Boardwalk Shuffle

This painting by Michele Walters will be the model for Teton Paint and Sip’s Oct. 2 event at Wildlife Brewing and Pizza in Victor, Idaho. The $40 sign-up fee covers art supplies and one glass of wine.

Artist starts Teton Paint and Sip

Juggling several jobs is a common way of life for people in the Tetons, and Michele Walters is no exception.

The artist and Jackson Hole Art Association teacher has a new side venture, a business called Teton Paint and Sip that invites people to do just that. They get together for two hours to paint with Walters’ guidance, using one of her pieces of art as a model, and sip wine or other beverages between brushstrokes.

It’s for all abilities, Walters said, from people who have never picked up a paintbrush to those who know their way around a canvas.

The first event is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Wildlife Brewing and Pizza in Victor, Idaho. Participants will be painting the bear seen on this page.

“I break it up step by step,” Walter said of how each session will work. “I presketch in some of the tougher elements.”

The price is $40 per person which includes a glass of wine (for people 21 and older), all the supplies and the instruction. Walters said students will paint in acrylics because they dry quickly. Kids can come, but if they’re younger than 10 they need adult supervision.

Walters will do a painting for each event and post it in advance online.

After the evening at Wildlife Brewing, Teton Paint and Sip will put on events the next three Tuesdays — Oct. 9, 16 and 23 — at Rendezvous Bistro from 6 to 8 p.m. Those paintings will have a French bistro theme, she said.

Teton Springs has signed up to host events Dec. 5 and 19 and Jan. 9 and 23, all from 6 to 8 p.m.

Teton Paint and Sip is also available for private parties.

You can buy tickets to events at You can also check out the business on Facebook.

— Jennifer Dorsey

Ciderworks to start crushing

Some old apple trees are the essential part of a newly expanded business that’s about to begin operations south of Jackson.

Beartrap Ciderworks received a county liquor license last week and is now awaiting the federal approval it needs before the business begins crushing apples to make cider.

Bearttrap is owned by Orion Bellorado, Ian McGregor and Eric Steinmann. Bellorado said the partners think they may be turning apples into cider within a few weeks in rented space in the light industrial area along Deer Drive.

Bellorado is a high school math teacher. Steinmann is a statistician. McGregor has worked a variety of jobs in the area, including real estate agent, and brings some California winemaking experience to the enterprise.

Bellorado received a small do-it-yourself-at-home cider press as a wedding gift, and from there he and his friends began gathering unused apples from trees around the valley. A big part of their goal at that stage was to gather fruit that was attracting bears close to homes in the fall. Now the partners have found apples growing in the Lander area that Bellorado said will bring “a hugely dynamic flavor” to the product — and provide a steady supply to take the operation from hobby level to business.

He said he’s excited to make cider “from something that actually grows in Wyoming.”

The Lander orchard is more than a century old, with only about 100 trees but perhaps 20 varieties.

“These are heritage apples from homestead times, apples that don’t exist anywhere else,” he said.

The apples were planted to make cider, Bellorado said, but that business came to an end with Prohibition. Many cider trees around the country were chopped down then, but the Lander trees were few enough and far enough from the public eye that they survived. The owners now sell some at farmers markets, and the rest goes to hog feed.

“The orchard owners we talked to would love to have their apples used,” Bellorado said.

The mix of apple varieties means the cider made from them will be less like a beer, with a set flavor depending on an exact recipe, and more like wine, which has differences caused by the mix of fruit and the kind of weather each year.

“It will never taste the same” from batch to batch, Bellorado said.

Bellorado said the alcohol content of cider — depending on sugar content and length of aging — can range from 5 to 9 percent. Beartrap’s product is likely be in the 6 or 8 percent range.

Bellorado, McGregor and Steinmann think they’ll produce between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons their first year. Production after that depends on apple supply and public demand.

The partners have used the Bertram name to distribute some of their earlier experimental brew at special events like farmers markets and had a good response, Bellorado said. He said the expanded operation will produce enough cider to begin retailing the product.

— Mark Huffman

Magazine honors brokerages

Three Jackson real estate groups have been named by The Land Report to the magazine’s list of America’s Best Brokerages for 2018.

Chosen among the magazine’s Rocky Mountain leaders were Live Water Properties and two Christie’s International Realty affiliates: the Graham-Faupel-Mendenhall group at Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, and Western Ranches, a JHREA-owned conclave of agents from various groups who have a special interest in ranches and other large rural properties.

Live Water specializes in ranch property. It was founded by Alex and Macye Maher and Bill Healey. The Land Report noted in its listing that during the year Live Water sold 22 properties for more than $150 million, property “that ranged from pure hunting ranches to quality farm ground.”

Graham-Faupel-Mendenhall includes Bob Graham, one of the Hole’s longest-standing Realtors, who started in business locally in 1972. Other owners are Matt and Julie Faupel and Karen Terra. Mack Mendenhall is an associate broker with the group, which sells ranch, residential and commercial property. The Land Report noted as a top example of the group’s work that during the year it sold 5 acres in Teton Village that went for $4.5 million.

Western Ranches includes agents with a focus on ranches such as Richard Lewis, Chopper Grassell, Jo Gathercole, Samantha Marquis, Steve Duerr and Chad Budge. Duerr brought the buyer to the table in the sale of the 20,052-acre Dodge Ranch, which was listed at $19.995 million. Budge had the listing on the Hal Clark property, the last acre of private land on Mormon Row, in Grand Teton National Park. The land, listed at $5 million, was sold after a fundraising effort that backed a sale to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, which will donate the land to the park.

— Mark Huffman

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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