Photos: Epic Brewing rolls out three Colorado-specific beers and a series of Denver events
Epic Brewing plans a Denver roll-out next week that will be nothing short of its name. For starters, the Utah-based company, which has built a second twenty-barrel brewery in Denver's River North neighborhood, will hit local taplines and liquor=store shelves with three brand-new beers made specially for Colorado.
Blue Ski Lager is a light, 5.3 percent ABV lager made with noble hops; RiNo Pale is a 5.8 percent beer made with English malts and Pacific Northwest hops; and Escape to Colorado IPA is a 6.2 percent "fruit and dank driven" IPA dry hopped with Mosaic hops.
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"It's the mosaic hops that makes this beer special, and special to Colorado," says Epic brewmaster Kevin Crompton. "Mosaic has really only been available for the past five years, and it has beautiful tangerine and tropical notes, and when brewers started to notice that, it became very popular. It has become the new 'it' hop."
Epic brewers Kyle Rossman (left) and Kevin Crompton.
Although most of the supply of Mosaic hops has already been presold to some of the nation's biggest craft breweries, Crompton says Epic was able to lock in a solid supply for the next five years, meaning the beer will remain a staple in Colorado.
All three will be sold in liquor stores in 22-ounce bomber bottles and on draft at more than twenty bars and restaurants, some of which will hold special tastings and events (see a list of them on the next page).
So far, Epic has brewed forty barrels of each beer, which it plans to offer year-round. But the brewery is also making some of its other well-known brands here, including Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout, which will include coffee from Denver's Novo, which is also located in the RiNo neighborhood and has worked with New Belgium and Denver Beer Co.
Epic Brewing has signed with Elite Brands of Colorado to distribute its beer in Denver and Boulder.
The Baptist, along with Brainless on Peaches, are both already aging in barrels in Denver and will be bottled sometime this fall. In addition, Crompton and Kyle Rossman, who will run the day-do-day brewing operation in Denver, have also put together batches of Brainless Belgian-Style IPA, Brainless Belgian-Style Golden Ale, and a special batch of Hopulent IPA that is made exclusively with Mosaic hops.
"So far, everything has been running really cleanly here," Crompton says of the $2 million Denver brewery, which will eventually have 560 barrels' worth of fermentation capacity. "We've had extremely successful fermentations."
Epic has several hundred barrels filled with Big Bad Baptist and Brainless on Peaches.
Epic Brewing expects to open a taproom attached the brewery September 28, which will have 25 taps and two beer engines. It will also host a series of big events during the Great American Beer Festival in October.
Turn the page to see a schedule of upcoming Epic events and tappings.