Denver was buzzing during the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. Not from all the beer being consumed, but buzzing because Kevin Compton, head brewer with Epic Brewing Company, let slip the news that the decorated Salt Lake City brewery would be opening a second facility in Denver.
Fast forward to January when Epic confirmed one of the worse kept secrets around – it will open a second brewery in Denver’s River North district this spring. According to the Denver Post, the new brewery, located at 3011 Walnut Street, will start with between 8,000 to 9,000 barrels of expected production for 2013 with the potential to reach 30,000 barrels per year in the future.
Epic’s new brewery will be free from Utah’s restrictive liquor laws and will feature an honest to goodness taproom, which is something the current brewery in Salt Lake City lacks. Epic co-founder Dave Cole told the Post that the taproom will feature between 20 and 25 Epic brews on tap and there are plans to offer growler fills in addition to pints. A fully operational taproom is just one of the more brewer-friendly set of laws that made Denver an appealing location for the company’s second brewery.
“We were considering several California and Pacific Northwest locations but Denver is a close, short flight from our main production facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, and provides the most brewer friendly state and local government, which coming from Utah is a blessing not to be passed up!” said Mallika Filtz, communications director with Epic Brewing.
The River North has seen a rapid increase in the number of breweries in the last year with the opening of River North Brewery, Our Mutual Friend Malt and Brew and Black Shirt Brewing. In addition to Epic, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project will also be moving to the neighborhood when The Source opens up later in 2013. According to Flitz, the company had eyes for the River North throughout the search process, but the area did have some competition.
“The year-long search for the new brewery included sites all over the Denver area, with a sharp eye always on the North East side of town,” said Flitz. “As hoped, everything came together in the River North neighborhood location which is close to downtown and from our visits, seems to be where the city is moving forward to. The neighborhood has been extremely welcoming and we are looking forward to being in great company with other creative driven restaurants and breweries in close proximity.”
The Post originally reported that the new facility would produce Epic’s Elevated and Classic series, but Flitz shared some additional news that will excite Denver beer fans – Epic plans on setting up a long-term sour program in the new facility. In addition to sours, Denver can expect to see some Exponential releases with a focus on Colorado produced ingredients, as well as an increase brewing capacity for favorites like Brainless on Peaches and Big Bad Baptist.
Love Epic but don’t want to trek to River North for its beers? They’ve got you covered, too. While Epic is currently distributing to the Fort Collins and Loveland areas, it expects to finalize an agreement with Elite Beverage to distribute its beers to the remainder of the state. From the new taproom to expanded distribution, this new brewery is going to be Epic.