JACKSON HOLE, Wyo.— If you walk into Thai Me Up, the birthplace of Melvin Brewing, at 9 p.m. on any given night, the combination of kung-fu and free-skiing movies watched by beany-clad beer drinkers hunched over steaming bowls of curry screams “this is a local scene.”
No stranger to winning awards (they won Small Brewpub of the Year in 2015 and
Brewery Group of the Year in 2017 at the Great American Beer Festival), Melvin Brewing took home silver for Best Brewery as well as silver for Best Local Food/Drink Producer in this year’s Best of Jackson Hole.
Since opening its doors in 2009, Thai Me Up has been a local favorite for alternative bar fare, a fun atmosphere, and delicious beer. One of the key contributors to this is their late-night happy hour which runs from 9 p.m. to close every night (hours depending on the time of year). “We want to make sure that you can come in after your shift and get an $8 skid curry and $3 beer and feel good about eating out,” explains General Manager Julien Lacourse.
With just a three-barrel system behind the bar in a 100 square-foot room, according to Lacourse, founder Jeremy Tofte’s ability to brew delicious, award-winning beer and use tongue-in-cheek humor to market his product brought Melvin Brewing to the foreground of American beer in just six years.
With the opening of their Mothership Taproom in 2015 in Alpine, WY, Melvin Brewing began distributing its canned beer around the country. They have since opened brewpubs in San Diego, CA and Eureka, MO. According to Lacourse, “it’s in the brewpubs that we get to have all of the fun experimenting with new styles and ideas.”
When asked what winning Best of Jackson Hole meant to him, Lacourse says that “it’s special because people care. It means that people like this place and are going to keep coming around.”
For Lacourse, who has worked at Thai Me Up since 2015, “this place is East Jackson’s Living room, just as the (Snake River) Brewpub is the living room for that part of town.” This is a relaxed environment, he explains. It’s somewhere you can rub elbows with all walks of life. Unlike other bars around town, however, Thai Me Up serves up a different experience and different beers. It’s a blend of Thai food, kung-fu, hip-hop, and cherry flavored brown ales.
Like many food and beverage managers in this town, Lacourse recognizes the value of loyalty. “You really have to appreciate the people who stick around,” he says. With the influx of business that came this winter with the introduction of the Ikon pass, Lacourse was reminded of the importance of our tourist economy. When things slow down, those crazy busy nights don’t seem quite so bad.
As a result of hour fluctuations, however, Lacourse also recognizes the importance of showing
appreciation to the local community during the offseason. “This place is really unique,” he says, “and we use the benefits of sales to give locals a deal during offseason to appreciate each other for the work we’ve all done across the community.”
Throughout this offseason, Thai Me Up will be offering a $12 General Thai Chicken and 16oz beer on Sundays, $8 wings on Mondays, and $12 burger and 16oz beer on Tuesdays. For other special deals be sure to follow their Instagram account @tmurestaurant.
When asked what his favorite business in Jackson Hole is, Lacourse said Hoback Sports. “Those guys always take really good care of locals. They have a knowledgeable staff that always does a good job and are always in a great mood.