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Pub Visit - USA/Canada

Denver (River North - RiNo), Colorado:
Epic Brewing - Denver

Visited on: Friday 15th June 2018

Bob Thompson

The story of this brewery actually begins in Utah rather than Colorado. Co-founders David Cole and Peter Erickson moved there from California and started an aquaculture business in 1992. However a change in the Utah state law set them off on a new path. In 2008 the law that restricted breweries from brewing only weak beers was repealed and the gate was opened to enable micro-breweries to brew at any strength.

Epic1So they embarked on their long held dream and opened the Epic Brewery in May 2010. Success was almost immediate and they won both domestic and international awards.

The Salt Lake City brewery is still operating and its fermentation capacity has increased eightfold since the opening.

An application was made to the City Council to expand on their existing site but it was refused.

Following this they were looking at a new location to build a second brewery. Their eye was always on Denver as they wanted to distribute to the mid-western states. On 28th September they opened this brewery in the River north district of Denver. It is in a big building and contains a twenty barrel (bbls) brewery, lots of fermentation capacity and room for a large program of wood barrel aged beers.

Epic2The brewery has room for distribution and storage and not least, a taproom with plenty of space for customers. It was the usual hot Denver day when Linda and I arrived at the brewery. We could see that there was a large outside patio down the left side.

Inside the first thing we noticed were three very large wooden barrels at the back of the taproom. These are Foeders and are of sixty hectolitres capacity each.

These barrels were bought from the New Belgian Brewery of Fort Collins, CO. They are used for the fermentation of wild (spontaneously fermented) and sour ales. The bar counter is at an angle along the far wall. Most of furniture is painted wood tables and chairs, although there is a sofa on one side. The shades for the lighting are the spouts of grain feeders.

Epic3On 6th December 2017 they took over the Telegraph Brewery of Santa Barbara, CA. They were founded in 2006 and had developed a good name in their home state. One must suppose that is why they have retained their original name. In fact, one of their beers was available at Epic and we tried it.

There are twenty-five taps for draught beer and I must admit I found their range a bit confusing as they had regular beers, but there were others that were advertised as “all year”.

And of course, there were the seasonals and specials but I can’t quite work out which ones they were. So for better or worse, please find below the beers on offer when we visited.

P25 Stout (6.0%), a stout; RiNo (6.0%), a New England IPA; Brainless (8.4%), a Belgian-style golden ale; Copper Cone (6.9%), an American pale ale; Hopulent (8.4%), an American IPA; Smoked Porter (6.1%); Smoked & Oaked (9.5%), an oak barrel aged smoked Belgian-style ale; Wit Beer (5.4%), a Belgian-style wheat beer; Imperial IPA (8.7%) and Imperial Stout (10.3%).

Epic4This list continues with: Barley Wine (11.2%), Hop Syndrome (4.8%), an American lager; Santa Cruz (7.2%), an American brown IPA; Cross Fever (4.8%), an American amber ale; Spiral Jetty (6.6%); an American IPA; Pfeifferhorn (5.3%), an American lager.

Also Intermountain (5.0%), a wheat beer; Perry’s IPA (7.4%), New England style; Lupulin Burst (7.5%), a hazy New England IPA and finally Telegraph Brewing (Santa Barbara, CA) West Swell (6.7%), an IPA.

We tried four of these beers and our opinions on them are as follows: Perry’s New England IPA had a very strong lime / lemon flavour that continued into the finish. Lupulin Burst was smooth with a soft citrus taste and a medium citrus after taste. Imperial IPA is a classic with intense and complex hop flavours and a little background malt. Telegraph’s West Swell IPA was creamy with a distinct vanilla taste, unusual but good.

Yet another great brewery in the RiNo district.

Important Information:

Epic Brewing Denver Taproom, 3001 Walnut Street, Denver, Colorado 80205. Tel: 801 906 0123

Hours: Monday-Thursday 12:00-22.00: Friday-Saturday 12:00-23.00; Sunday 12:00–21.00

The 44 bus route is very useful as it travels through the RINO district with its many breweries and brew-pubs. It goes through the city centre on 15th and 17th Streets then goes north till it reaches 44th Avenue.
The 44 runs half hourly on weekdays, hourly from 19.00, and hourly at weekends.

Coming from down town alight at the Lawrence Street & 30th Street stop. Walk a short way back to 30th Street. Turn right into it. Cross Larimer Street to the next block and turn right.
You will see Epic Brewing immediately.

To get to down town return to Larimer Street.
Go right into it, the stop is outside the Odell Brewing Taproom.