinctly southern flair.

Alabama natives Chaney and Don Alan Hankins created StillWest together, and their story takes the form of an unlikely love story. High school classmates who had lost touch, they connected more than two decades later online when Chaney lived in Nashville, Tennessee. “I sent him a friend request on Facebook,” Chaney says. “He pretended to be in Nashville on business and took me out to lunch.”

Since childhood, Chaney visited Jackson Hole with her family. When she shared her passion for the West with her future husband, it was infectious. “Chaney brought me to Jackson for five days, and I didn’t want to leave,” Don Alan says. “We designed our business concept so we could move here.”

“We were so busy planning the brewery, it was hard to plan our wedding at the same time,” Chaney says. But she persevered through the changes, sold her horse farm in Tennessee, and committed to a life out West. The couple married in the summer of 2017, and began bringing their dream to life.

Don Alan started home brewing in college in Alabama, and became a brewmaster at London University in 1995. Working with City Breweries Investment Corps, he opened brewpubs across the South in Birmingham, Alabama; Lexington, Kentucky; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and in 2004, he launched Old Town Brewing Company in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Beer has always been a passion,” he says. “I love the history, and the plethora of flavors and styles.” His 10-barrel brewing system at StillWest holds seven fermenters and 10 serving tanks, along with a one-barrel system on castors.

“It gives me the opportunity to experiment with smaller batches and pair food with different styles of beer,” he says. “I’m focusing on tank to glass.” The 22-seat bar faces the glassed-in brewhouse, showcasing the brewers in action.

The brewery and restaurant serves a rotating crop of fresh suds, including five flagships: malty red ale, kolsch, American pale ale, German-style pilsner, and Baltic porter. Seasonals include double IPA, Belgian strong ale, and white sage Brett saison. StillWest also offers a full bar and an extensive wine list.

On Sundays, the restaurant serves up brunch with Southern flair. “Nashville is known for its brunches,” Chaney says. “We wanted to bring Southern-style sausage gravy and grits to people out West—and blood orange mimosas are flowing.”

The couple also imported a dynamic team from the South to help with the restaurant, including Grayson Prentice as chef, Davison Payne as assistant brewer, and Jay Hendricks, a high school classmate and family friend, as restaurant advisor. Well-known Teton Village bartender Jeramey Hutchison rounds out the mix as the restaurant’s manager. “Our employees are our family,” Chaney says. “They were with us from the ground floor up.”

In true family style, Chaney’s father designed a lot of the construction, and many of StillWest’s core employees reside in employee housing right above the restaurant. Chaney is grateful for the new space and the serendipitous union with Don Alan that led her here. “We want to thank the community for embracing us,” she says. “This is truly a neighborhood brewpub.”

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